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Interview with award-winning tribute artist Chris America as Madonna (Photos)

On Dec. 12, 2013, tribute artist Chris America took time out from her busy schedule to share what it is like paying tribute to singer song-writer Madonna, and she does it in celebrity style!

Chris America Madonna Impersonator as "Like A Virgin" 80s Madonna
Chris America as Madonna, Photo: Michael Cairns
Chris America as Madonna with Jack Berrios as Grinch, Photo: Michael Cairns
Chris America Madonna with Jack Berrios as Grinch, Photo: Michael Cairns

Due to Chris America's extensive background as a performance artist herself, plus her many experiences (29 years of them) as Madonna, she has much to share. Enjoy some of Chris' vocal samples at Vocal. A medley and more are found below.

Chris shared that she is from the Washington D.C. Tri-State area and that as a teen she performed in classic Dinner Theater. Later she graduated to Singing Telegrams in the early 80s.

"Madonna has attained excellence during all eras. I suppose the ones that especially stand out are the 80s and 90s." - Chris America

In additon to being a singer-songwriter Madonna, according to Wikipedia, is also an actress, author, director, entrepreneur and philanthropist. In her early days she moved to NYC to pursue a career in modern dance and performed in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy.

Both Chris America and Madonna were singing by the early 80s. In 1982 Madonna signed with Sire Records (an affiliate of Warner Bros. Records) and released her self-titled debut album the following year. She has since released a series of successful albums, including the Grammy Award winners "Ray of Light" (1998) and "Confessions on a Dance Floor" (2005).

Madonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry.

Celebrity tribute artists do not always look like who they pay tribute to. In this case, that is not true.

"I impersonate Madonna mainly because of the physical likeness that guided me in that direction. I stayed with it, because she is constantly doing new and exciting material. She is very eclectic and creative. A bit challenging to do but in constant demand as a character.

I'm creative, the money is good and I get amazing opportunities not afforded to most other professions. I enjoy traveling and meeting people from all over the world. It's a positive atmosphere that makes happy memories for clients and their guests. We perform live iconic moments in time that will never be recreated by the artist again."

At first, Chris America's family did not undersand about her paying tribute to the pop singer.

"Being from a conventional background my immediate family did not initially understand
the impersonator industry and that it actually was a legitimate profession. It was a strange concept
for them to comprehend or relate to when I first started out.

After they attended several of my events, and as the venues became larger and high caliber it
eventually began to make sense to them, and they became enthusiastic and quite supportive."

The entertainment industry, as well as that of a tribute artist, can be considered strange.

"It is definitely an odd profession, but there is a huge demand globally for impersonators and the tribute industry. We travel around the world and are offered very unique opportunities that most professions do not have privy to.

My husband has always been supportive and when he is able will travel with me to exotic locations and events. He often helps me coordinate during my shows and we get to enjoy a little vacation together along the way too."

There is much more to learn about Chris America as Madonna. She is not only talented, travels and is a profesional tribute artist, but she has also won numerous industry awards. Here are but a few, just for this year:

  • March 2013 TMV Cafe's Artist of the Month
  • Dec. 2013 TMV Artist of the Year Nomination
  • Nov. 2013 A Top Industry Award - The Bea Fogleman Award of Excellence
  • Nov. 2013 Best Costume
  • Nov. 2014 Best Costume Hall of Fame Inductee

A few of the many kinds of events that she works at are corporate, anniversaries, awards nights, all kinds of parties, banquets, Bar (male) Mitzvahs, Bat (female) Mitzvahs, casinos, celebrations, Christenings, community events, conventions, festivals, and more.

"As an original Madonna in the tribute industry and the first, I've been around since March of 1984. As a result, I am known well in the fan community, and they have been very good to me."

Fans and readers can learn more about Chris America in the upcoming movie, "Just about Famous." She is personally featured in the film. Its release will be in 2014.

Not often does this happen, but realizes that fans want to hear more about Chris as Madonna, so this is just the beginning - fans look for more about her in the future and here at Chris America!

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