Belfast Telegraph

Elvis would be X Factor advocate

Elvis Presley’s ex-wife worries he is being remembered as a caricature.

The late singer was married to Priscilla Presley between 1967 and 1973, although they separated a year earlier. With what would have been the superstar singer’s 80th birthday approaching on January 8, Priscilla has been thinking about what he’d make of modern life.

“It is very different to what he was used to, but he always had an open mind to everything and he would be all for anyone having the chance to make a success of their lives and making a career,” she told British magazine Hello! when asked what he’d make of The X Factor. “He was always happy to see young people – especially if they had come from humble backgrounds like he did – finding a way to make something of their lives.”

One thing which makes Priscilla unhappy is the way her former spouse has been remembered by some. He put on weight and battled with drugs before his death, which is what has been focused on by many. Priscilla is concerned about this, especially when he has such a vast back catalogue of hits such as Suspicious Minds and Hound Dog.

“He would have been the lovely, sensitive, authentic man he really was. People think they know Elvis, but my regret is that over the years his memory has sometimes been reduced to a caricature,” she said. “The real Elvis was a man of great depth, who really thought about things. He was very spiritual and he loved his family. He was the lavish showman too… but when he was at home he liked simple things like reading and listening to gospel music.”

The former couple had daughter Lisa Marie together and he was a great father. He carried a photo of his daughter at all times and although the couple divorced, they remained on good terms so it was never awkward. This is one of the reasons why Priscilla and Lisa Marie will mark Elvis’ upcoming birthday together.

“I will celebrate it with my daughter in Graceland. I sent Lisa Marie a message yesterday to say, ‘Do you realise it would have been your father’s 80th birthday in January?’ My God where did the time go? It just doesn’t seem that long ago,” she said.

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