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Elvis fans can celebrate the ‘King’s’ birthday on Sunday

Updated January 7, 2023 - 8:33 pm

On Jan. 8, 1935, rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi.

The icon who helped make Las Vegas famous and vice-versa will be remembered in Graceland and across the country on Sunday and days to follow.

The “King” played often in Las Vegas, but his most memorable run was a string of years when he played The International, now the Westgate, for a month each summer starting July 31, 1969. He performed two shows a night, seven days a week.

Elvis’ legendary string of 636 consecutive sold-out shows at the resort still stands as a record, although current headliner Barry Manilow is on a pace to surpass that number in 2023. (However, Manilow has split his shows over two residencies, and not all of them have been sellouts).

Decades later, Elvis’ influence in Las Vegas remains large as ever, from wedding chapels and impersonators posing for tips on the Strip to the memorabilia filling shelves at countless gift shops.

He died at age 42 on Aug. 16, 1977, in Memphis, Tennessee.

His unexpected death brought legions of mourning fans to Graceland, his mansion in Memphis. Doctors said he died of a heart attack, likely brought on by his addiction to prescription barbiturates.

There are many ways to note is birthdate online and streaming on TV.

Baz Luhrmann’s critically acclaimed hit film “Elvis” starring Austin Butler will screen for free Sunday in 10 select markets across North America. No showings are planned locally.

But, you can also celebrate at home by watching “Elvis” on HBO and HBO Max.

An exclusive 30-minute special, “Just a boy from Tupelo: Bringing Elvis to the big screen”, will run on HBO Max on Sunday. It offers a chance to go behind the scenes and see how this extraordinary theatrical event was made with never-before-seen behind-the-scenes interviews and insights into the journey of bringing “Elvis” to the screen.

Presley’s family home, Graceland, will host four days of special events honoring the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and a unique exhibition “The Making of Elvis,” showcasing paraphernalia, sketches, costumes and props seen on the big screen.

The never-before-released song from “Elvis”, The Britney Spears x Elvis Presley mash-up, “Toxic Las Vegas: Jamieson Shaw Remix,” dropped Friday on RCA Records.

And wherever you are, celebrate on social media with the #ElvisBirthdayChallenge.

Beginning Monday and running through the end of February, Graceland will offer new, limited-time “Elvis” movie ultimate VIP tours. Guests will enjoy a special tour experience of Graceland Mansion with a private tour that will feature insight into the extensive research done by Luhrmann while at Graceland, along with the stories of the real-life artifacts replicated in the movie. Additional dates are to be announced.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com. Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter.

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