Elvis Presley’s rise to stardom reads like a true tale of achieving the American dream, considering that he did in fact grow up under challenging economic circumstances (i.e. poverty). But like many artists who make it big after coming from such a background, he exhibited an exceptional amount of personal drive early on. Indeed during his formative years he had his musical talents negatively criticized on a number of occasions, in a manner which would have totally crushed someone who was less driven.
However, even from his early recording sessions, while Elvis was still very much an amateur, what ultimately caused him to standout wasn’t his voice per se. Rather it was the energy he brought to his interpretations. And this is not to imply that he was a slacker vocally. But when the singer decided to go buck wild in recording rather than composing himself, that allowed him to get his foot in the door. Well that combined with the fact that he was a White who, to some people, rather sounded like a Black musician.
Part of Elvis’s shtick was of course his gyrations. And this is something that had also been with him since early in his career, even before he went solo. However, at first such body movements weren’t voluntary but were rather due to the young man’s stage fright. But as time progressed and he became more comfortable on stage, he intentionally incorporated ‘shaking’ into his routine as the audience, particularly the women therein, were totally digging it.
Of course all of this transpired back in the day when America took the concept of morality a lot more seriously than it does now. So Elvis dealt with his fair share of controversies and criticisms due to performing moves which many perceived as being sexual in nature on some of the nation’s biggest stages. However, all things considered, it was these same types of mannerisms which thrust him into mass notoriety.
To this day, over four decades after his death, Elvis holds a number of truly-exceptional music industry records. What makes this reality more remarkable is the fact that the industry has grown significantly since the mid-to-late 20th century. Yet and still, the King has retained some achievements which artists have not been able to best even in the global, digital age of music.
For instance, even as late as the year 2020 the King of Rock & Roll is the top-selling soloist of all-time, almost doubling the record sales of the next artist on the list, Michael Jackson. And the only musical act to have outsold Presley would be The Beatles themselves.
Part of the reason Elvis was able to move so many units was because despite being the King of Rock & Roll, he was also musically adept in a number of other genres. And accordingly at the end of the day, he also holds the distinction of having the most platinum albums, as certified by the RIAA.
Additionally Elvis was the king of Billboard 200 and UK Albums Chart. That is to say that he has scored more number ones on both of those prestigious lists than any other artist. Moreover he has actually bested The Beatles, in their own homeland, by having achieved the most number ones of the UK Singles Chart.
Additionally Elvis went on to be awarded America’s highest civilian honor, that being the Presidential Medal of Freedom, albeit posthumously. And this was done by US President Donald Trump in 2018.
Elvis was only married once, to his wife Priscilla Presley. This is a lady whom he had been acquainted with since 1959, when she was just 14 years old (and the King was in his early-to-mid 20s). They went on to marry in 1967 and eventually divorced in 1973. During that time Priscilla gave birth to who would prove to be Elvis’s only child, Lisa Marie Presley, in 1968. And of course as some readers already know Lisa herself went on to marry Michael Jackson in 1994. So the King of Pop was actually the posthumous son-in-law of the King of Rock & Roll.
And also for the record, Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage is also a posthumous son-in-law of Elvis Presley. And through Lisa, the King has also sired a number of grandchildren, most notably an actress by the name of Riley Keough, whom Lisa Marie birthed via her first husband, Danny Keough.
As has been previously noted Elvis grew up in poverty. However the saddest part of his personal history proved to be the fact that he had become addicted to drugs and for the most part stopped properly taking care of himself during the latter years of life. Yes, there has been debate as to what exactly caused the King to expire, i.e. suffer a fatal heart attack, as early as the age of 42. And even to this day, autopsy experts continue to study his files for a definitive cause.
But once again, the two general agreements are this. Drug abuse played the most-prominent role in his demise. And secondly the fact that he became somewhat of a glutton – for lack of a better word – really didn’t help the situation at all.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ELVIS PRESLEY
Elvis was actually a twin. His identical brother, who was named Jesse Presley, emerged from the womb 35 minutes prior to the child who would become King. However, he unfortunately came out stillborn.
Via his parentage Elvis can trace his ancestry back to Scotland, Ireland, Germany and France. Also it is widely believed, by the family themselves, that they have some American Indian (i.e. Cherokee) blood.
Elvis Presley’s middle name is Aaron.
Elvis was known as being a bit of a “hound dog”, as in having dated many women, many of whom were celebrities themselves. However, this is not to imply that he was a sex fiend. Rather he passed up some opportunities to get physical, rather opting at times to engage in more-platonic friendships instead.
In fact Elvis was more a guys’ guy, preferring to hang out with his homeys rather than women per se.
Elvis was also an accomplished actor, having appeared in over 30 movies between 1956 and 1972.
FAMOUS ELVIS PRESLEY SONGS
Below is a selection of some of the most notable songs released by Elvis Presley: