The King may have left the building, but he has not left the branding. Elvis Presley would have turned 77 on Jan. 8 if he could have found a way to survive the massive amounts of lethal drugs and sandwiches he ingested in the years leading up to his death on Aug. 16, 1977 (unless, of course, he really is that guy spotted at the Hare Krishna ranch in Roswell, New Mexico, back in 2008).
Assuming it's not, this year marks the 35th anniversary of when the King of Rock was found to be unresponsive on his bathroom floor. The world mourned his death then, but it's ready (at least, his estate is ready) to party now.
Graceland will kick off a yearlong celebration on Thursday that will feature a slew of special events, including tribute concerts, according to release from Elvis Presley Enterprises. An annual birthday shindig for Elvis kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday. That will be followed up by, you guessed it, an Elvis cruise from Jacksonville, Florida, to Nassau, the Bahamas. It’s not Hawaii, but one can bet a few rounds of “Blue Hawaii” will be heard along the way.
Nostaligia marketing is huge these days, and dead celebs are also big business, particularly when it comes to Elvis — a true icon brand and perennial money-maker according to Forbes' annual ranking. According to its press release, the company is expecting 75,000 fans to show up during Elvis Week in August to honor the King of Rock. They’ll be able to check out three new exhibits at Graceland: “Elvis on Tour” (which opens tomorrow), “Elvis…Through His Daughter’s Eyes” (opening Feb. 1st), and “Icon: The Influence of Elvis Presley” (Mar. 1st).
Also, European Elvis fans will get a special treat this year as well as former Elvis bandmates will go on a 16-city tour and play with a “state of the art video-projected Elvis,” the release notes. Don’t despair, Americans. You’ll get an Elvis concert experience all your own as finalists from The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest go on a 29-city domestic tour. And there's Elvis Week coming up in August. Mercy!