Elvis Aaron Presley, known as the “King of Rock and Roll,” was a pioneering American singer and actor born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi. His influential career began in 1954 at Sun Records, where he, along with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, pioneered rockabilly—a fusion of country music and rhythm and blues.
Presley’s breakout single, “Heartbreak Hotel,” released in 1956, quickly became a chart-topping hit. He rose to fame as the leading figure of the rock and roll genre, facing initial controversy due to his performative style and promotion of African-American sounds.
Drafted into military service in 1958, Presley resumed his recording career in 1960. Throughout the 1960s, guided by his manager Colonel Tom Parker, he focused on Hollywood films and soundtrack albums, such as Jailhouse Rock (1957), Blue Hawaii (1961), and Viva Las Vegas (1964). In 1968, he made a successful comeback with the TV special “Elvis” and embarked on lucrative tours.
Despite his commercial success, Presley’s health deteriorated due to prescription drug abuse and poor eating habits. He died suddenly at the age of 42 at Graceland in 1977. With approximately 500 million records sold worldwide, Elvis Presley remains one of the best-selling music artists. His impact spans various genres, earning him three Grammy Awards and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36. Posthumously, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018.
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