To celebrate Elvis Presley's 76th birthday, Jan. 8, we decided to check in with his ex-wife, Priscilla, who has been busy this past year reliving some of her favorite Elvis memories through Cirque du Soleil's Las Vegas show, Viva ELVIS. The extravaganza "gives his presence," says Presley, 65.
We asked her to tell us more about the king of rock 'n' roll.
Why Elvis would like Viva: "Knowing Elvis, who loved entertainment of all kinds, the fact that the show is on the Strip in Las Vegas, where he loved to perform, where his presence is, I think he'd be very honored," Presley says. The two were married there in 1967.
Her influence on the show: "The big deal for me is that his style, his singing, his voice all comes from gospel, so they're adding a little more of that to give you more of a journey."
Priscilla's favorite Elvis song: Bridge Over Troubled Water. "We were in Vegas when the horse he had gifted me passed away. He sang that song to me. Every time I hear it, that's what I think of."
Least favorite Elvis song:"The movie songs. They were certainly not him."
What we still might not know about Elvis: He admired other entertainers and wasn't threatened by their coming to Vegas. "Elvis always felt there was room for everyone. Tom Jones, Cher, Nancy Sinatra — he was right there to help."
Favorite memory of Elvis: Watching him perform. "When he'd have his little smiles or he'd nod or pick somebody out in the audience to sing to, giving them a thrill. It was really touching."
Things you tell the grandkids about their grandfather: "With the older ones, they've now seen enough that they could say, 'Wow.' Because he had everything. He had the looks, the sex appeal, the style, but he was also humble and generous. He was a phenomenon."
Why she loves Graceland, their Memphis home: "We'd spend a lot of time upstairs listening to records and watching old movies and just having a great time with each other. It's exactly the way it was as he left it. You can feel that his spirit is definitely there."