So everyone knows how I feel about Elvis. I'm planning a trip to Graceland for later this year, and I was so proud to hear the buzz surrounding the recent National Landmark news!
MEMPHIS, TN, USA -- Elvis Presley's home in Memphis is the most visited private residence in the world. And on Monday it became a National Historic Landmark.
"American culture and music changed irreversibly because of Elvis," said interior secretary Gale Norton. "It would be difficult to tell the story of the twentieth century without discussing the many contributions made by this legendary, iconic artist."
The designation puts the Tennessee mansion on the same list as other notable US landmarks like the Alamo, the White House and Mount Rushmore. Fewer than 2,500 historic places have been awarded the designation.
Elvis bought the sprawling property for $103,000 in 1957 with earnings from his first hit record, "Heartbreak Hotel". His ex-wife Priscilla Presley first opened Graceland's doors to visitors in 1980. It now draws nearly 700,000 visitors a year.
"Graceland is my childhood home and it holds so many great memories of the time I shared there with my father, our family and our friends," said Lisa Marie Presley, who is the sole owner of Graceland Mansion. "It is my honor to have shared it with my father's adoring public all these years and I am committed to ensuring that it will be preserved forever for all future generations of fans and of my family to enjoy."
Presley died on August 16, 1977. His popularity continues to surge, annually placing the rock and roll icon atop Forbes' list of top dead celebrity earners. It is estimated that he has sold more than 1 billion records worldwide.
I'm just in awe of the fact that 700,000 people visit Elvis' beloved home each year. That's a lot of people. Ditto for him being the highest-earning dead celebrity when he's been gone for over 28 years. I believe Forbes estimates that he still pulls in around $50 million/year. Wow. A truly fantastic testament to the magic that was Elvis Presley.
I simply can't get enough of watching him perform. Let's face it - he was one of the most captivating performers ever. Michael Jackson is the only other artist that can even begin to compare.
Whether you're a fan or not, if you simply love dynamite entertainment, check out Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii (1973) & Elvis: That's the Way It Is (1970). Both absolutely superb! You can hardly take your eyes off him! Even my younger brother (who, at 23 finds it extremely un-cool to be into Elvis Presley) gets hooked on the concerts! Because of that, he tries to avoid seeing them at all, LOL. Can't let his friends catch him sitting around watching Elvis! God forbid. :)
So....who's ever been to Graceland? How was it? Stay at the Heartbreak Hotel?
I can hardly wait to make my "pilgrimage"!