Belfast Telegraph

Elvis fans greeted by Priscilla

Elvis Presley's ex-wife Priscilla and their only daughter Lisa Marie stunned thousands of fans who had flocked to Graceland for a candlelight vigil marking the 35th anniversary of the singer's death.

Priscilla Presley and her daughter made the unscheduled appearance on a stage set up just inside the walls of the mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, as thousands with candles were about to enter the grounds of Elvis' home and last resting place to honour the "King".

The two women thanked the crowd for their undying admiration of the rock 'n' roll icon and Priscilla called the sight of thousands holding candles amazing.

"This is something that Elvis would never ever have believed could have taken place here," she said.

Lisa Marie, standing beside her mother, said she had shied away from making public appearances at past anniversary vigils for fear of being overwhelmed by the mood.

"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. I love you very very very much," she told the crowd.

They spoke just before a long line of fans, many who had camped outside for hours, were allowed to file past the Elvis Presley grave site on the grounds of the mansion and tourist attraction.

This was the first time both women have appeared together at the annual candlelight vigil, a tradition dating to the early 1980s.

Elvis admirers from around the US and the world have flocked each August anniversary to Graceland, where the singer is buried.

The star died on August 16, 1977 from a heart attack after battling prescription drug abuse. His abrupt death at 42 shocked legions of fans and many today are still mesmerised by his singing, sex appeal and on-stage charisma.

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