Does Austin Butler Actually Sing Elvis Presley's Songs in 'Elvis'?

·4 min read
Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

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In the age of musical movie biopics, we've seen quite a few come to life over the last few years. Rami Malek won an Oscar for his role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Taron Egerton garnered critical acclaim for portraying Elton John in Rocketman. Now, we can add one more actor to the mix: Austin Butler, who's been getting positive reviews for his turn as Elvis Presley in Elvis.

The new musical drama movie tells the story of the King of Rock and Roll. From his humble childhood days to understanding the complexities the "Blue Suede Shoes" singer had with manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), Austin embodies the different elements that made Elvis, well, Elvis. But perhaps, the most important aspect he had to figure out was how to sound like the musician, particularly when he sang hits like "Can't Help Falling in Love" and "Jailhouse Rock."

Unsurprisingly, many viewers are wondering: Did Austin actually sing in the Elvis movie? Or was his voice dubbed over to feature the voice of the real-life artist? Turns out, the answer is pretty simple, yet it left a lasting impacting on The Carrie Diaries star.

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

The short answer: If you go and see Elvis in theaters, that is Austin's actual singing voice. Director Baz Luhrmann confirmed this details in June, when he posted a video from the actor's 2019 screen test just a few days after his version of "Trouble" premiered online.

"The response to Austin’s version of Trouble has been tremendous but so many of you still ask, ‘is it Austin singing?’" Baz wrote on Instagram. "I feel I haven’t been clear enough in conveying that Austin sings all of the young Elvis in the movie, so forgive me. I thought you might find this very early camera (2019) test fascinating as Austin and the guys are just jamming while we test our lenses.

He continued: "Even before his two years of vocal studies I feel that Austin is channeling the vocal qualities of Elvis. Thank you @austinbutler for letting me share this early test to give the fans an insight into your journey."

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You can't deny that Austin's version comes very close to the real-life one. But that clip was only the beginning. He actually spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his journey to finding the "Love Me Tender" crooner's voice, revealing he watched YouTube videos and worked with dialect coaches to perfect the exact intonations of Elvis' Southern drawl.

"I'd hear him say a certain word and I would clip just that bit out so I knew how he said that word," he told the outlet. "I created my own archive of how he said every word and every diphthong, and the way that he used musicality in his voice."

Well, it certainly worked because more than a year after the film wrapped (he told GQ that he finished filming in March 2021), Austin still can't shake the mannerisms he picked up from Elvis. Fans have noticed the similarities between his speech and Elvis despite finishing the project a while back. Understandably, tons have asked if he's just playing it up for the cameras.

According to Austin, he's not speaking like the King of Rock and Roll intentionally. "I think it's certain situations trigger it," he explained to Yahoo! Australia. "That was the voice I spoke in for two years. It is so habitual. You get done and you kind of don't remember what your natural voice is.”

There you have it — that really is Austin singing in Elvis. And people clearly love it because the comments from Baz's Instagram post speak volumes. "Dude he is literally Elvis. He’s not Austin acting as Elvis. It's not Austin trying to sing like Elvis. It’s literally Elvis. Right in front of our eyes Austin has become Elvis!!" one fan commented. "I no longer see Austin. All I see is Elvis," another wrote. "What an amazing multi talented star. perfect pitch & delivery. can’t wait to see this movie @bazluhrmann you did a phenomenal job," one more responded.

We're definitely going to check Elvis out for ourselves and maybe sing along with Austin.

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