There are certain artists that just seem to transcend cultural barriers. Enrique Iglesias is an example, as is Shakira. And though he’s been gone for over three decades, you can add Elvis Presley to that list too. Believe it or not, the “King of Rock n’ Roll” has a massive international fan base, particularly in Latin America.
This week marks the 34th anniversary of Elvis’ passing. And just like every year, it creates for a huge influx of Presley devotees to the singer’s legendary Memphis estate. Thousands showed up for a memorial at his Graceland home with flowers, candles, and well wishes for the fallen star. And not surprisingly, several of those fans happened to be Latino.
“Elvis’ music keeps the family together,” said Paula Penna, a fan who had traveled from Brazil. “I promised to come every year to pay tribute to Elvis because he is very important to the family life.”
The King had a particularly important role in Penna’s family life. She met her husband at an annual Elvis vigil.
And don’t think that Latino celebrities aren’t included in the Presley fan club.Thalía has been very open about her devotion to the King and even recorded a simulated duet with him for the popular Viva Elvis tribute album.
Another well-known follower happens to be Edison Peña, one of the more colorful “Los 33” miners. After being rescued last summer, Peña literally sung Presley’s praises on the David Letterman show, breaking out into “Suspicious Minds” during the middle of his interview.
And in case you didn’t know, Bruno Mars started his career as a pint-sized Elvis impersonator. He even posted a YouTube clip of the King on his Twitter account this week.
But of course, none of these tributes will even begin to compare with what the fans have in store next year. 2012 marks the 35th anniversary of Presley’sdeath and you can bet there will be a massive amount of Blue Suede Shoe wearers making their way to Graceland.
By Michael Lopez