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Friday, 16 August, 2002, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
Global tribute for Elvis
Impersonators in Kuala Lumpur
Impersonators in Kuala Lumpur enter a contest
Elvis Presley fans across the world are commemorating the 25th anniversary of the death of the singing legend, bringing together generations of devoted followers.

Braving heavy rain, about 40,000 people, many in Elvis costumes attended a candle-lit vigil at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, before filing past the singer's grave.


I promise that I am going to love you tender - I'll never put you through heartbreak hotel

British couple's Elvis Wedding vows
In Malaysia, impersonators gathered in Kuala Lumpur for an Elvis contest, while Japanese admirers visited a bronze statue of the singer built with cash raised by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi - a member of the Japanese Elvis fan club.

And in the UK, Elvis impersonators and lookalikes are attending The Elvis Experience, a three-day convention taking place at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Dean Michael Campion of the St Marys Cathedral in Newcastle
An Elvis mass was held in a cathedral in Newcastle, UK
Highlights of the event so far have included the wedding of two of those attending.

Dani Leighton and Juliet Massey were married by an Elvis lookalike in front of a crowd of impersonators and other convention guests, before flying across the Atlantic to get married for the second time at the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas.

Dean Michael Campion of the St Marys Cathedral in Newcastle dedicated his noon mass to Elvis.

Friday evening in Memphis will see a concert featuring many of the King's friends, when Presley's former wife, Priscilla, and his daughter, Lisa Marie, will address the crowd.


The tears you can see started at 10 O'clock - when you taste it, it's salty. It's a miracle

Fan who said his Elvis statue wept
Music fans in the city said they were not sad at remembering the music icon's death.

"We see it more as a celebration of Elvis's life than a time for grief," said 68-year-old Jane Anderson who was attending the vigil.

Fans in London are also able to see a special exhibition of rare Elvis images on display at record retailer HMV's flagship store in Oxford Street, including artwork from each of his 18 UK number one singles.

The Leightons
A British couple had an Elvis-style wedding in Blackpool, UK
The photos, which span everything from Elvis's early career to his time in the Army, will by on display until 23 September, the day that a new collection of Elvis's greatest hits is released.

And in Germany fans have gathered for a three-day party in the town of Bad Nauheim, where Presley served as a GI from 1958 to 1960.

Up to 12,000 guests are expected to attend the celebrations near where the star had an off-base apartment during his national service.

Meanwhile, a Dutchman has claimed a plaster bust of Elvis wept "miracle" tears on Friday.

Professional Elvis impersonator Toon Nieuwenhuisen from Deurne, who has a shrine to the King at his home, also said he saw the ghost of the singer last week.

Elvis
HMV in Oxford Street is displaying rare Elvis photos

"The tears you can see started at 10 O'Clock. When you taste it, it's salty. It's a miracle," he said.

In Cardiff, Wales, an Elvis Presley fanatic, who changed his name to match the King's, is holding a 24-hour Elvis record-listening marathon starting.

Elvis Presley, formerly known as Glyn Nedrud, originally wanted to mark the big day by donning a full Elvis-style jumpsuit and parading through the Welsh capital, but a recent shoulder injury has prevented him from carrying out his initial plan.

Mr Presley, 43, who owns cats named Priscilla, Elvis, Lisa and Presley, said: "I don't think the neighbours will be too happy.

A woman stands at the Elvis Inn outside Jerusalem where fans are expected to gather
Worldwide appeal: The Elvis Inn near Jerusalem

"But I've checked up and I won't be classed as a nuisance because it's only twice a year that I do it, on the anniversary of his death and on his birthday.

"I would be prepared to go to court if they want to send the police down - I've got to stand up for myself and Elvis.

"I would find it a sad day if he wasn't so treasured and no one really cared, but he's loved by young and old."

Those who believe Presley is still alive are also joining in the week's events, with bookmakers William Hill taking a 50 bet - at odds of 1000-1 - that he is still living - somewhere.

"I know he would be an elderly gent were he still about - but with a six figure payout on the cards we'd be the ones who were all shook up if Elvis does reappear," said spokesman Graham Sharpe.

Meanwhile, a survey has voted Elvis king of the tribute acts in the UK.

The King of rock n'roll was found to be the most imitated star in the UK, ahead of The Beatles and Abba, according to the report from the Performing Rights Society.

The most popular Presley song performed by any tribute act was The Wonder Of You, followed by Can't Help Falling In Love.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Nick Bryant
"Thousands gathered on the hallowed grounds of Graceland"
Elvis' step brother David Stanley
"He would be very humbled by the fact that people are gathering to remember his legacy"
Elvis fan Richard Clevin
"He just transcends time"


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Remembering Presley

Remembering Presley


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