Elvis Presley died on Aug. 16, 1977, with Saturday marking 43 years since the iconic entertainer passed away. Among the number of tributes he received was one from Tim McGraw, who posted a black and white photo of Presley and declared that the late singer was the person he would most like to spend time with, living or dead.
"I’m often asked who I would like to hang out with living or passed... and there’s no question...The King," McGraw captioned his post. "We lost him 43 years ago today..man he was cool." Many of McGraw's followers agreed, including Rita Wilson, who wrote, "I’ll never forget where I was when I heard the news." "I remember my grandma crying while washing dishes when we heard it on the news," shared one fan. "His music touched her sweet sweet heart. I still listen to him and remember her. That’s one reason I love music. It can take us back to the ones we’ve lost."
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Each year leading up to the anniversary of his death, Presley is honored at his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee, with Elvis Week, a week of events dedicated to remembering the singer. This year, the annual celebration looked notably different from previous years due to the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted organizers to put a number of measures in place to attempt to ensure the safety of attendees.
"It's very important that we held this event, and made sure that it would be a safe event, because this is what Elvis Week is all about," Angie Marchese, Graceland's vice president for archives and exhibits, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Elvis Week is traditionally capped off by a candlelight vigil, and this year's event was ticketed and capped at 720 people. Only parties of less than six people wearing face coverings were allowed to enter the grounds and entrance times were staggered to allow people to pay their respects in a socially distanced fashion, leaving notes and flowers at Presley's gravesite during the three-hour vigil. While many of this year's attendees came from outside the Tennessee area, overseas visitors were absent due to the pandemic.
"I miss all the friends we have from around the world, from the UK, Brazil, Japan, Germany, that we only see once a year during Elvis Week," said attendee Carol Ikami. Mary Clark added, "We're here for all the people who can't be here."