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Born on: January 8, 1935


Born in: Tupelo, Mississippi, USA


Died on: August 16, 1977


Died in: Memphis, Tennessee, USA


Genres: Pop Rock, Rock N' Roll, Rockabilly, Country, Gospel


External Links:

Official Website


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame



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The King of Rock N' Roll!


30 years ago died this legendary character they called the king of rock n' roll and which completely transformed the vision of the music of the 20th century. In an era when rhythm & blues was only played by black people, Elvis Presley was able to prove that music didn't have any color. At the same period, religion had a very strong influence on the people and one saw in Elvis the devil incarnated. But, despite all that controversy around him, he quickly conquered a multiracial and international audience, making him the best known artist in the world in a few years only in the late 50's.


Even if he's the king of rock n' roll, he played many other styles during his career. The most important ones are country, gospel, rhythm & blues, romantic ballads, without forgetting Christmas carols. He had never written or composed any songs, but it's his qualities as a singer we retain of him. He also had a huge career as an actor, even if most of his movies were of a poor quality and they were most of all used to promote his albums. In fact, he used all the possibilities of images 20 years before the music videos.


Elvis Presley was also known as a generous man. He was giving at least $50,000 a year to different charity organizations and he was offering gifts on a regular basis to the poorest people of his entourage. He was also a part of US Army for a few years giving all his time for his country, no matter what it did to his career.


Elvis in Numbers:

(adaptation from the official Elvis Presley website,

  • He has sold over 1 billion record units worldwide, more than anyone in record industry history (40% have been outside the United States).

  • In America alone, Elvis has had 150 different albums and singles that have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

  • Elvis has had no less than 149 songs to appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Chart in America (a record). Of these, 114 were in the top forty, 40 were in the top ten, and 18 went to number one (only The Beatles had more number one hits).

  • His number one singles spent a total of 80 weeks at number one (a record).

  • He has also had over 90 charted albums with 10 of them reaching number one.

  • With 19 multi-platinum albums, he's the 2nd of all time behind The Beatles which had 24. Elvis is the first of all time for platinum records with 43 and gold records with 81, and he has almost twice the numbers of the closest artists (Barbara Streisand and The Beatles).

  • Elvis starred in 31 feature films as an actor and 2 theatrically released concert documentary films, all of which enjoyed financial success.

  • 11 of his movie soundtrack albums went to the top ten, and of those, 4 went to number one.

  • The soundtrack for G.I. Blues (1960), was number one on the Billboard Top 100 album chart for 10 weeks and remained on the chart for 111 weeks.

  • The album from Blue Hawaii was number one for 20 weeks and was on the chart for 79 weeks.

  • His 1973 network television special, Elvis - Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite, was seen in 40 countries by 1 billion to 1.5 billion people and made television history. It was seen on television in more American homes than man’s first walk on the moon.

  • During his “concert years” from 1969 to 1977, Elvis gave nearly 1,100 concert performances breaking attendance records.

  • Elvis received 14 Grammy nominations from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). His 3 wins were for gospel recordings.

  • 6 of Elvis' recordings, all of them his original studio masters, have been inducted into the NARAS Hall of Fame (recordings that were created and released before the 1958 inception of NARAS and the Grammy Awards).

  • Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home and refuge for twenty years, is one of the most visited homes in America today, now attracting over 600,000 visitors annually. It is also the most famous home in America after the White House. In 1991, Graceland Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2006, Graceland was designated a National Historic Landmark.

  • Currently, there are over 625 active Elvis fan clubs worldwide.

Surprising Facts:

(adaptation from the official Elvis Presley website,

  • Except for a handful of movie soundtrack songs, Elvis did not record in other languages than English.

  • Except for 5 shows in 3 Canadian cities in 1957, he did not perform in concert outside the United States.

  • NARAS recognized him with their Lifetime Achievement Award (known then as the Bing Crosby Award in honor of its first recipient). Elvis was only 36 years old at the time.

  • The Elvis stamp is the most widely publicized stamp issue in the history of the U.S. Postal Service, and it is the top selling commemorative postage stamp of all time. The USPS printed 500 millions of them, three times the usual print run for a commemorative stamp.

  • On August 16, 1997, Elvis, via video, starred in an extravagant concert production entitled Elvis in Concert '97 at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee, accompanied live on stage by over thirty of his former bandmates and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. The show played before a capacity crowd of fans who had come to Memphis from around the world to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Elvis' death. Elvis broke the Mid-South Coliseum's all-time record dollar figure for box office sales. This concert was the prototype for the 1998/99 touring production Elvis - The Concert. By being the first performer ever to headline a live concert tour while no longer living, Elvis made history again. The January/ February 1999 European tour marked Elvis' first-ever concerts outside of North America.

In 1986, Elvis was among the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1998, Elvis received the Country Music Association's highest honor, induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2001, Elvis was inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame. With that honor, Elvis is the only person, so far, to become a member of all three of these halls of fame - Rock and Roll, Country and Gospel.


Richard Dion



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