A tribute to Elvis Presley |Photo Credits: blog.uta.edu

Exactly 41 years ago today, news headlines shocked the world when the untimely death of Elvis Presley came running around the corner. It was surreal and almost seemed unbelievable but it was confirmed that the King of Rock & Roll had indeed passed away. He was just 42.

How could this be? What could have been the cause? A heart attack? We just saw him on TV performing from Vegas.

These were the questions raised and asked as fans and other artists alike expressed their shock. That day on August 16, 1977, everything went blue and turned to gray. What was supposed to be a happy day turned out to be a mournful event in history.

Since then, it has sparked a controversy among many-a-celebrity. Celebrities are also humans, as such, they are subject to a reversal of fortune resulting in an untimely death. Despite the announcement that Presley died of heart attack, an autopsy later identified and reported high levels of several pharmaceutical drugs in his system. However, a lot of fans doubted it. In fact, the late President Richard Nixon even had invited Presley in the White House and presented him a badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

While many don’t believe the findings revealed by toxicologists, some others just accepted the story and moved on. Furthermore, it goes to show that the cause of death of a celebrity can change from heart attack to prescription drug poisoning. This reveals a pattern in a celebrity’s life, from flying up to grace to falling to the ground.

The Untimely Death of the King

Many accounts narrate the story of the rock star’s death but it was well told in Elvis Presley’s Biography site.

Here’s a synopsis of the story:

In 1977, around the first week of August, Presley was taking a rest at his mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. At around 2:30 pm, his girlfriend, Ginger Alden, discovered him lying down on the floor of his bathroom. Immediately, she called the Memphis Fire Station and indicated that the star was having difficulty breathing. Sirens then were heard as an ambulance sped up to where the caller was.

With complete equipment in hand, the medics hastily ran up the stairs to the bathroom where a body in pajamas, lying on his back was found. At first, they did not recognize the victim, but sooner later, they confirmed it was Elvis Presley. By then, his skin went dark blue and it felt cold. His vital signs revealed no pulse and no response to light from his pupils. He was then prepared for transport.

Presley’s doctor, Dr. George Nichopoulos, more known as “Dr. Nick,” stepped onto the scene and ordered the driver of the ambulance to transport Presley to Baptist Memorial Hospital. By the time they reached the hospital, emergency personnel quickly and valiantly attempted to revive the unconscious rock star. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead at around 3:30 PM.

Later, a team of highly skilled doctors headed to the hospital to conduct the autopsy. They found out no signs of stroke, heart failure, or lung disease. But what they saw was that Presley was chronically ill with diabetes and constipation. Toxicology tests, however, confirmed a different cause of his passing. It revealed that the star died from an overdose of prescribed pharmaceutical drugs. Presley’s body was then released to the funeral home after the autopsy.

Elvis Presley grave

Elvis’s grave at the family plot on the Graceland property. |Photo Credits: biography.com

Elvis Presley’s Legacy

For over decades, Elvis Presley had been rocking the world with his name. His voice was his main instrument coupled with his great looks and certainly unique style. His charm was undeniable and he had become a sex icon during his time. But more than these, his talent was the main ingredient in keeping him in the entertainment industry.

Since then, Presley had paved way for other artists who wanted to be a rock superstar just like him. His efforts in perfecting his craft were not a waste. Many idolized him, as well as some others proposed for a holiday in honor of him.

Elvis Presley, the King of Rock & Roll, may have long been gone but the magic of his voice remains evident in his music. And it will continue to play for generations in more centuries or even millennia to come.

Elvis Presley |Photo Credits: billboard.com

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