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Thousands of Elvis Presley fans head to Graceland vigil

Elvis Presley fans are expected to pay their respects at Graceland to mark the 35th anniversary of his death.

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An original photograph of Elvis Presley autographed and inscribed to songwriter and compose Irving Berlin on auction at Gotta Have It! store on March 21, 2012 in New York City. (Michael Loccisano/AFP/Getty Images)

Tens of thousands of Elvis Presley fans are expected to make a pilgrimage to Graceland mansion for a candlelight vigil marking the 35th anniversary of his death, the Associated Press reported.

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Fans started gathering Wednesday afternoon outside Presley's Memphis, Tennessee home. His birthday is on Thursday and the vigil is expected to last into the day, the AP wrote.

USA Today reported that on Thursday Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley and surviving members of Presley's band will host a concert honoring the King.

Presley died in 1977 from heart disease and prescription drug abuse. He was only 42.

Fans holding candles will be allowed to visit his grave site at Graceland's Meditation Garden, USA Today reported.

Organizers expect 75,000 people to attend Elvis Week, the week-long celebration of the singer's life, according to the AP.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/culture-lifestyle/120815/thousands-elvis-presley-fans-head-graceland-vigil