Updated: May 24, 2023, 4:34 PM.
Luisa Marshall mourns death of her idol and inspiration
Teodoro ‘Ted’ Alcuitas
A Filipina-Canadian tribute artist whose own rise to fame was mainly inspired by Tina Turner is devastated on the news of the iconic artist’s death today at age 83.
Luisa Marshall told PhilippineCanadianNews.Com that she is still processing the news and is overwhelmed by it, given that Turner had a big impact on her own life and career.
“I have been crying all day since I heard the news as her impact was humongous. She was able to touch people in her own persona,” she adds.
“I have mixed feelings – sadness..and glad that she is out pain. Knowing her, I know she wants to go in peace as she lived her life wonderfully and successfully.”
The tribute artist told PhilippineCanadianNews.Com that her whole family is also devastated by the loss. “We are all in these together,” she tells me with a voice overcome with emotion.
Marshall, who has been performing as The Luisa Marshall Band, is most well-known for her uncanny resemblance to Tina Turner, both in looks and physique. Marshall and her family band has been a staple in the Canadian circuit as stage performers for more than three decades, arguably the longest surviving Filipino band in the U.S. and Canada. Her husband Steve, two daughters- Kim and Zenia and sister Tota Mendez are all in the band.
Luisa has performed on Oprah with Tina Turner and Cher being guests during “Oprah’s Biggest Show Ever” held at Caesar’s Palace in 2008. Luisa also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in November of 2015 and danced alongside the popular host to Proud Mary.
Marshall was thrust into the Tina Turner Tribute role while performing in Dubai in 1995 when fans urged her to wear a Tina Turner wig while performing Proud Mary. Her astounding performnce and resemblance to the Queen of Rock brought the house down, launching her career as a tribute artist.
The Manila- born and bred Luisa Mendez abandoned her journalism career ( she has a degree in Advertising, Broadcasting and Public Relations from the University of Santo Tomas) to follow her true passion – singing. Teaming up with her two sisters, they formed Hall of Fame which became a top 40 cover band that toured all over the world including Canada.
While she has received numerous awards for her performances and community involvements, Marshall never forgets her roots – the Filipino community, endeavouring to contribute her talents to several causes. During the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, she led a fund-raising concert that raised over $40,000 for the Red Cross to help the victims, among others.