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16 Aug, 2007 08:09

The King lives!

Thirty years ago millions of fans worldwide woke to the news that the king of rock-n-roll was dead. Elvis Presley suffered heart failure in his Memphis home. But his legend is still thriving, even in Russia where his music was banned throughout his life.

Thirty years since his death, Elvis continues to be one of the world's biggest selling artists from beyond the grave. And hardcore fans worldwide defy the grim reaper, taking the phrase “Elvis lives” as a motto.

Denis Shuvalov is the President of Elvis's Moscow fan club and has collected memorabilia since childhood. One of his most valuable and treasured pieces is the first press announcement of the great man's death.

“People like Elvis never die. Only ordinary people can die. Elvis Presley is still alive, because his music lives and so his spirit is alive. Why did I become a fan? I don't like that word. I just feel like a little Elvis lives inside me – I have listened to him since childhood. My parent used to listen Elvis's records. I was a child who was learning to walk and to dance rock-and-roll at the same time,” Denis says.

Emin is another of the new generation of Elvis fans. An established recording artist in his own right, he sells out concerts in Moscow playing his own songs of the music of his hero. His home too contains many souvenirs of his devotion to the King.

“He has so much influence on me regardless of when I was born. I think even if I was born a hundred years from now I would still recognise him as the king of music. To me that's what he's going to be. One of the first songs I ever heard was from his early recordings from the 50s. It was a very young Elvis with a lot of acorn in his records. They caught my attention so much – as a kid I was constantly listening to these songs. And then when I had a chance to hear the rest, I was captured with it – and still am,” Emin says.

Elvis never played in Russia and during his life his music was banned here. But now his music is inspiring a new generation and gaining him a whole new generation of fans.