Scott Jordan


For more than six years, Scott Jordan has been on stages across the country with Legends in Concert, delivering world-class tribute performances as Justin Timberlake. The association with Legends began in 2008, is part of a strong list of accomplishments for Scott, and provides a good place to begin this piece.

First ~ Legends in Concert simply is the very best of the very best.

I happen to know firsthand that their musicians, singers, dancers and production staff are some of the most talented, professional, and terrific people in the entertainment industry that you could ever hope to meet and work alongside. Great people. And…

Their featured performers are brilliant. In order to pass an audition and take the stage with Legends as a tribute artist, a performer has to be able to not only sing the part… Legends takes great pride in being a live production… but deliver physically and visually as well.

If you want to be a tribute artist and make a living… you need to be very talented and very good. If you want to be a tribute artist and work with Legends… you need to be exceptional.

Second ~ Did you notice I gave a 2008 date for Scott joining Legends? In other words, they didn’t give him an opportunity… they gave him an opportunity and he hasn’t let go. He continues with Legends to this day, and…

And third ~ Scott is expanding his range. This year he took the stage to deliver a performance as Ricky Nelson, and has become a featured cast member as the Travelin’ Man.

This is a driven entertainer, with a passion to deliver quality performances, and a desire to always improve.

I first met Scott during a media night for Legends in Concert. We spent a fair amount of time speaking that evening, and saw each other a few additional times during the run of that cast. He was quick to note on that first night how proud he was to be performing as JT, be a part of the Legends team, and also to work with that specific group:

“My set involves one of the most dynamic entertainers in the business today, and I get to run through some great songs. But check out this room. (He points at one of the other members of the Legends cast) Matt over there has been with Legends for more than a decade and is phenomenal as Bruce Springsteen. It’s a terrific show, offering something for everyone, and the audiences are definitely diverse as a result. To be a part of this, to work with all of these people, these musicians and performers, and do what I do, it means a lot to me.”

(Editor’s note: Scott was referring to Matt Ryan.)

I’m grateful that Scott has agreed to take part in this interview for In My Backpack, and to share some of his story and experiences with us.

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Scott Jordan grew up in Maryland. And while his love of performing has been there since a young age, it wasn’t singing that first pulled him in to show business.

“I was first drawn to acting. Honestly, when I was young, I didn’t think I could sing at all. But I loved performing…

“…I had no idea I could sing until I was a freshman in high school. I had always done talent shows, but I was always lip synching. I was very much into acting, but in high school in order to be in the play you had to sing, so I auditioned and I got the lead.”

The funny thing is, this is the point in the story is where we see him begin to move toward singing. It is here, in high school, that he begins singing on stage, taking voice lessons, and looking for ways to sing such as with chorus and vocal groups. But his love of music began much earlier than that.

While he was growing up, both of his parents worked and often had late hours. So Scott’s grandfather would frequently pick him up at school and bring him home. The quality time they spent together involved listening to the classics.

“Oh yeah (he smiles, pauses and looks off into the distance as if cherishing a memory)… music like Elvis and Ricky Nelson. The stuff really grew on me. (His eyes seem filled with excitement as he looks back at me) Remember The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet? We would wait for old episodes to come on, and I just loved the music. I can still think of the first time I ever heard ‘Travelin’ Man’ on the radio.”

Eventually his journey heads to Florida, where Scott attended the University of Central Florida. He also worked in theme parks, developing a foundation of skills ranging from delivering during grueling performance schedules to connecting with wide ranges of people. And yet, while the theme parks offer the chance to work in front of large crowds, it doesn’t provide the same type of spotlight as a live band on stage.

His favorite artist… and one he considers “the most talented guy on the planet”… is Justin Timberlake. A common thread in the careers of tribute performers generally revolves around being told that their voice sounds similar to a well-known artist. That story works when it comes to Scott and the voice of Justin. And for Scott, well: “the great thing is that I’m getting paid to do what I’d do for free in my truck.”

Yup. Scott eventually took the stage performing as JT, doing something he loves.

Life as a professional entertainer isn’t smooth or easy, regardless of your talent. It can be incredibly demanding… on your time… on your stamina… on your personal life. There are nights you wish would last forever, and days when you wonder why you’re putting yourself through the challenges.

Yet there’s nothing like it. When you do earn a living at it, there’s nothing like the footlights, the applause, and the thrill of entertaining an audience.

Scott put in the work, and is now recognized as one of the finest in the world at what he does.

And that in turn brings our story to the current day.

Scott continues to work hard every moment and every performance, and strives to keep improving. He has added a tribute for Ricky Nelson with Legends. And, he also spends a great deal of time focusing on the stage while off of it, working with children through various efforts including the Mini Starz program.

I’m grateful to Scott for his time, and I’m thrilled to bring you this interview.

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How did things get started musically for you? Do you have any memories or stories about singing or being on stage when you were younger?

I had no idea I could sing until I was a freshman in high school. I had always done talent shows, but I was always lip synching. I was very much into acting, but in high school in order to be in the play you had to sing, so I auditioned and I got the lead. After that I began taking vocal lessons and joined the choir and just kept honing my skills. I loved being onstage in front of an audience. I was addicted to it and I knew very early on that I would be doing it for a long time. I was in a lot of musicals, everything from the Wizard of Oz to Fame, and just being able to play different characters was exciting to me. It also wasn’t a bad way to meet girls. (Ha ha) I also played Peter Pan once and my tights ripped off on the harness so I was momentarily bottomless onstage in front of hundreds of people.

When did the realization of music as a professional endeavor for you really take hold? And what were some of your initial challenges and efforts in pursuing it?

I went to college at the University of Central Florida and while I was there I began performing at the theme parks, so I knew that being able to do it professionally was an option but I also knew that I wanted to do it on a larger scale. I was in various pop music groups and even a country band but there were so many people doing the same thing, and getting the attention of record labels was very difficult. It was tough to get paid to sing. It wasn’t until I got to Vegas that I realized I could make a good living singing in shows. There have been ups and downs, but my family has been there to help me persevere and I’m still doing my thing.

What types of music influence you personally?

I grew up listening to Ricky Nelson, Elvis and Merle Haggard. I love Garth Brooks as well, and I went to see him in concert 5 times. I was a huge Boyz II Men fan, and in the 80’s I loved those Hair Metal Bands like Guns N’ Roses and Whitesnake. 90’s R+B is also a favorite genre of mine. I am so glad I have Sirius Radio because I can listen to all of them in my car on long road trips.

What drove you to start your performance as a Justin Timberlake tribute artist?

Well, first of all, he’s my favorite artist. But the great thing is that I’m getting paid to do what I’d do for free in my truck. It’s exciting to be a part of, and I’m honored the people enjoy my work.

I understand you’ve met Justin a couple of times, and even managed to create a few funny stories.

Yeah, that’s right. The first time was years ago, when he was with ‘N Sync. There was a karaoke contest going on that night, so I started singing one of his songs while looking right at him. Afterwards I told him “I’m going to be in a boy band just like you.”

A couple of years ago, I met him in Las Vegas at his birthday party. We talked for a little bit and I was happy that he seemed cool with what I do.

I believe you’ve said that you don’t know how closely you resemble him in real life. Does that increase the pressure on your performance skills?


I understand we have a resemblance, but my feeling is that I appear pretty ordinary when I’m just hanging around in regular clothes. I put on the hat, the jacket and tie, and of course the sneakers, and it creates a lot of the visual aspect for me.

The biggest thing for me is I want to convince the audience that they’re seeing the real thing. I want them to close their eyes and believe they’re hearing Justin. I want them to open their eyes and believe they’re watching Justin.

I think I’m the only person performing a Justin Timberlake tribute that actually sings live. At least I was when I started and believe I may be today as well, and I take a lot of pride in that.

Have the phases of Justin’s career, which really include some big differences in material, caused you any troubles?

I don’t know if I’d call them troubles, but there have been times when I didn’t know what to do. For instance, as I was getting started a couple of years ago, it was right as FutureSex/LoveSounds blew up. That changed everything and increased the demand.

It’s always great to have audiences be so encouraging of what I’m doing. And even with recent success for him, I’ve always tried to include an ‘N Sync melody in my set. We’re still doing “Bye Bye Bye” and that always gets the biggest response.

Let’s step back for a second to the beginnings of a tribute. Right now you are performing JT and Ricky Nelson. How did those develop?

I lived in Orlando for years during the boy band era and I was actually in a few myself. We did some ‘N Sync songs and people would say how much I sounded like Justin. We put that theory to the test one night when a mutual friend had me sing on his voicemail and he thought it was him singing live somewhere. When I started touring Europe he had just released his first solo album and I decided to sing some of his songs on tour. Then when they brought me to Vegas to do the show I was still singing some JT. I auditioned for Legends and the rest as they say is history.

As far as the Ricky Nelson tribute goes, I loved his songs when I was a kid. My grandfather introduced me to some of his music and we would watch old reruns of Ozzie and Harriet. I wanted to do another act that would fit more with an older demographic so that I could work more throughout the year. I put together a video and sent it to Legends and they were honestly a little hesitant about it. Chris Beattie, who is our Regional General Manager, loved it though and she helped me get it to Myrtle Beach where we had a very successful run with the character.

One thing about seeing a production like Legends in Concert that always impresses me is how much more is involved for the featured performers than simply a voice. There’s capturing the mannerisms and movements, and of course the wardrobe. What do you find the most challenging in delivering your performances?

In my opinion, Justin Timberlake is the most talented guy on the planet so those are some tough shoes to fill. The fact that he is a living performer who is still very much active in the business also makes it a tough challenge to deliver a great performance.

The voice was the easy part for me. The dancing was the hard part. I can’t dance exactly like Justin Timberlake but I certainly capture some of the iconic choreography that he has done throughout the years. My biggest goal was to be able to mimic the movements and mannerism and facial expressions. I feel like I have done a great job at bringing those to life on the Legends stage.

You mentioned this, and having seen you perform I know moments like “Bye Bye Bye” get a great reaction. I also know that with someone like Justin Timberlake – not just active, but recording and releasing new material -- that set lists can change for you. Do you have any songs of his that you really enjoy performing? …have performed, but have been cycled out? …wish you could include?

I love that we have added “Mirrors” this summer. The song gets a great reaction. I really enjoy doing the ‘N Sync medley as well because I can see the excitement on people’s faces when they are reliving their teenage years. “Cry Me a River” is one of my all-time favorites and I would like to think that song will always be in my set.

We just recently took out “What Goes Around… Comes Around” which had been in since day one and I do love performing that song. I think though that I was the most disappointed when we took “Señorita” out of the set. I was excited to put it in the show and we did it for one run and then it was gone. I felt like it went over really well. I would love to put the songs “Take Back the Night” and “Rock Your Body” in the set, and I really want to revamp the ‘N Sync medley and have it include “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” “It’s Gonna Be Me,” and “Bye Bye Bye.”

How about with Ricky Nelson? Are there particular songs of his you really enjoy working with?

I enjoy every song we do in the set. “Travelin’ Man,” “Hello Mary Lou,” “Bye Bye Love,” “Garden Party” and “I’m Walkin’” are all great tunes. “Travelin’ Man” was the first Ricky Nelson song that I ever heard, and “Hello Mary Lou” and “Garden Party” always get great responses.

What are some of the unexpected moments… the funny stories… that you’ve encountered along the way?

I’ve had a chance to really start getting into some of the SNL skits that JT has done and I have costumes for a lot of them. When I do my own show they will sometimes get requested, so I get the chance to do “Single Ladies” or “D*ck In A Box” and those are usually pretty funny.

I did have a woman offer her daughter to me in Vegas after the show one night. She said her daughter was a big JT fan and that it was her 21st birthday and she was waiting for me in the room. I had to politely decline that offer.

Another funny thing is when our older people mistake me for Justin Bieber. I actually put a joke about that now in the show.

Do you find the reactions you get -- on stage from an audience, or after when you might be meeting or talking with people that saw the show -- differs depending on where you are performing, or, in the case of a tribute show by who you are performing as? And what are some of the best encounters you’ve had with audiences?

Obviously Ricky Nelson and Justin Timberlake have two different audiences.

When I am portraying Ricky I just see faces light up on our older guests. It’s a trip down memory lane for them and I love being a part of that. As JT I’m not always used to our older guests singing along. That’s what they always tell me though, that they loved Ricky and I took them back to the good old days.

When I’m playing JT the biggest compliments I can get from our younger audience is that I nailed it. Some have told me that they saw him live and that I have him down. I love hearing that. And I also love when our older guests tell me that they don’t know the music but they are now fans and that I entertained them.

At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. I will say that here in Branson, I got my first standing ovation since I’ve been in Legends so that felt really good!

Do you ever get to work on music you’ve written yourself, or with groups that feature other material?

Yeah. It’s a bit strange though.

First of all, those efforts aren’t paying the bills. So while I’d like to write and record some of my own material, I don’t necessarily have the time.

Secondly, I’m trying to find a bit more focus in my writing. I don’t know how to explain it, but basically my natural voice is very similar to Justin’s, and I perform as Justin, so I seem to feel this need to write stuff that’s in a completely different direction from that and from what I intended. I love the rock and live performance feel, and yet I’ll find myself working on something that feels very country.

Right now I’m focused on performing with Legends and some personal projects, and as I can I keep feeling more secure about finding my own voice in my writing. It’s definitely there, though it’s not like I have another band I’m working with all the time or a recording contract lined up.

Speaking of other projects, I know you’ve worked with kids on several levels, and performed for them. How do they react to your work? And, what about those efforts appeals to you?

Kids are always great at the show. They get so into it and they sing along, and sometimes I feel like they do think they are watching the real performers.

I work with kids a lot now, whether it be with our Mini Starz show in Myrtle Beach or with the kids at my old high school in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and there are two different messages there.

With the kids in MB, I want to be able to give them opportunities to perform for big audiences at a young age and get the experience to grow as a performer and to learn from great teachers that work in the industry. My partner, Courtney Gray Stoler, is incredible at putting this thing together. If there is a definition of glue, then she is it. I have so much respect and admiration for her for dealing with the day to day operations. Legends in Concert has also played a big part in that as well. Again I have to mention Chris Beattie, who along with Trey Younts and Jason Aiesi, took a chance on our show and gave the kids a great opportunity to perform on that stage.

As for the kids in Maryland, I just want them to realize that they can make it in show business and that they can have long successful careers if they just put their hearts into it. I tell them not to listen to anyone that tells them otherwise.

How can people stay up to date on you and your work? And, what can we expect to see from you in the future?

Well you can follow me on social media. On Facebook it’s JT Tribute and on Twitter and Instagram it’s @JTTribute.

On YouTube you can look me up easily using the tags, for instance Scott Jordan as Justin Timberlake or JT Tribute or Scott Jordan as Ricky Nelson.

I plan on going back to Myrtle Beach to spend some more time working on our Mini Starz show for a bit in the fall. I will be finishing this run in Branson in September and then I will be making announcements concerning 2015 shortly after that. It’s shaping up to be a big year.

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I want to thank Scott for all of his time and consideration. In addition to meeting in person for an interview a while ago, a great deal of this piece was developed through e-mail exchanges. I simply cannot fully express my gratitude for his participation and assistance. It was an absolute pleasure meeting him, interviewing him and photographing his work, and an even greater privilege to work with him specifically on this project.

Scott is a VERY busy man, and the good news is that means there are chances to see him performing on stage. At the current time, he is Branson, Missouri.

Here are some places where you can learn more…

Scott Jordan at @JTTribute on Twitter

Scott Jordan on YouTube

Scott Jordan at Legends in Concert -- Justin Timberlake

Scott Jordan at Legends in Concert -- Ricky Nelson

The pictures you see in this article are a combination of shots. The majority have been provided for this project by Scott Jordan. Several were taken by Bob Hocking during performances with Legends in Concert.

Scott was involved in the approval of all images used in this article, and granted permission for the use of the pictures where rights are not held by Bob Hocking and In My Backpack.

All rights to these pictures are protected. They cannot be used for any other purpose without the appropriate written permission(s) from Scott Jordan and/or Bob Hocking. As a matter of convenience, Scott and Bob request that you use the e-mail details on this page and for In My Backpack if you have questions or would like additional information about any of the material involved in this effort.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at