Englebert Humperdinck, at the 10th annual Tokyo Music Festival in 1981.

Englebert Humperdinck, at the 10th annual Tokyo Music Festival in 1981. (Chet King / ©S&S)

TOKYO — Singer Englebert Humperdinck denies he ever said or felt he could pick up the late Elvis Presley's fans or surpass him as king of the pops cult.

Humperdinck, in Tokyo as a judge in the 10th Annual Music Festival, dismissed a. news story a couple of years ago that quoted him as saying a lot of Presley's grieving fans "are switching over to me."

"A few of Elvis' fans have been to my concerts," Humperdinck said. "I find it a great honor that they. have come to see me, but I think their loyalty still lies with the master himself."

Priscilla Presley, who divorced Elvis before his death in 1977, had her own thoughts on whether anyone could ever replace the rags-to-riches Mississipian who revolutionized popular music in the 1950s.

"I think it would be terribly unfair to a lot of young artists to answer that," said Presley, an actress who also traveled here as a judge for the festival. "Every artist is an individual in his own way. It's not fair to compare them with Elvis. He had his style, and they have theirs."

Humperdinck added:

"Some (Presley fans) have followed me, and I'm grateful. I make no pretense I could follow Elvis. I'm a great fan of the late Mr. Presley. I'm not equal, I'm no worse, I'll never be as good. Let's leave it at that."

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now