Elvis Presley was the first real rock and roll star. A white southerner who singing blues laced with country and country tinged with gospel, Presley brought together music from both sides of the color line. Presley performed this music with a natural hip swiveling sexuality that made him a teen idol and a role model for generations of cool rebels. Presley was repeatedly dismissed as vulgar, incompetent and a bad influence. However the force of his music and image signaled to the mainstream culture it was time for a change.

 Overview /
1935-1957 /
1958-1966 /
1967-1974 /
Final years/ 
Family album 


                     Elvis Aaron Presley, in the humblest of circumstances, was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in 
                     a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8, 1935.  His twin brother, Jessie Garon,
                     was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child.  He and his parents moved to Memphis, 
                     Tennessee in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in  1953.

                     ElvisТ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard 
                     in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed 
                     on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager. In 1954, he began his singing career with the
                     legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA 
                     Victor. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined
                     his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the
                     time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture.

                     He starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television appearances and specials, 
                     and knew great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking, live concert performances 
                     on tour and in Las Vegas. Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other 
                     artist. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards for 150 
                     different albums and singles, far more than any other artist. Among his many awards and 
                     accolades were 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording 
                     Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which he received at age 36, and
                     his being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United 
                     States Jaycees. Without any of the special privileges his celebrity status might have afforded 
                     him, he honorably served his country in the U.S. Army.

                     His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did
                     the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over
                     by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century 
                     popular culture. Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977.

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