Tribute Artists Convention Features Artists From Around the World

Written and photography by Nikki Artale

The Reel Awards brought many tribute artists from around the world, for their 23rd production on Feb. 20 to the Golden Nugget Hotel Casino downtown Las Vegas.

Producers for the show were Janna Joos from California and Bernhard Kurz, producer of “Stars in Concert” in Germany. The Reel Award was started in 1989 by Janna Joos of International Celebrities Images and Alana Joos of Entertainment Express to acknowledge the Celebrity Impersonator, the Look a Likes and Tribute Artist. Instead of an Oscar they receive a film reel can, which is known as “The Can” for the category they have been honored in.


Bernard Kurz and Janna Joos


Lana Joos and Janna Joos

The event started at 5 p.m. with a Red Carpet hosted by Dee De Hanson as Joan Rivers interviewing the celebrity Impersonators, much to the delight of many tourists, locals and camera crews and media reporters.

Some of the featured performers were Andrea Tyler as Adele, who won the Rising Star Award, Suzie Kennedy as Marilyn Monroe, Bill Pantazis as George Michael, Sherie Rae Parker as Bette Midler, Kathy Shelby and Connie Crawford as The Judds, Heidi Thompson as Cher and Gene Sironen as Elton John.

Celebrity Impersonators gave out the awards to the recipients to honor their work.

The 2017 Winners of THE REEL AWARDS

Best Actor: David Born as “Robin Williams” (Texas)

Best Actress: Suzie Kennedy as “Marilyn Monroe” (United Kingdom)

Bea Fogelman Lifetime Achievement Award: Dee Dee Hanson as “Joan Rivers” (California)

Comedy: David Born as “Robin Williams” (Texas)

Newshound Award: Marcel Forestieri as “Donald Trump” (Nevada)

Peter Banks Humanitarian Award: Camille Terry as “Marilyn Monroe” (Florida)

Tribute Band: David Brighton Space Oddity Tribute to “David Bowie” (California)

Rising Star: Andrea Tyler as “Adele” (Florida)

Country’s Hottest Hitter: CJ Morgan as “Dolly Parton” (Tennessee)

Pop N’ Rock for Reel Award: Keith George as “Boy George” (United Kingdom & Tenerife)

R & B Feelin’ Good Award: Tony McKay as “Prince” (California)

Classic Crooner: Gary Anthony as “Frank Sinatra” (Nevada)

Impersonator You Love to Work With: Matt Kay as “Johnny Depp” (Florida)

Gene Greytak Most Professional Impersonator Award: Sherie Rae Parker as “Bette Midler” (Nevada)

Director/Producer: Kurt Brown, Brown Productions for “All Shook Up”, “The Man in Black,” “Man In The Mirror,” and “Superstars on Stage” (Nevada)

I was moved by Sheri Rae Parkers performance when she sang a song dedicated to her mother Bea Fogelman. Sheri Rae was honored as Gene Greytak Most Professional Impersonator and she truly is a professional.


Another high light of the evening was meeting Michael Bush who was the designer for all the clothes Michael Jackson wore on stage. Bush worked with him for 25 years and he wrote a book “The King of Style, Dressing Michael Jackson.” The book is fabulous and wonderful and I loved it just as I have loved Michael Jackson my whole life. I will be featuring Michael Bush in an upcoming story.


Nikki Artale and Michael Bush

We appreciate all the celebrity impersonators and the tribute artist and look forward to seeing them again next year and also special thanks to Janna and Lana Joos and Bernard Kurz for another great convention and show.

Nikki Artale

Nikki Artale, a woman of many professional backgrounds and experiences, is originally from a small town in North New Jersey. She moved here to Las Vegas back in 1995 to pursue the booming real estate market and is a contributing columnist for the Las Vegas Informer  – interviewing the stars and entertainers for “Vegas Stars.” She has hosted a radio talk show, Celebrity News at All Talk Radio and has also been a part of a live internet webcast at “Live at the Studio.” Her numerous interviews with those responsible for the glamour behind Las Vegas can be found on her website

Nikki has also been active in the entertainment industry behind the camera – she belongs to the Screen Actors Guild and has been in numerous movies and has also judged screenplays for the Las Vegas Film Fest. Not only has she been behind the camera in the industry but also as a critic and has written many show reviews. You can usually find her at big entertainment events with her Nikon camera and smile, ready to review, interview, and capture the moments that make the night.

Aside from her lengthy experience in the entertainment industry she is also a successful Real Estate broker with 30 years of professional and dedicated services. She serves the greater Las Vegas area and has an in depth knowledge of the real estate housing market. She prides herself in giving excellent service to buyers and sellers with 100 percent of her time. You can contact her with the information below for any questions, comments or requests of services. 702-279-7001

If you are Buying or Selling go to my real estate site to search the MLS for listings: Las Vegas Real Estate. 

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