Elvis Presley lives on in the hearts of adoring fans who made sure to pay their respects on his 43rd death anniversary ... even if it meant wearing masks and having to spread out.
A candlelight vigil was held for The King Saturday night at his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee -- which hundreds of people flocked to come sundown just to get a glimpse of the man's gravesite and leave behind flowers, notes and photos of their idol. It was one of the last events for Elvis Week around there -- but this year, precautions were in place.
The vigil was a ticketed event of sorts -- only 720 people were given access to the grounds for an up-close view, and the folks running the place only let parties in who wore face coverings and traveled in groups of 6 or less. Also, everyone had to trickle in slowly for proper distancing ... so it was certainly less packed than gatherings like this in the past.
There were also police officers stationed outside the property with barricades in place blocking off surrounding roads -- so people who didn't have tickets couldn't even get near the mansion to watch from a distance. By and large, it sounds like it was a success (COVID-wise).
Fortunately, Elvis fans didn't seem to mind either -- in fact, people came from all over the country (and the world) for the momentous event ... marking the year Elvis had been gone longer than he'd been on this Earth. He was just 42 when he died in 1977.
On Sunday -- the day he actually died -- Elvis Week is set to cap off with a virtual gospel event at the Graceland soundstage, and later tonight ... a drive-in Elvis movie in the parking lot (which we imagine will also be limited). Definitely a bummer, but better than nothing.
Elvis died after suffering a heart attack. He was discovered on the bathroom floor, where he was using the commode moments earlier. His legacy is cemented in pop culture as a pioneer for modern rock 'n' roll music as well as the blues.
Speaking of that, he's faced criticism in the years since his death for culturally appropriating music made popular by Black artists, and passing it off as his own style. Still, the guy was incredibly talented ... and goes down as an icon from his time, paving the way for other big-time acts to follow. John Lennon once said, "Before Elvis, there was nothing."
He left behind his wife, Priscilla, and only child Lisa-Marie ... plus lots of grandchildren, many of whom went on to be famous in their own right. Some have tragically passed as well.