BIO: Ryan Pelton
Ryan Pelton is an international, award winning, Elvis tribute artist, actor, and singer/songwriter. He often refers to himself as the “Forest Gump” of the ETA world, and claims to have been blessed with an extraordinary amount of dumb luck.
In September of 1998, Ryan Pelton was dared by his mother to enter a local Elvis contest in Columbus, OH. At the time, Ryan was building websites for a living. Ryan didn’t grow up in an “Elvis” household. He knew little about the King of rock-n-roll, except for the fact that adults in public often said he looked like a “young Elvis” growing up. Despite only having one week to prepare, Ryan entered the contest and against all odds, he won. “I remember having to write the lyrics on my hand because I wasn’t familiar with any of the songs. And keep in mind, I had never sang before in my life before that first contest.”
Pelton’s days as a website designer were soon over, as he wanted to pursue the entertainment world, saying, “I don’t want to be ninety years old one day and look back saying, ‘what if?’”
Over the next decade, Pelton honed his craft becoming an international, award-winning Elvis Tribute Artist. In 2001 Pelton was declared the “World Champion” when he won the Worldwide Images of the King Contest in Memphis, TN. He has performed all over the world, from casinos to fairs, theaters to festivals, production shows to professional sports arenas. Entertaining audiences in the tens-of-thousands, there can be no doubt that Ryan Pelton is the rarest kind of performer – living up to his billing time and time again.
Throughout his career, Pelton has been involved in a number or unique opportunities that have led him to call himself the “Forest Gump” of the ETA world. Ryan performed with the world’s largest impersonator production show, Legends in Concert, for nearly a decade, including a six year stint in Myrtle Beach, SC. Early in his career, Ryan appeared in an all-Elvis version of The Weakest Link, where he walked away the winner of the second largest total ever won on the show in the United States. He has appeared in an international commercial for Volvo, was the featured ETA in a special collector’s “Elvis Edition” of TV Guide, and was the body double for Elvis as he performed a duet of “If I Can Dream” on American Idol with Celine Dion. During this time he also made his first movie appearance as he played the role of Elvis in the Dakota Fanning move, Hounddog.
Ryan Pelton and Celine Dion on the American Idol stage performing a duet of "If I Can Dream".
Ryan Pelton's first promotional picture for the first contest he entered in 1998.
Ryan Pelton as seen in the special collector's Elvis edition of TV Guide in August of 2002.
In 2011, Ryan Pelton decided it was time to take his career to the next level when he released his first original album, Wash Over Me. Within a week after the release of the album, Pelton was signed as a song writer by a well-known Nashville publishing company.
Shortly thereafter, Ryan Pelton was offered the lead role in a Hollywood film called The Identical. Ryan Pelton took on the screen name of “Blake Rayne” for the film, which also starred Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, and Seth Green. The film, which won the audience choice award for best film at the Nashville Film Festival, opened in theaters on September 5, 2014, and is currently a top ten rental on Netflix.
While he was unable to perform as Elvis during the production of The Identical, Ryan Pelton has returned in 2015, touring again as the King of rock-n-roll. His entertainment company is launching a new show called The Elvolution, and he has dedicated himself to competing in Elvis Presley Enterprises’ 2015 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis, TN on August 11 & 13, 2015.
Ryan still continues to write and record his original music under the name of Blake Rayne, and is currently working on his first original album under that name. “Blake” also continues to audition for acting roles, saying that, “Acting is one of the hardest things I have ever done… I guess that’s why I like it so much. It kind of calls to my soul”. But have no doubt – Ryan Pelton got his first break in entertainment by singing Elvis Presley music, and he has no plans to stop what got him where he is any time soon.
Says Pelton, “Life is like a box of chocolates… and I got the one that looks like Elvis! I consider myself lucky… and I owe so much to Elvis. Without the King and his music, I’d still be building websites.”
Ryan Pelton as "Blake Rayne" on the set of "The Identical" with co-star, Ray Liotta.