MEMPHIS, Tennessee - Agence France-Presse
Priscilla Presley (L), Elvis Presley’s ex-wife, and Lisa Marie Presley, speak to fans gathered at a candlelight vigil at Graceland. AP Photo
Fans of Elvis Presley cheered as his daughter and ex-wife appeared publicly at Graceland to personally thank them for their loyalty, 35 years after the music legend’s death.
Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley spoke for little more than a minute on Aug. 15 at the start of an all-night candlelight vigil in memory of the king of rock ‘n’ roll, who died suddenly on Aug. 16, 1977 at the age of 42.
But it was enough to thrill the mainly older but passionately dedicated crowd that returns every year to Presley’s beloved home in Memphis to celebrate his life and music.
“I know this is something Elvis would never ever have believed would have taken place here,” said Priscilla, in a white suit, looking out over a sea of candles across all six lanes of Elvis Presley Boulevard.
“You know this: he loved his fans, and this is proof that you love him... We thank you very, very much for all that you do to keep his legacy going on and on and on,” she said.
Lisa Marie, 44, who opted for a dark outfit, said: “”I’ve always avoided this because I thought it would be too emotional but I really felt it was important to come down here tonight and be with you.
The music-themed gates of Graceland, where Elvis is buried with his parents amid statues of Jesus
Christ in a small “meditation garden” next to a swimming pool, stayed open all night to a steady stream of candle-bearing well-wishers.Record number in 2007
Graceland spokesman Kevin Kern said the turnout on a hot and dry summer evening was expected to match or exceed the record 75,000 who turned up for the vigil for the 30th anniversary of Presley’s death in 2007.
Elvis and Priscilla Presley divorced in 1973 after six years of marriage, after his death, she played a pivotal role in turning Graceland into a major tourist attraction.
Their daughter Lisa Marie is a singer and songwriter.