Thousands of fans gathered at Graceland, the former Memphis home of Elvis Presley to mark the 40th anniversary of the singer’s death. His ex-wife, Priscilla, greeted fans before the event while his daughter, Lisa-Marie, lit candles for visitors.
Once the candles were lit, the Daily Mail reports that visitors walked through the grounds of Graceland in a solemn procession.
The legendary singer died at his Graceland mansion in the early hours of August 16, 1977, after suffering a massive heart attack. He was just 42-years-old. Widely regarded as the King of Rock’n’Roll, Presley’s impact on popular culture and his enduring legacy are simply colossal.
Fans had travelled from across the world to pay tribute to Presley. Once the candles were lit, visitors walked through the grounds of Graceland and past the graves of Presley, his parents, Vernon and Gladys, and also his grandmother.
Organisers of the vigil estimate that as many as 50,000 people attended the event. However, some fans were disgruntled to be charged $28.75 to take part in the event.
A statement from Graceland said: “In order to keep everyone safe and ensure an enjoyable and meaningful event for all, we have worked closely with local, state and federal security authorities to establish new procedures that have been widely used across the U.S.”
Long standing fan Fred Schwarz of Springfield, Illinois, had attended previous vigils and he wasn’t too thrilled about being charged this year.
“I looked forward to going down there this year, and they come up with all this,' he said. 'I don't want to even go to Memphis anymore. The people running that are not Elvis fans. They are in business. Corporations, they want the bottom line.”
Conversely, another fan, Joe Makowski of St Petersburg, Florida, said: “It goes along with the territory of the popularity of Elvis. There's a price for that as well, to accommodate all the people.”