All Hail the King!
There are many men who need no introduction, but perhaps the most famous of them all is Elvis Presley, star, musician, role model.
Elvis Presley is probably the most famous musician in American history. Known for songs such as “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, “Jailhouse Rock”, and “Hound Dog”, he was the ultimate rock star.1
Elvis was born on January 8, 1935, to Vernon and Gladys Presley. He was one part of twins born, however, his brother, Jesse Presley, was stillborn and didn’t live to see his brother’s rise to fame. Unfortunately, that fame ended on August 16, 1977.2
Elvis died from heart failure on that day and was eventually buried at Graceland, his home. His death, however, was not just nature’s course. He was under a cocktail of drugs at the time which was the ultimate cause of his death.
Of course, the police had a look into the situation, since Elvis had done a good job of hiding his drug abuse from the press and his fans. Eventually, the private autopsy revealed that it was, in fact, his fans’ worse fears, and drugs were to blame.
There was a person to blame too, and that was Elvis’ doctor, known as Dr. Nick. He’d prescribed large amounts of the drugs, multiple times to Elvis, knowing full well that no one should have that high of a dosage. His license was revoked and his career was basically destroyed.3
Elvis’ death was a blow to the country. Everywhere the newspapers read: The King is Dead! His legacy is still commonly remembered today in the media, and in society.4
While originally buried at Forest Hills, he was moved to Graceland where mourners, historians, and tourists come to visit the legend of rock and roll. Directly after his death, thousands of people came to honor and remember him at Graceland.
After his death, there were still many non-believers that Elvis died of drugs, or simply died at all. They didn’t want to believe that he could’ve been in such a problem as drug abuse. The fact that he was able to hide it from the press only deepened their belief.
Another factor into that theory was the work of Steve Dunleavy, who wrote a book detailing the life of Elvis by the tales of three, former bodyguards who described his drug abuse. This book came out a short while before his death and received much criticism from upset fans who simply refused to believe it was true, given that those bodyguards had in fact been let go of.5
However, there are others that don’t believe he died at all, reporting sightings of him all over the country. One popular theory is that he was working undercover with the FBI, and was sent to look into the mafia. After being discovered though, people believe that he had to fake his death and go into witness protection.
While that is a wild tale, a recent poll has shown that 4% of the population still believes that to be true. 20/20 had even done a segment accusing people of covering up his death. The family of Elvis believes differently. They accept his death and say that the theories are only hurting their family more.
Besides being remembered by crazy theories, he is, of course, remembered more for his talent. His home, Graceland was turned into a museum based on his life story and is where he lies today.6
There are also monuments around the world in Japan, two in Memphis; Tupelo, Mississippi; Hawaii; Shreveport, Louisiana; Neve Ilan and Tel-Aviv, Israel; and Auckland, New Zealand.
He also earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.7
Clearly, he was known to the whole world as The King of Rock and Roll, although he was affectionately called the King by most fans.
He got his first big break in 1954, starting his singing career at 19. He grew popular fast and his career didn’t stop until he did, totalling his career to 23 years in the business.
During this time he also had a family with Priscilla Presley. He had one child, daughter Lisa Marie Presley, who apparently grew up spoiled by her father according to Priscilla. His family continues on now, with grandchildren from Lisa.8
While being remembered by many memorial sites, he was also given many awards during his 23 years as an outstanding performer. These included Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award, entrance into the Hall of Fame, and the Award for Best Inspirational Performance; the American Music Award of Merit; NME Awards for World’s Outstanding Popular Singer, for World Male Singer, for World Musical Personality, and for Favourite US Male Singer.
His music inspired and was adored by the world. The King may be gone, but his legacy clearly continues to reign on.9
For more information visit his official website.