Not a birthday has gone by since [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Elvis Presley[/lastfm]‘s death that loyal fans have flocked to his Graceland home in Memphis, Tennessee to celebrate the influential life of the King.
This past Saturday was no different as hundreds of fans, including Chilean miner Edison Pena, gathered at Graceland to come together and sing “Happy Birthday” on the King’s 76th birthday.
[pullquote quote="Viva Elvis. Viva Memphis." credit="Edison Pena"]
Pena was the guest of honor at the annual celebration for Elvis’ birthday and cut the 4-foot high cake in the shape of stacked TV sets in front of the crowd gathered at Graceland.
“It’s a pleasure to be here, with so many beautiful people,” Pena said in Spanish. “I never thought I would survive, and escape my trap. This is a gift from God. Viva Elvis. Viva Memphis.”
Pena is an avid Elvis fan and sang his songs to lift the morale of the trapped miners before being rescued in October. He speaks very little English besides the lyrics of Elvis’ songs, but he picked up a new phrase at the birthday celebration and greeted fans with “Hey Ya’ll” at the gathering.
He also led the crowd in a group singing of “Wonder of You” complete with his animated imitations of trademark Elvis moves and arm motions.
Memphis Mayor AC Wharton also read a list of artists all influenced by Elvis’ music, including [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Elton John[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]John Lennon[/lastfm]. “Before people over fainted over Michael Jackson, screamed over Van Halen, swooned over the Jonas Brothers, and even goo-gooed over (Lady) Gaga, Elvis Presley set the world on fire,” Wharton said.
Elvis was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi and the landmark attracts hundreds of fans to his Graceland home every year. Even more make the annual pilgrimage to the King’s home for the anniversary of his death on August, 16, 1977.