Priscilla Presley Remembers Elvis' Allure on the 40th Anniversary of His Death: 'I Used to Wake Up Staring at Him'
The 72-year-old star shared memories of her ex-husband with Today on Wednesday, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the King of Rock’s death.
“He broke the mold,” Priscilla told Jenna Bush Hager, in an interview live from Elvis’ Graceland home in Memphis, Tennessee. “Not just in singing and music, but also in style.”
Asked what Elvis’ allure was, Priscilla couldn’t help but gush. “It started out really with his voice. People loved his voice. When he sang, it was like he was singing to you,” she said. “I experienced that being in the audience. I always felt like he sung to me.”
“He wasn’t bad to look at either,” Priscilla added. “Everyone had a crush on him. They’re still having crushes on him! He woke up beautiful. I used to stare at him. I used to look at him. Oh my gosh…”
She continued: “He was really good at everything he did.”
Elvis died on Aug. 16, 1977 — stunning the world. He was 42.
“You can’t help but think about the day that it happened,” Priscilla remembered. “But we have so much here [at Graceland] to remind us about all the good that he’s done and all the entertaining that he did and all the great things that keep his memory alive. Many people, as you know, come here just for that.”
They sure do. On Thursday, an estimated 50,000 of fans memorialized Elvis at a candlelight vigil on the Graceland grounds — with Priscilla in tow alongside her and Elvis’ only child Lisa Marie Presley and her 10-year-old twin daughters Harper Lockwood and Finley Lockwood.
“More than we’ve ever had,” Priscilla said of the crowds, who come annually to honor the King in what is dubbed “Elvis Week.”
“Forty years after, they’re still coming and this has been the biggest yet,” she said. “If he were here today, looking outside and seeing all the people that still loved him and missed him, he wouldn’t believe it.”
Touring through the museum with Hager, Priscilla pointed out all of the late rocker’s iconic bedazzled jumpsuits. “They remind me so much of him,” she said. “Obviously I went to so many of the shows. I see the jumpsuits and you can’t help but envision him in them.”
One set of outfits particularly stood out — the ones Elvis wore for his iconic 1968 Christmas Special on NBC.
The show marked the first time Priscilla, who married Elvis the year before, has ever seen him perform live.
“I have to admit, I had never seen Elvis live before — that was my first time,” she said. “When I came to LA for the first time, he was contracted for three movies a year. And that’s all he had. He hadn’t performed in over 10 years. So his ’68 special was now the opportunity for touring again. And I never saw him!”
That year also marked another milestone for Priscilla: the birth of Lisa Marie.
“She’s doing well, thank you,” Priscilla said when asked how Lisa Marie is doing. “She loves it. It’s great to come here and walk around and just looking at everything and just share memories.”
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