Elvis Week 2017 at Elvis Presley's Graceland will mark the 40th anniversary of Elvis' passing, and is expected to be the largest Elvis Week ever. This will also be the first Elvis Week with the new Elvis Presley's Memphis Entertainment Complex and The Guest House at Graceland resort hotel.

The celebration will feature more than 30 events held on-site at the Graceland campus, including: the largest-ever Auction at Graceland; live music nightly, including an Elvis Gospel Celebration Concert, Salute to Sun Studios and A Band of Legends; the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest; fan-club gatherings; charity events; and panel discussions with the musicians, co-stars and friends of Elvis that knew him best. And, of course, one of the highlights of the week is the annual Candlelight Vigil.

One of the signature events for the week will be the 40th anniversary concert event at the Fed- ExForum in downtown Memphis. "Elvis: Live in Concert" will showcase a sym- phony orchestra live on stage with Elvis himself on the big screen. The concert will feature a very special personal appearance by Priscilla Presley.

Elvis Week starts today and runs through Saturday, Aug. 19. Following is a schedule of events. For a more complete schedule of events, visit ElvisWeek.com.

Today: Elvis Fan Reunion. Elvis Week Dance Party. Saturday: 35th Annual Elvis 5K Run Benefiting Livitup. Elvis Presley Fan Club Presidents' Event.


Advertisement

The Auction at Graceland in the Guest House at Graceland Theater. The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley Celebration Concert. Sunday: Elvis 101. Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center Fan Reception. A Celebration of Elvis. A Salute to Sun Records hosted by John Paul Keith. Monday: Official Graceland Insiders Conference. A Band of Legends Remembers Elvis. Tues- day: Conversations on Elvis. Songwriters Showcase. Can- dlelight Vigil. Wednesday: Conversations on Elvis: In the Studio. "ELVIS: Live in Con- ert." Thursday: Conversations on Elvis: Elvis in the Movies. Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest semifinal round. Friday, Aug. 18: Conversations on Elvis:

Inside the Archives. Hollywood Night at The Guest House at Graceland Ballroom. The Ultimate Return. Saturday, Aug. 19: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest final round.

Ricky Martin defends Versace murder drama as respectful

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Ricky Martin said he reassured Gianni Versace's longtime partner, Antonio D'Amico, that the pair will be treated respectfully in a TV drama about Versace's 1997 murder.

"I'll make sure people fall in love with your relationship with Gianni," Martin, who plays D'Amico in FX's "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," recounted telling him.

Martin said he spoke by phone Wednesday to D'Amico after D'Amico had publicly criticized the series for what he called inaccuracies. It's in production and set to air in January.

Executive producer Ryan Murphy, taking part in a panel discussion Wednesday, said D'Amico may have been judging the project based on a paparazzi photo snapped during filming outside Versace's Miami Beach mansion. It's where the famed fashion designer was shot by serial killer Andrew Cunanan.

But Murphy said the series is a drama and not a documentary, adding, "you have to be respectful but make it your own." It's part of his "American Crime Story" anthology that began with the Emmy-winning "The People v. O.J. Simpson."

The reference to "assassination" in the title is deliberate, Murphy said.

The word has a political overtone that indicates killing to make a point, "and that's exactly what Andrew Cunanan did," he said of the man believed to have killed at least four others before Versace. Cunanan committed suicide about a week later as police tracked him.

Cunanan was targeting gay men, and Versace was among the rare celebrities who dared to be open about their sexuality at a repressive time, Murphy said. That motivation and law enforcement's failure to stop the murders, which Murphy blamed on homophobia, were chief reasons he decided to make the series.

"Versace was the last victim and he didn't have to die," he said.

Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez ("The Girl on the Train") plays Versace, with Darren Criss ("Glee") as Cunanan and Penelope Cruz as Versace's sister, Donatella.

Murphy said the series honors the loss of all Cunanan's victims who were taken too soon. But Versace was a genius whose potential to disrupt society was lost, he said.

"We're in a world that Gianni Versace created," Ramirez said, one that combined sexiness, glamour and opulence in unparalleled ways.