“Today, he would’ve been 88 years old,” she said at Graceland. “It’s hard to believe. And I think that he would be proud. I think this year has been an incredible year. And I think the movie was incredible.”
Presley was referring to Elvis, the biographical drama starring Austin Butler and directed by Baz Luhrmann that is currently making its rounds through awards show season. (Butler won for best actor in a drama motion picture at the Golden Globes on Tuesday night.)
“It’s just so moving how every year you come from all over the world,” Presley continued, addressing the throngs of fans outside of Graceland. “It’s moving to me and my family. Thank you.”
Presley had a cardiac arrest on Thursday at her home in Calabasas. Although her heart was restarted on the way to the hospital, she died later that day. Her last public appearance had been at the Golden Globes.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla Presley said in a statement. “She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known.”
The singer-songwriter experienced more than her fair share of death and grieving: Elvis died when she was just nine years old, and she dedicated much of her life and career to her father’s legacy. Presley’s son, Benjamin Keough, died by suicide in 2020. In August 2022, Presley penned an essay in People about navigating loss and grief.
“Grief does not stop or go away in any sense, a year, or years after the loss,” she wrote. “Grief is something you will have to carry with you for the rest of your life, in spite of what certain people or our culture wants us to believe. You do not ‘get over it,’ you do not ‘move on,’ period.”