She's the tribute act that's a triple threat, she can sing, she can dance and she looks just as good as the Lady she impersonates.
Long before Donna Marie became THE BEST Lady Gaga Tribute Act in the world she was a successful act in her own right but when Mother Monster burst onto the music scene Donna seen an opportunity that would change her life and see her play venues all over the world usually played by today's chart acts.
When and how did you start the gaga tribute what started you?
I’d been a singer for many years and supported acts such as Boyzone, PJ & Duncan aka Ant & Dec, Peter Andre etc. On the weekends I would sing in pubs & clubs then during the week I organized a weekly theme night in Wow bar, Cardiff. The owners wanted a Lady Gaga theme party as she was playing the Motorpoint arena. I’d decided I would dress up as Gaga and dress the staff in costumes too. A week before the night the owner called and asked me to do a performance as Gaga but as there wasn’t much time for me to prepare I suggested that they should book a Lady Gaga tribute.
The evening arrived. So many people commented about how much I looked like Lady Gaga. I stood watching the tribute perform her set thinking up ideas of how I might have performed that night if I’d had more time to prepare. I mentioned to both the manager and my husband that I would love to be a Gaga tribute and they thought I would be a brilliant. That night I couldn’t sleep thinking up costume ideas and planning my new Gaga show. I messaged my costume maker friend with costume ideas and booked my first ever Lady Gaga tribute show in Wow bar a month later. The show was a success and the rest is history ☺
What's been the craziest gig you've done?
I’ve had many but I think the one in Monaco. As I was on holiday in Turkey with my family the client had to fly me back to the UK and then on to Monaco for the gig. I was picked up from the airport by a driver and taken to do a quick sound check at the secret location in the harbor. After sound check I was then taken to the most amazing hotel for food and some rest. Once in costume I was driven to a local airfield where I boarded a helicopter. I flew to the secret location and landed on the helipad located on top of the building. There were steps going down to a swimming pool where the awaiting guests were sat at large tables. As I stepped off the helicopter my music started, I was led down the steps by a security guard to perform on a stage at the edge of the swimming pool. The performance was a success. The following morning I was taken back to the airport for my return journey to Turkey to finish my family holiday.
And you've met the real gaga tell us about that and how the arena reacted to your entrance?
I travelled to Paris to watch her Artrave show. I went dressed as Gaga as I knew I was meeting her after the show for a chat and a photo. As I arrived at the arena I got mobbed by Gaga fans wanting photos with me, some even knew who I was and commented that they loved my Gaga tribute. Once in the arena I was mobbed again, there was a queue of approx 50 people wanting photos with me. The security asked the people to disperse as it was causing a security breach. After the show I went backstage to meet Lady Gaga. She was amazed at how I looked. She squealed with excitement “oh my god you look just like me, you are amazing!” She went on to compliment my costume, wig etc. I spent 30 mins chatting to her then got the chance to have a quick photo in which I looked scared stiff as they caught me off guard. She is so tiny; I looked like a drag queen stood next to her lol. On the way out from the arena some of her crew and staff started clapping me. I stepped outside the stage exit and was blinded by paparazzi cameras. It was a brilliant experience and one I will never forget.
How do Gaga fans react to you?
They are really lovely and passionate. I get lovely messages commending me on my tribute show. Sometimes I get messages left on my voicemail, they are fans singing Gaga songs from different countries.
Your show is always incredible do you spend a lot of money on sets and costumes?
I have spent thousands on my costumes and tribute show. I like to give the absolute best quality every time which can mean investing that little bit more cash and time.
How hard is it flying around the world being Gaga then rushing home to be a mum wife and Donna Marie?
I try my hardest to be the best that I can be as a Tribute artist. Although crazy busy I make sure I spend time with my family and friends when possible. It can be very tiring and tough at times but it’s definitely worth it.
Do you have a favorite lady Gaga live performance and what's your favorite song to perform?
I have so many favorite performances as she’s done so many that are memorable. It’s really hard to choose my favorite song to perform, as I love every song for different reasons. However I think I got a soft spot for Million reasons at the minute.
Your set at last years Pride Cymru was incredible and one of the days highlights, it must be insane watching thousands singing songs from the sound of music back at you.
I decided to replicate Lady Gaga’s ‘Sound of music’ medley that she performed at the Oscars. The crowd went wild; it was an amazing feeling watching everyone sing with such passion. I finished my set with a mini medley of some of her biggest hits such as Bad Romance, Born this way etc.
You've got some local gigs coming up as Donna Marie and Lady Gaga, tell us where we can catch you
10th Feb (Gaga) – Memo arts centre, Barry – SUPERSTARS LIVE
Three global music icons on one stage – Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston & Amy Winehouse.
Hear the voices, see the stars and experience some of the World’s greatest tribute artists as they sing & perform on stage with the Superstars LIVE band and dancers!
Tickets are on sale now from the Memo arts centre.
Box office: 01446 738622 / email@example.com
19th Feb (Donna Marie) – Etc, Stanwell road, Penarth
An Audience with Donna Marie whilst enjoying Sunday lunch.
Come and enjoy magical music and some great anecdotes of the entertainment industry.
Reservations - Call 029 2009 0060