Celebrity Impersonator or Tribute Artist?

by Laurie Ayers  - January 31, 2023

Celebrity impersonator or tribute artist? What about a lookalike? Is there a difference?

What's the difference between a celebrity impersonator and a tribute artist?What’s the difference between a celebrity impersonator and a tribute artist? The answer is: No difference. The answer is: It depends who you ask. The answer is: There are no official definitions.

Here’s my hot-take on what’s the difference between a celebrity impersonator or tribute artist, or a lookalike:

Look-alikes, lookalikes, look-a-likes are generally those who naturally resemble a celebrity. Perhaps much of their lives people told them they have a doppelganger or really look like a celebrity. Professionally they are often used for meet-and-greet and photo ops where they don’t do much other than pose for photos or draw attention to certain events (Think trade show or grand opening).

A Celebrity Impersonator is someone who often uses wigs, makeup, and costuming to resemble a celebrity. They can be actors, musicians, or comedians. They often not only are made up to look like the celebrity but have practiced to sound and act like too.

The term Tribute Artist, not always but often, is used for a musical performer or group that doesn’t necessarily look like the celebrity but sounds like the original.

Jerry Lewis impersonator, Angelo Carbone says he is NOT a celebrity impersonator, but instead he “channels Jerry”. I contend this is mostly a self-imposed title that is often used for SEO and marketing purposes.

I generally say I am a celebrity impersonator because I personally believe it is a title many understand the gist of what that means. Or it intrigues them enough to have a conversation.  It’s also a term that event planners or talent bookers may use to search when seeking entertainment options.

As Schitt’s Creek David Rose says, “I like the wine, not the label.” So call us what you will… just call us.

If you’re looking for a Phyllis Diller celebrity Impersonator, I’m your gal. Let’s talk.

Why Be Phyllis Diller?

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