Born on January 8, 1935, Elvis Presley grew up to become an unrivaled cultural icon of the 20th Century. Known as the “King of Rock and Roll,” he created a legacy that still shines as bright as the stars today.
His name is well-known no matter where you are in the world. So, to honor such an icon, let’s remember his legacy and untimely departure from this world.
Remembering the King’s Legacy
Elvis Aron Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, but when he turned 13, he and his family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. He began his music career in 1954 by signing up with Sun Records. He worked with producer Sam Phillips, who, at that time, wanted to give African-American music a wider audience.
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As a result, Elvis (on acoustic rhythm guitar), together with Scotty More (lead guitar) and Bill Black (bass guitar), pioneered rockabilly. It’s a fusion of rhythm & Blues with country music with an uptempo and backbeat-driven style.
Elvis also became the symbol of progress and rebellion during his time. He was someone that managed to bridge the gap between varying cultures of people during an era when America was still firmly racially divided.
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With over 500 million records sold worldwide, Elvis is still recognized as the “best-selling solo music artist of all time” by the Guinness World Records to this day. He won three Grammy Awards and got inducted into multiple music halls of fame.
Even today, people quickly recognize who Elvis is and cherish his music. He continues to be an inspiration to the new generations of musicians that have yet to make their marks on this world.
The King on His Way Out of the Building
Elvis Presley’s health was in a rapid nosedive by the time his divorce got finalized on October 9, 1973. That year, he overdosed on barbiturates twice. It’s believed that the rapid decline of his health resulted from his abuse of drugs.
It later came to light that his private physician George Nichopoulos fed Elvis’s drug addiction through overprescriptions. The doctor’s medical license got permanently revoked by the Tennessee Medical Board after his overprescription tendencies got exposed later.
After years of drug abuse, Elvis Presley was troubled with various health issues such: as glaucoma, liver damage, hypertension, and even an enlarged colon. As Elvis was about to leave Memphis for another tour on August 16, 1977, his health issues came to a boiling point, and he failed to make it.
They found him in an “unresponsive state” inside the bathroom of his mansion in Graceland. Attempts to revive him failed, and he was pronounced dead at 3:30 pm in the Baptist Memorial Hospital. Elvis Presley was 42 years old, and heart disease was the official cause of his death.