Luisa Marshall vows to continue performing as long as she can. (Screen shot, True Calling)
THE HAIR! THE LEGS! HOW THIS TINA TURNER TRIBUTE ARTIST STAYS TRUE TO HERSELF
By True Calling
(Editor’s note: Luisa Marshall is arguably the most enduring and longest lasting Filipino performer in North America. If there is another one, I haven’t heard of it. It is a tribute (no pun intended) to her talent that she gets featured in this impressive video by True Calling and the Filipino community should b proud. She is not only a performer but also a community advocate, a TV host with her own Simply the Best show and co-publishes with husband Steve, the MetroVan Independent News.)
Luisa Marshall is an award-winning tribute artist touring the globe performing as The Queen of Rock and Roll, Tina Turner. She’s an experienced performer with a powerful voice and commanding stage presence who projects pure joy towards her fans.
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Luisa aspired to become a performer as a young child. “All my life, I went to Catholic school. They are very, very strict. I grew up also in a very devoted, Catholic family, the whole entire family, my grandparents and everybody. So they expected me to be that way, too. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that way… I just really wanted to sing.”
Her parents pushed her to continue her education and attend university. “They said, ‘You can do whatever you want right after you graduate. But you have to graduate.’ I took Mass Communications. I said, ‘If I can’t make it singing, at least there’s something that I can fall into.’ A big company hired me to be their marketing director, and I stayed for just two months before I quit and started auditioning for bands. I wanted to sing and I wanted to travel.”
She went on to form Hall Of Fame, a Top 40 cover band, that went on to tour all over the world, including Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, the Middle East, Canada and the U.S. While performing in Canada, Luisa met her husband. They started a family and continued to perform and tour.
One night, on stage in Dubai, Luisa gave in to the persistent request of a fan to wear a wild Tina Turner wig while performing “Proud Mary” and they brought the house down. “But I kept telling myself it was a one-time thing. It was just for fun. But it was so popular! Fans and my band members kept encouraging me, ‘You are Tina!’
Although Luisa was originally reluctant about a career as a tribute artist, she embraced the new focus and started to take her Tina Turner tribute act seriously. Within a few years, she won the grand prize as the World Rock ‘N Roll Tribute Artist Champion. “That’s why it’s hard to be a tribute artist, because, especially the fans, the Tina Turner fans are the ones that I have to convince and please.”
Luisa has performed with Oprah with Tina Turner during “Oprah’s Biggest Show Ever” held at Caesar’s Palace, and she was also asked to be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and danced with Ellen to “Proud Mary”. She has no plans to slow down anytime soon with a jam-packed tour schedule. “ I think when I’m on stage, that’s it. I feel happy, I feel so grateful….I’m just so excited performing especially tonight, it’s because, I have my family working with me. My daughter Kimi plays lead guitar, my daughter Zenia and my sister Tota are my back-up singers, and my husband Steve is on the drums. We always have a good time on stage….I promise myself, and I promise all these people who believe in me, that I’ll do it as long as I still can.”