Originally Published: February 3, 2014 6:02 a.m.
When she was just 15 years old, singer Michelle Tyler found the "unique and powerful voices" of Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin so motivating that she found her destiny.
She will perform the music of these superstar women on Saturday, Feb. 8, in the "Bella Donna - Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac Experience" at the Elks Opera House.
The show begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $22/$25 and are available at the opera house box office by calling 777-1370 or going online to www.elksoperahouse.com.
Tyler grew up in Southern California, where she still resides with her guitarist husband of 30 years, Bob Weltz.
Before Tyler became enamored with the voices - and the strong personas - of Slick and Joplin, folk music was her favorite genre, she said.
But then in 1977, she heard "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac and she added another inspiration to her list.
"Stevie Nicks had the strength yet vulnerability that was lacking in any of the later female artists. She was captivating on and off the stage, and became a role model as a 'rock 'n roll ballerina' with her gauzy, hippie-gypsy wardrobe and feminine mystique," Tyler said. "I was hooked.
"As a band, Fleetwood Mac blended great songwriting with pure charisma and quickly became the super group of the '70s.
"I was working in cover bands at the time, and the most requested songs we did were covers of Nicks and the Mac," Tyler said. "It didn't take me long to realize that I had a similar timbre in my voice and a true love of Stevie's witchy-woman style of dressing."
Tyler was selected to appear as Grace Slick on the national TV show "Your Big Break," which was a Dick Clark production back in 2001.
"This was before 'American Idol' or any of the other 'you have talent' style TV shows," she said. "The show featured singers who had a knack for impersonating, and I was chosen to sing 'White Rabbit' live on TV. It was like coming full circle and meant so much to me!"
Just recently, Bella Donna was chosen from a nationwide search of tribute performers to be featured on the AXS TV show "World's Greatest Tribute Bands," Tyler said. The show is in its third season and features the best from the tribute genre.