Fans’ burning love for the King endures 35 years
ELVIS Presley’s former wife and their only daughter stunned fans by greeting them as they took part in a candlelit vigil at Graceland to mark the 35th anniversary of his death.
The vigil began Wednesday night after Priscilla Presley and her daughter, Lisa Marie, appeared at the Memphis mansion and briefly thanked the crowd for their undying admiration of the rock ‘n’ roll icon.
It was the first time both women had appeared together at the annual gathering, which became an official event in 1980. Priscilla said the sight of thousands of fans holding up candles in tribute to Elvis was amazing.
“This is something Elvis would never, ever have believed could take place here,” said the actress and businesswoman, who was divorced from the singer in 1973.
Lisa Marie told fans she loved them for their devotion to her father.
“I’ve always avoided this because I felt that it would be too emotional, but I really felt it was important to come down here tonight,” the told the crowd. Elvis fans flock to Graceland, where the singer is buried, every year on the anniversary of his death.
The star died on 16 August 1977, from a heart attack after battling prescription drug abuse. His death at 42 shocked fans still mesmerized by his singing, sex appeal and charisma.
The vigil marked the high point of Elvis Week, which celebrates his life and career. About 75,000 are expected to take part. Argentinian Sergio Galleguillo, said: “I felt the spirit of Elvis there, as if he were alive. It really was a beautiful experience.”
The sombre vigil contrasted with lighter moments beforehand. As the line of people waiting to get into Graceland grew, a group from a Brazilian fan club waved that nation’s flag, danced and sang Presley’s early-’70s hit Burning Love in the street.
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