Hollie Vest will sing and dance like the singer at Saturday’s
Gilroy – Yes, she looks exactly like Tina Turner.
But what’s amazing is she’s actually white.
Hollie Vest, a Tina Turner impersonator performing at Saturday’s Live Aid Benefit Concert, always idolized the Tennessee-bred blues singer. To fool the crowd into thinking her skin is coffee-colored, Vest covers her body in dark make-up.
Vest lived and worked as an impersonator in Las Vegas prior to moving to New Orleans. She impersonates a variety of stars but Turner is her favorite act, said Linda Collins of Classique Productions, the talent producer for Live Aid.
Vest first fell in love with New Orleans after seeing Elvis in “King Creole.” Her love of the city was reinforced when she watched Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Hurricane Katrina destroyed Vest’s business and part of her beloved city but she’s thankful to have survived the disaster.
Also, the historic New Orleans mansion she bought in New Orleans in 2001 is still standing.
The building, which Vest turned into a Bed and Breakfast, served as the American Red Cross headquarters in New Orleans during World War II from 1939 to 1954.
Vest said she has limited funds because of Katrina but will use her talent to help raise money for victims.
“I am willing to do all that I can to help raise funds to rebuild the city that I so dearly love,” she said. “It is so important that each and every one of us gives and does all that we possibly can do to help rebuild lives, rebuild our communities and our nation. If you do not have money to give then give your time and prayers.”
Collins said that Vest is having a difficult time dealing with all the havoc associated with Katrina but her music keeps her sane.
“The only thing that makes her feel half way normal is getting on the stage,” said Collins.