Over 700 Elvis Presley Fans Gather at Graceland to Pay Tribute on 43-Year Anniversary of His Death

Elvis Presley died at his mansion on Aug. 16, 1977

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Fans of Elvis Presley flocked to Graceland for a candlelight vigil to mark the 43rd anniversary of the late icon's death.

In comparison to years past, the event in Memphis, Tennessee, on Saturday was downsized due to the coronavirus outbreak. "The Candlelight Vigil will be more limited than in past years due to social distancing and capacity restrictions, but the longstanding tradition will carry on with a fan procession to Meditation Garden," the location said on social media.

Candlelight Vigil, Elvis Presley
Graceland. Elvis Presley Enterprises/Graceland

This year, Graceland reserved 720 spots for fans to attend the three-hour vigil in person, and all reservations were filled, said Alicia Dean, marketing, promotions and events specialist at Graceland, according to the Associated Press.

Fans carried candles and walked past Presley's grave at the famed mansion where he died at age 42 on Aug. 16, 1977.

The event was also livestreamed online as part of Elvis Week, which began Aug. 8.

Among Presley's famous fans to pay tribute to him were Tim McGraw and Tanya Tucker.

The vigil took place four weeks after the death of Presley's grandson Benjamin Keough, who was the son of Lisa Marie Presley and her ex-husband Danny Keough.

Keough died by suicide on July 12 at the age of 27 in Calabasas, California. "She is completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter Riley. She adored that boy. He was the love of her life," Lisa Marie's rep, Roger Widynowski, previously said in a statement.

Candlelight Vigil, Elvis Presley
Graceland. Elvis Presley Enterprises/Graceland

Priscilla Presley, who was married to Elvis from 1967–1973, mourned the death of her grandson.

"These are some of the darkest days of my family's life," she wrote on Facebook. "The shock of losing Ben has been devastating. Trying to put all the pieces together of all the possible whys has penetrated my soul. Each day I wake up I pray it will get better. Then, I think of my daughter and the pain she is going through as she was a doting mother. Ben's father, Danny [Keough], who is completely lost, as Ben was his only son."

"Riley, so loving and so close to him; Harper and Finley, who absolutely adored Ben. Navarone, who struggles deeply with loss and death," she continued of Benjamin's sisters and his uncle Navarone Garibaldi, Priscilla's son with Marco Garibaldi. "Rest In Peace Ben, you were loved."

Candlelight Vigil, Elvis Presley
Graceland. Elvis Presley Enterprises/Graceland

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Related Articles