Multi award winning RIO THE VOICE OF ELVIS is officially titled „ELVIS 2000 – Elvis Tribute Artist (ETA) of The Century" and he is without doubt one of the world best Elvis performers.
RIO is half Sicilian but was born in Germany and grew up as a beloved only son of musical parents (his father was a great tenor singer in his day). He studied music (singing) and took piano lessons at the academy of music in Bochum (G) in 1982–1986 and he got a degree in music. RIO is in the entertainment business as a professional since 1985 and based in Germany, he’s performing all over the world (USA/UAE/Asia/Africa/Europe).
Here are some remarkable stations of his exceptional career in music as an ETA:
-three-time European Champion ETA-Contest in Velp|Nijmwegen (NL) in 1983, 1984 and 1985 (Promoter "Always Elvis Fan Club" NL)
-In 1995, RIO won the “Golden Elvis Award” (G)
(Elvis’ original tailor is making all of RIO’s costumes since 1995)
-World Champion in 1999 - he won the International Elvis Presley Contest (G). RIO prevailed among 78 other international contestants. He was presented the title:
“Elvis 2000 – Elvis Tribute Artist (ETA) of The Century"
RIO was awarded the title "Best Elvis since Elvis" by the biggest European Elvis fan club in 2001
RIO has performed with Elvis’ very own TCB Band (James Burton, Jerry Sheff, Ronnie Tutt, Glen D. Hardin & John Wilkinson), plus Elvis’ vocal backing groups The Sweet Inspirations (Estelle Brown, Portia Griffith & Myrna Smith), The Stamps Quartet (Bill Baize, Ed Hill, Butch Owens) and Voice (Sherrill Nielsen & Brenda Nielsen), Donnie Sumner (backup singer for Elvis –The Stamps Quartet- and leader of VOICE INC.), David Briggs (Elvis' piano player), Ray Walker (Elvis’ backing singer –The Jordanaires-) and Bergen White (backing vocal –The Jordanaires- and White also arranged several Elvis songs in the70s such as “Polk Salad Annie”).
In 2010 he was honoured for his commitment to Gospel Music and his excellent interpretation of the Gospel Hymn “How Great Thou Art”.
In 2013, the Gibson Guitar company in America was making a special presentation to RIO with one of their last remaining Elvis Model guitars (“Elvis Presley King of Rock J-200 Signature”, limited edition) in recognition of his long service in singing and promoting Elvis Music.
RIO is doing American Kenpo Karate since 1997 (like Elvis did) and he was honored the Black Belt in Dublin, Ireland in 2013
2015, RIO founded his own record company “Sunrise Records”.
RIO recorded Paul Overstreet’s pop song “Baby’s Love” at House of David in Nashville/TN, in May 2016
Paul Overstreet is one of the most successful country music singers and songwriters. He recorded 10 studio albums between 1982 and 2005, and charted 16 singles on the Billboard country charts, including some #1 hits such as “When You Say Nothing At All” for Ronan Keating. Paul Overstreet has also written the hit “Baby’s Love” for RIO.
2017, the first RIO book "I am RIO THE VOICE OF ELVIS" was published.
2021, the RIO comic "The King and I” was released.
In 2022, he won the international HOFA Song-Contest for talented artists with his self-written country-song “Night Train” (G). RIO prevailed among 1226 participants from all over the world and songs from a wide variety of categories. RIO’s song was not only in first place in its category, but also in the overall ranking. The coveted award was determined by public vote. In a worldwide public vote, his song received by far the most votes.
2023 the second book about RIO entitled "RIO THE VOICE OF ELVIS - The Untold Story" was released.
"King of the Kings!" (Fritz Rau, one of the most successful concert organizers in Germany)
“RIO is one of the finest voices I’ve ever had the pleasure working with!” (Sherrill Nielsen, Elvis’ Tenor Singer)
“To RIO, what an honour we had to perform with you ... to meet you ... and to have “new friends”. RIO is more than wonderful ... amazing ... awesome!” (Brenda Nielsen)
“To my brother, RIO, a man with a great voice and an even greater heart that is full of love and respect!” (John Wilkinson, Elvis’ Rhythm Guitar)
“Dear RIO, you are remarkable! It is a pleasure to sing with such a talented vocalist! Elvis would be proud!” (Myrna Smith, member of Elvis’ Backup-Choir “The Sweet Inspirations”)
“RIO, it’s hard to express what I really feel - you are just fantastic!” (Estelle Brown, member of Elvis’ Backup-Choir “The Sweet Inspirations”)
“RIO, you sound so much like Elvis! You impressed me!” (Donnie Sumner, member of Elvis’ Backup-Choir “The Stamps Quartet”)
Copyright © 2023 Stefanie Heier HMC