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EDITIONS
Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Elvis still the king, fans say
Dennis Stella of Calumet City, Illinois, performs during the Images of the King Tribute at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel 14 August 2002 in Memphis, Tennessee
Impersonators took part in a concert on Wednesday
Elvis Presley, whose fans are preparing for the 25th anniversary of his death on Friday, has been voted the world's greatest rock and roll star, by a huge margin.

Presley won almost 10 times as many votes as his nearest rival, being named by almost 40% of people in the United States survey.

Jillian Giennendree 31, right, with Erin Kirkaldy, 20, both from Scotland, view the grave of Elvis Presley at his Graceland mansion in Memphis
A host of Elvis events are taking place during the week
Jimi Hendrix was next, on 4%, while John Lennon, Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen were among a host of legends with 2%.

Up to 100,000 Elvis fans are expected to converge on his Graceland home, where a candlelit vigil will start on Thursday to mark the anniversary.

The poll, for US television network ABC, also found that nine out of 10 people thought the star had a lasting impact on US culture.

But only half said they were fans, while six out of 10 said he was a bad role model.

The other stars on 2% in the survey were Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson.

The anniversary of his death is being marked by an Elvis Week endorsed and promoted by the singer's estate.


It's just a feeling, I just need to be here

Betty Stokes
Fan
The candlelit vigil will begin at 2100 local time (0200 GMT), when there will be a short opening ceremony at the gates of Presley's Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.

Fans will then be able to walk up the drive to the singer's grave and back carrying a candle in quiet remembrance.

The route will be open until the early hours of Friday, which is the exact anniversary of the time that Presley died.

"It's just a feeling, I just need to be here," said fan Betty Stokes.

"This is like my second home in August, and I just manage to come every year."

Reunion concert

Fans also have the chance to take part in scores of other events, including a pool party at one of the star's old homes,

It has sold out of $35 (23) tickets inviting followers to swim in Presley's first pool.

Other events on Thursday include a talk on the Tao of Elvis, while a huge concert featuring the star's former bandmates will take place on Friday.

It was recently revealed that Presley tops the list of highest-earning dead celebrities, generating $37m (24m) in the past year.

Souvenir shops catering for fans around Graceland have seen a roaring trade, selling everything from leopard-skin clothes to teddy bears and Elvis sunglasses.

"My motto is you can never have enough Elvis stuff," said Robyn, 32, a fan in one of the shops.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Nick Bryant reports from Graceland
"Fans from all over the world are bringing their floral tributes"


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The Elvis years


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