Elvis’s cousin Wayne Mann says Grantham singer is most like the King

Wayne Mann (left) is Elvis Presley's cousin. He praised Nick Pacey (right) for his performance at the Elvis Festival at Great Yarmouth.

Wayne Mann (left) is Elvis Presley's cousin. He praised Nick Pacey (right) for his performance at the Elvis Festival at Great Yarmouth.

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To be told you are the best Elvis act is quite a compliment in itself, but when it comes from one of the King’s closest relatives it is mind-blowing.

This is what happened to Grantham singer Nick Pacey as he finished a 45-minute gospel set at the annual Elvis Festival in Great Yarmouth on Sunday.

As he turned to walk off stage in front of a cheering audience, an American man approached him.

Nick, 48, said: “I hadn’t a clue who he was. He shook my hand and said ‘that was absolutely fantastic’.

“He said mine was the closest singing he has ever heard to Elvis and that I gave him goosebumps. Then he said ‘and obviously I should know’.

“I asked if he’d got to see Elvis in his day, and that’s when he said ‘I’m his cousin’. Then my head just exploded!”

Wayne Mann had flown into the UK from Memphis for the annual Elvis convention as a special guest. He was close to Elvis, his mother Lilian sister to Elvis’s mother Gladys.

Nick, who owns a security firm in Grantham, said: “To hear that from Wayne gave me a weird feeling. I saw pictures of him with Elvis and he was telling me one or two stories.”

Joining Nick at the convention was his father, 11-year-old daughter Shaney and friend Yvonne Rivers.

One family member not present was his mum, who he recently lost. It was she who encouraged Nick to start singing when he was younger.

Then his singing career took off when he and Yvonne formed part of Grantham-based Always Elvis Gospel Group. They performed in venues all over the country, including Cantebury Cathedral in front of hundreds of people.

The gospel group is no longer together and Nick has formed an Elvis tribute band called Roustabout, named after the 1964 film starring the King.