Elvis Presley fans got a huge surprise at the candlelight vigil commemorating the music icon’s death 35-years ago. Presley’s estranged wife, Priscilla, and daughter, Lisa Marie, appeared at the annual vigil for the first time ever last night, surprising fans and media alike.
A candlelight vigil is held every year at Graceland on the anniversary of music legend Elvis Presley’s August 16 death back in 1977. It is now 2012, marking the 35th anniversary since the singer’s passing, and the annual vigil saw more fans than usual this time around (approximately 75,000 according to Zap2it). Among them were Priscilla Presley and daughter Lisa Marie Presley, who surprised guests with their unannounced attendance. The 35th anniversary of Elvis’s death also marked the first time that his estranged wife and daughter attended the Graceland vigil.
Natalie Morales of Today sat down with Priscilla and Lisa Marie to talk about the late musician:
“When we opened [Graceland] in ’82, we had no idea that we’d, you know, [we knew] we’d have some visitors, but not to this extent. I was told Elvis passed and that, you know, will be forgotten in the next couple of years — life goes on. Thank God I didn’t listen to any of those people,” said Priscilla, continuing, “This was so much a part of him, this home,” adding, “He loved this home. He always came back here no matter what. His presence is just all around, going into each room.”
Daughter Lisa Marie added:
“I’m always really happy when I’m here. It always reminds me of when I was the happiest, I think, in my life. It always just brings me back there when I come back.”
At the vigil itself, Lisa Marie acknowledged that she hadn’t been to past Graceland anniversary vigils, reports USA Today. She explained:
“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.”
Priscilla also recounted one of the King’s greatest fears: that he would be forgotten after retiring from music.
“I remember Elvis saying that he didn’t really know if he gave up singing, if he did want to retire, he felt that people would forget him. And to see this every year? … if he only knew,” she smiles.
For video of the Today interview with Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, click here.