A TEENAGER who began mimicking The King as a toddler in a jumpsuit made by his nan has been named Europe’s best Elvis impersonator.
Emilio Santoro, 19, was introduced to the singer by his grandparents.
He did his first impression of Elvis in his home-made jumpsuit and learned his mannerisms by studying old footage.
And he says being crowned the European Elvis Tribute Artist Champion in an annual event held at Birmingham’s NEC is a “dream come true”.
He said: “Everyone always says life’s too short, follow your dreams, and it couldn’t be any more true really. To be crowned champion is just amazing.
“I had a jumpsuit that my nan and auntie put together for me and ever since then I’ve wanted to pursue this as a career. All of the supportive messages on social media have been so humbling.”
The teen has performed as the Are You Lonesome Tonight singer in school talent shows and took part in his first European competition aged 14.
His next show is in his home town of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, ahead of performances in Germany, the US and Canada, and a UK tour in November.
Emilio, born 25 years after Elvis died, said: “I had a dream since I was a young age that I wanted to be on the stage.
“At first I was nervous to pursue that dream but luckily I have a family behind me and since then I’ve never looked back.”
Neither of Emilio’s parents have a musical background.
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Mum Emma works as a business manager for a food catering company and dad Joe is a self-employed builder.
Emma said she was an emotional wreck watching her son in the contest.
She said: “We’ve watched him, we’ve helped coach him, we’ve seen the hours of work that he puts in, so to see him finally get recognition is just amazing.
“I’m a huge Elvis fan so it gave me great pleasure in seeing him love everything Elvis.”