After delivering a dazzling performance of Neil Young’s iconic song “Old Man,” Hesperia resident/singer Joe Steadman earned the top prize in Crème de la Tributes 2015 karaoke competition at the L.A. County Fair last September.
This year, Steadman, 58, will take another shot at winning the contest at the Fair on Sept. 17 during KaraokeFest 2016. The event will conclude with singers and tribute artists competing for cash and merchandise prizes, as well as the honor of being crowned Crème de la Tributes’ Male and Female Vocalist of the Year, respectively.
“People have been telling me I look like Neil Young for years without even hearing me sing,” said Steadman, who will perform Young’s “Harvest Moon” in the competition. “I just happen to sound like him when I sing, too, so what I am doing all came about very naturally.
“Since my win last year, I have been working with an agent to get more gigs and I’ve also started taking guitar lessons in order to improve my playing skills. I’m feeling very confident about the contest and feel I can win again, despite the fact there are many talented people I’ll be competing against. But I always make a point to give it my all and my vocals are spot-on.”
Steadman began his journey as a singer in the 1990s, performing at family parties and other casual events. At the time, he admits he never dreamed his hobby would one day turn into a profession.
But after a soul-searching stay in an alcoholic rehab center in 2001, the karaoke crooner said he knew it was time to get his creative act together on more serious level.
“When I got out of rehab, my ex-wife, daughter and son-in-law all went in together to buy me a karaoke machine,” said Steadman. “I purchased a few backing CDs and would sing all the time in my backyard.
“Then one day, I took my tracks and equipment to a recovery center to host karaoke for the people there. After that, I started doing more and more of that kind of thing and the rest is history.”
Win or lose in this year’s competition, Steadman said he is super excited to begin touring as a Neil Young tribute artist. He hopes to perform at fairs, festivals, casinos and corporate events.
“As it turned out last year, there happened to be a booking agent who saw my performance at the contest,” said Steadman. “Afterwards, he approached me and said he was interested in promoting me.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime and I am very focused on making it successful. After so many years of hard work trying to make something happen with my music, it’s finally paid off.”
For more information about Crème de la Tributes and KaraokeFest 2016, visit www.karaokescene.com.