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Top 12 Moments for Elvis Presley's Graceland in 2013 - Happy New Year!!

December 31, 2013

As Elvis Presley's Graceland gears up to celebrate 60 Years of Rock 'n' Roll in 2014, we wanted to take a look back at some of the biggest moments for the king during 2013. Be sure to keep up with the latest Elvis news by following @VisitGraceland on Twitter and liking Elvis Presley's Graceland on Facebook.

From the Graceland family to yours - Happy New Year Elvis fans!

1. Graceland is voted "#1 Iconic American Attraction" by USA Today and 10Best readers.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland was selected as’s “Best Iconic American Attraction” by readers of USA TODAY. In a multi-week voting period that lasted through September 9, readers from across the country voted on the American attraction that best represents the United States.

View complete article.

2. Elvis named the "#1 Streamed Music Artist of the Past Decade" by SoundExchange.

In an article posted on USA TODAY, Elvis still reigned as king in the world of digitally streamed music. According to SoundExchange, Elvis ranked as the most frequently streamed artist of the past decade.

"I find it interesting you've got Elvis Presley, you've got The Beatles," said SoundExchange's Vice President of Communication Marie Knowles on "They're among the most listened to on this new platform. These are iconic rock acts, and they've got staying power."

Read complete USA TODAY article.

3. Elvis fans celebrate the 40th Anniversary of "Aloha from Hawaii" with a special screening at the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.

On the evening of January 14, 2013, "Aloha from Hawaii" returned to the same place for a one-night only enhanced screening celebrating the concert seen by over a billion people worldwide. The anniversary screening featured re-mastered video projected on multiple screens recreating the thrill of being there 40 years ago to the day. Elvis fans packed the Neal Blaisdell Center, the same venue where 40 years earlier, Elvis took the stage for the concert that became the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in television history. In honor of the king's groundbreaking performances in 1973, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie declared January 14, 2013, as "Elvis, Aloha from Hawai'i via Satellite Day."

See photos from the "40th Anniversary of Aloha From Hawaii" Celebration.

4. Sir Paul McCartney visits Graceland for the first time.

On Sunday, May 26, 2013, Sir Paul McCartney made the rock 'n' roll pilgrimage to Graceland where he left behind his personal guitar pick stating, "So Elvis could play his guitar in heaven." During his tour, he was offered a rare glimpse inside the Graceland Archives. To maintain the integrity of Elvis' instruments, the archive staff has them tuned regularly. So who better to tune Elvis' guitar than the song-writing legend. McCartney briefly played Elvis’ 1956 Gibson J200 guitar while humming the famous Elvis tune "Loving You."

View complete article.

5. Lisa Marie Presley performs in the Jungle Room at Graceland and at Memphis’ Levitt Shell for the first time.

Recollecting her experience, Lisa mentions, “It was a very comfortable and surreal experience to finally perform for the first time in my childhood home and experience the acoustics of the Jungle Room, which my father also recorded in.”

Watch more videos of her Jungle Room performance.

Lisa Marie performed for a packed house at the historic Levitt Shell in Memphis on Saturday, September 21, 2013. In true Presley fashion, Lisa Marie rocked the night away in her debut at the Levitt Shell - the very same venue where her father first headlined in 1954.  Evidence of Lisa's musical heritage filled the outdoor performance pavilion as she gave a show-stopping performance of "Lights Out" and her new, swampy-style version of "Idiot" written alongside her husband, Michael Lockwood.

See photos of her Levitt Shell performance.

6. ENCORE Presents the Elvis Movie Collection in May

For the entire month of May, ENCORE played your favorite films starring the legendary King of Rock 'n' Roll. Elvis fans had the opportunity to participate in our first-ever live Tweet-A-Longs on Twitter and enter to win an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime trip to Graceland and the Big Easy, where Elvis filmed one of his favorite movies "King Creole." 

7. Mother Dolores Hart, actress-turned-nun who starred with Elvis in “Loving You” and “King Creole,” comes to Graceland as a special guest during Elvis Week 2013.

Elvis fans had the chance to hear the remarkable story of Mother Dolores Hart, a Hollywood starlit turned nun who worked with Elvis in his early filming career, during Elvis Week 2013.

Elvis' former "Loving You" and "King Creole" co-star appeared on the Elvis Week Main Stage during Conversations on Elvis on August 14, 2013. Mother Dolores' new book, “The Ear of the Heart: An Actress" Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows,” details her fascinating life and journey toward God.

See more highlights from Elvis Week 2013.

8. Little Ella Mae goes viral singing Elvis’ "American Trilogy."

No one can forget this singing cutie in 2013. Just when you thought Elvis fans could not get any more incredible, along came 20-month-old Ella Mae. Around the 1:00 mark, the tiny Elvis fan begins her performance singing along to the king's classic "American Trilogy." Ella Mae, well-versed on her Elvis music, takes on the hit like a pro and even quotes some of Elvis' speaking parts. Fans can also catch her leading the legendary orchestra moment at 4:24 with a full-on back-seat performance.

View complete article.

9. Charles “Chip” Esten from ABC’s “Nashville” headlines the Graceland Lighting Ceremony and writes a song for the event “The Lights of Graceland.”

Inspired by his own love of the king, Esten performed "The Lights of Graceland" on Friday, November 22, as thousands of Elvis fans tuned in world-wide via LiveStream and hundreds gathered in the Graceland Plaza for the 2013 Lighting Ceremony.

After being asked to flip the switch, Chip stated this was a dream come true and felt it was only necessary to honor the king with a special song. Fans can download "The Lights of Graceland" by visiting the iTunes store. All proceeds will benefit the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation.

See highlights from the 2013 Lighting Ceremony.

10. Southwest Airlines launches service in Memphis with first Elvis tribute artist to perform at 30,000 feet.

Let's not forget the epic performance at 30,000 feet as the City of Memphis and Elvis Presley's Graceland welcomed Southwest Airlines' new flights! Fans rocked gold shades and enjoyed Elvis music at the Memphis International Airport as the Memphis family welcomed Southwest Airlines for the first time. Passengers aboard the first flight from Chicago to Memphis were in for a surprise when they received free Elvis shades and passes to Graceland, along with Elvis tribute artist finalist Brandon Bennett performing Elvis tunes at 35,000 feet in the air and 2013 Ultimate ETA Dean Z serenading passengers at Memphis International.

See more photos from the Southwest launch in Memphis.

11. Graceland celebrates 45th Anniversary of the "68 Special" with newly expanded exhibit.

In celebration of the 45th anniversary, Elvis Presley's Graceland opened the newly expanded "'68 Special" Exhibit on December 3, 2013. The new exhibit features original artifacts from this legendary televised event that took place on December 3, 1968, on NBC. The expanded exhibit features an interactive video experience, never-displayed-before pages of the script with Elvis’ handwritten notes and his outfit from the club production scene, including the jacket worn during his visit with President Richard Nixon in 1970.

Learn more about the recently expanded "68 Special" Exhibit at Graceland.

12. Elvis Tribute Artist Week on the "Late Show with David Letterman."

It was Elvis Week at the Ed Sullivan Theater during February of 2013, as the "Late Show with David Letterman" featured nightly performances from some of our Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest winners. As part of Elvis Week on "The Late Show," Elvis tribute artists took the stage in classic Elvis attire and performed some of the king's classics.

See video of the "Late Show" ETA performances.