Elvis Presley’s Long-Time Girlfriend Linda Thompson Says the King ‘Loved’ His Impersonators: Here’s Why

by Samantha Whidden

Linda Thompson, the longtime girlfriend of the “King of Rock and Roll” Elvis Presley, recently shared why the musician actually loved his impersonators.

During the annual Elvis Festival at his birthplace, Tupelo, Mississippi, Linda spoke about how Elvis would be absolutely amazed to see the impersonators, also known as Elvis Tribute Artists (ETAs). The musician also would be “staggered by how incredibly generous” his fans have been to his memory. “[Elvis] loved the ETAs even when he was alive,” Thompson recalls. “He would see people growing sideburns or dressing like him and he would say, ‘Honey look at that guy over there, I wonder if he thinks he is me?’”

Thompson also recently shared some pictures of her time with the ETAs at the Elvis Festival. “I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun I had this past weekend at the Tupelo Elvis Festival as a judge and special guest!” She proclaims a post featuring her with the ETAs. “I was so happy to get to see the humble birthplace of Elvis, the little church where he sang as a babe, the Tupelo hardware store where he bought his first guitar, [and] other significant landmarks honoring the greatest entertainer ever!”

Linda Thompson’s Relationship With The King

Linda Thompson met Elvis in July 1972 prior to his divorce with Priscilla Presley. According to Thompson, the couple hit it off immediately. They were together for four years before breaking up in November 1976. Linda often refers to Elvis as the “love of her life,” despite their breakup. “I think first of all he would be proud of me and how I have tried to conduct my life in a way that has always respected him and his memory,” Linda states. “That’s first and foremost to me. I’m a fan as much as anybody else is a fan of Elvis Presley.”

Thompson also discussed when she heard about Elvis’ death in 1977. “I said, ‘hello’ and she said, ‘Linda.’ I said, ‘hey’, she said, ‘It’s Lisa [Marie, Elvis’ daughter].’ I said, ‘I know who this is, you little goobernickel.’ It was a pet name Elvis and I had for her. “She said, ‘My Daddy’s dead, my Daddy’s dead.’ I can’t even tell you what I felt,” she reflects. “I was stunned and paralyzed.” 

Linda further explains, “She said, ‘Yes he is, yes he is. He’s dead.’ The only thing that brought it to reality was when she said, ‘He’s smothered in the carpet. And when she said that, I just threw the phone because I thought, ‘Ok, he’s gone. That’s it. Nobody checked on him.’”

Thompson went on to marry Olympic decathlete Bruce Jenner (transitioned to Caitlyn) from 1981 to 1986. She then married songwriter and producer, David Foster from 1991 to 2005.