Powell has won many Elvis tribute contests all over the country but none bigger than the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s “A Tribute to the King” competition in January 2016, in which Powell won the $25,000 first place prize. When Travis Powell was 4 years old, he had a dream about Elvis Presley. This dream made him instantly enamored with the King, and by the time he was 6, he performed Presley numbers for friends and family. Powell, who lives in Shelby, N.C., also won the $1,000 Audience Choice Award by garnering the most social media action. “A Tribute to the King” is in its 13th year and is the largest Elvis tribute contest in the country. Powell says the competition was a lot of fun, but also stressful. “My stomach was churning. You work so hard for so long and then it comes down to this,” he said. “And then there are the other guys. You get to be friends. They’re nervous about the competition, too. And, although you want to win, you’re pulling for them at the same time.” Powell has lived in North Carolina his entire life, but as a full-time entertainer, he travels a lot for work. “I’m a Southern boy at heart, though,” he said. One of his favorite parts of traveling is when he passes through or performs in Memphis. “I always stop in at Graceland,” he says. “The minute I walk in, the hair on my arms stands up. It’s a very special place.” Powell says his favorite Elvis songs to perform are “My Way” and “American Trilogy.” At 33, Powell is still able to pull off an Elvis-in-his-prime look. Whereas some contestants need to wear an Elvis wig, Powell is happy to report he does not. “Yup, this is my real hair and sideburns,” he said.