Saturday, August 17, 2002
Memphis, Tenn. Priscilla Presley greeted thousands of cheering Elvis fans at a concert Friday night marking the 25th anniversary of the King's death, telling them "you're helping Elvis make history again."
"I want to thank you for your loyalty and support for Elvis. You have given so much back to him," Elvis' ex-wife told the crowd of 14,000 jammed into The Pyramid arena. She promised the concert would "blow you away."
With that, the arena went dark and an enormous video screen filled with images of Elvis singing some of his trademark songs. On stage, members of his original backup musicians played. Among them was Elvis' first drummer, D.J. Fontana, who drew his own ovation when the cameras focused on him.
This year's festivities marking Elvis' death on Aug. 16, 1977, at Graceland have drawn the largest gathering of fans ï¿½ an estimated 35,000 ï¿½ since Presley died.
Elvis' daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, and her new movie star husband Nicolas Cage, were in the VIP section of the arena Friday night. Lisa Marie also made an appearance on stage later in the show.
The newlywed couple and Priscilla Presley secretly visited Graceland in the wee hours Friday morning and watched from the mansion windows as fans carried candles to Elvis' grave in an all-night vigil. They were unseen by the crowd.