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Elvis Presley

Elvispresley

Miami Vice Performer
Born
January 8, 1935, Tupelo, Mississippi
Died
August 16, 1977, Memphis, Tennessee (Age 42, heart attack)
Spouse/Child
Priscilla Beaulieu (1967-1973, divorced), one daughter


Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977) was an American rock and roll singer, known as "The King" and simply as "Elvis", whose songs "Treat Me Nice" and "Rubberneckin'" were featured in the Miami Vice episode "Made for Each Other".

Early Career/1950'sEdit

Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Vernon Elvis and Gladys Love Presley. He was a twin; his brother Jesse Garon Presley was stillborn 35 minutes before Elvis' arrival. The family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1948. Elvis' early influences in music were rhythm and blues and gospel, and he began recording with Memphis' SUN Records in 1953, but it wasn't until 1954 when he recorded a version of "That's All Right" that people locally began to take notice, and SUN released the song with a B-side of the bluegrass song "Blue Moon of Kentucky", then toured the Memphis area with Slim Whitman (known later for his TV commercials in the 1970s), it was during these tours that Elvis began to do his famous leg gyrations (attributed to nervousness) that made women scream and swoon. In 1955 Elvis would meet the man who would become his manager for the rest of his life, Colonel Tom Parker (1909-1997), and after touring with country singer Hank Snow, Elvis was signed by RCA records (who still owns his recordings) in 1956. His debut album, Elvis Presley, featured his first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", and "Blue Suede Shoes", later began his TV appearances, first on the Milton Berle Show which brought his famous hip-swiveling to a national audience, and was declared "unfit for family viewing" by Ed Sullivan, though he would have him on his show in 1957—shown from the waist up on his second appearance. His double-sided single "Don't Be Cruel"/"Hound Dog" reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for 11 weeks, a record not matched until 1992. His first movies, Love Me Tender and Jailhouse Rock (featuring the song "Treat Me Nice") was released in 1957 and while the songs reached #1, the movies were panned by critics. That same year he released Elvis' Christmas Album, with "Blue Christmas", it became the biggest selling Christmas album ever. In 1958 Presley was drafted into the Army, and when he was deployed to Germany, he met Priscilla Beaulieu, who would become his wife in 1967. Despite his two year absence from performing, Elvis' management team had plenty of material to release during his tenure in the Army, and he had 10 Top 10 singles during his deployment.

1960'sEdit

After Elvis' honorable discharge from the Army in 1960, he returned to movies, appearing in G.I. Blues, Blue Hawaii, Paradise, Hawaiian Style, Wild In The Country, Flaming Star, and several others, as his public concert career was replaced by a movie career that was critically panned, but also lucrative in it sold albums and singles in the absence of concerts. By 1967, Elvis was looked on as a washed-up rock star, whose best days were behind him. In 1968 Elvis & Priscilla Presley welcomed their only child, Lisa Marie Presley, later that year NBC was convinced to air a recorded concert Presley had done earlier in the year, and after it was released in December, 1968 it became known as Elvis' Comeback Special. His performance in black leather and an energy not seen in several years made the special was seen by over 40 percent of the viewing audience. In 1969 Presley's album From Elvis In Memphis was his first non-soundtrack rock album in over seven years, featuring "In The Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds", Elvis' final #1 single. His final non-concert movie, Change of Habit (featuring the song "Rubberneckin'") was released, part of the deal with NBC to air his comeback special.

1970's/DeathEdit

Elvis returned to touring again during the 1970s, playing in venues all over the country. In 1972 his final Top 10 single, "Burning Love", was released, but his marriage to Priscilla was ending, Elvis began relationships with Linda Thompson and later Ginger Alden, and his divorce was final in 1973. Elvis' concert from Hawaii; Aloha From Hawaii, was his most watched concert, by over a billion people worldwide, and the related album reached #1, his final #1 album in his lifetime. In 1973 his health began a rapid decline, intensified by his massive drug addictions. By 1977 he was not recording albums or touring, his weight had ballooned to the point even doing simple things were difficult. On August 16, 1977, Ginger Alden found Presley unresponsive in his bathroom and was pronounced dead at 3:30pm local time. Newspapers around the world headlined "The King Is Dead" and his funeral in Memphis brought thousands of fans to his Graceland home, which they still visit each year on the anniversary of his death.

Post-DeathEdit

After his death, Graceland was opened to the public in 1982, and is the second most visited home in America (after the White House).

Some of his Billboard chart achievements (as of 2016) include:

  • 149 Hot 100 Singles (second all-time to the Glee cast—207)†
  • 114 Top 40 singles (#1 on list, second is Elton John with 58††)†
  • Charted one Hot 100 single in five different decades (1950s/60s/70s/80s/2000s)
  • Charted one #1 single for seven consecutive years (1956-1962, tied with the Beatles (1964-1970), only Mariah Carey has more with 11 (1990-2000)
  • 80 cumulative weeks at #1 (#1 on list, second is Mariah Carey with 79)†
  • 38 Top 10 Singles (tied for #1 on the list with Madonna)†
  • 18 #1 Singles (Tied for second with Mariah Carey, the Beatles lead with 20)†

His last Top 40 single was "Guitar Man" in 1982, though he did reach the Hot 100 in 2002 with a remixed version of his 1968 single "A Little Less Conversation" (used both in the film Ocean's 11 and in the TV series Las Vegas). Elvis continues to sell records nearly 40 years after his death, and he was in the initial induction class of 1986 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

†Totals include double-sided hits that Billboard magazine does not recognize, but various statisticians do include in his totals.

††Though Lil' Wayne is credited with 64 Top 40 singles, 43 were songs he was a "featured" artist.  His total Top 40 singles as a solo act is 21.

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