Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley Headshot

Singer • Actor

Birth Date: January 8, 1935

Death Date: August 16, 1977

Birth Place: Tupelo, Mississippi

Spouses: Priscilla Presley

Partners: Carol Connors, Ann-Margret

Children: Lisa Marie Presley

Grandchildren: Riley Keough

A key figure in the development of rock and roll and its ascension to global mainstream culture, singer Elvis Presley helped to establish the blueprint of the music form-a fusion of country, blues and rhythm and blues with a visual element that drew equally on gospel fervor and after-hours bump and grind-which in turn gave him one of the most successful and enduring careers in popular music.

He was born Elvis Aron Presley on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi; his mother, Gladys, delivered his stillborn identical twin brother, Jesse Garon Presley, 35 minutes before his birth. He found his initial musical inspiration in the Assembly of God church attended by his caring but desperately poor parents, and gave his first performance before an audience at the age of ten, when he sang Red Foley's "Old Shep" at a state fair contest. By the time the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, Presley had learned to play guitar and was slowly overcoming his shyness to give occasional performances at local competitions; country music and gospel formed the basis of his early repertoire, though he was also fascinated by blues and rhythm & blues recordings.

After graduating from Humes High School in 1953, Presley had set his sights on a music career, and visited the offices of Sun Records, a record label and studio that had produced such proto-rock and roll tracks as "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats. There, he recorded a two-sided acetate disc that featured covers of "My Happiness" and "That's Where Your Heartaches Began." Label chief Sam Phillips took note of the young man's soulful vocals, and in 1954, invited Presley to Sun to make some recordings. On July 5, 1954, Presley, accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black recorded a cover of Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "That's All Right" that seemed to perfectly encompass Phillips' long-standing desire to find a white performer who could sing with "the Negro sound and the Negro feel," as Sun receptionist Marion Keisker described it.

Presley's version-which embraced the sultry vocals of R&B with a caffeinated, hiccupping take on "hillbilly" music-captured the attention of Memphis radio listeners when disc jockey Dewey Phillips played the acetate on his program; Sun quickly issued a single with "That's All Right" backed with Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky" to meet the growing demand. Presley soon began performing at local venues, where his good looks and singular stage physicality produced eruptive reactions from female audience members. Presley's rising star brought him to the attention of country singer Hank Snow's manager, Colonel Tom Parker; the veteran promoter signed Presley to RCA Records, which issued his first major-label single, the moody rocker "Heartbreak Hotel," in 1956. It became his first No. 1 hit on the pop singles chart, and was followed quickly by three more chart-toppers-"I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," "Don't Be Cruel" and a cover of Big Mama Thornton's "Hound Dog."

Mainstream and adult audiences rolled their eyes over Presley's performing style-an appearance on "The Steve Allen Show" (NBC/ABC/syndicated, 1956-1964) was designed to embarrass him and earned withering criticism-but teenagers couldn't get enough of his music, and sent his self-titled debut album to No. 1 in both the United States and United Kingdom in 1956. Presley was soon a ubiquitous presence-on the radio, where he scored eight more No. 1 singles between 1957 and 1959, on television, and in movie theaters, beginning in 1956 with his screen debut in "Love Me Tender"-and his success and magnetism inspired a host of future musicians, including Bob Dylan, John Lennon and others, to take their first steps towards careers in rock and roll.

The United States Army attempted to cut into his schedule by drafting him in 1958; Presley trained at Fort Hood, Texas and served his stint in Friedberg, Germany, where he was introduced to amphetamines, karate and a 14-year-old American teenager named Priscilla Beaulieu-he would remain devoted to the first two for the remainder of his life and marry Beaulieu in 1967. After completing his tour in 1960, Presley returned to his career and resumed his remarkable streak of hit singles, including "Are You Lonesome Tonight" and "Return to Sender," as well as a string of popular movies.

But as the 1960s wore on, Presley's star seemed to dim: his screen projects slowly devolved from dramas like "King Creole" (1958) and "Flaming Star" (1960) that hinged on his intense screen presence to campy and increasingly inane fare like "Tickle Me" and "Paradise, Hawaiian Style" (1967), while his singles and albums were no longer guaranteed No. 1s, but instead hovered in the Top 20 or below. Unhappy with the direction of his career, Presley signed a deal with NBC to produce a one-hour special; the resulting broadcast, simply titled "Elvis" but more commonly known as the '68 Comeback Special, featured Presley tackling old and new material with remarkable confidence and a flash of the danger and elation that his early career had promised. The success of the special led to a hit single, "If I Can Dream," which reached No. 12, and a new album, From Elvis in Memphis (1969), which found him embracing a country-soul vibe, as embodied by its Top 5 single, "In the Ghetto" and subsequent hits like "Suspicious Minds," which became his first No.1 single in seven years, and his last.

Colonel Parker, however, was eager to get Presley back on the road, and for a period of time, the excitement of his special and new recordings translated to his live shows, which were hailed by critics and audiences. But as Presley entered the '70s, much of that fire appeared to sputter out; his marriage to Beaulieu, which had produced a daughter, Lisa Marie, in 1968, had fallen apart, and a steady diet of barbiturates left him in declining health. His recording career had again fallen into decline, though he remained a consistent presence on the country and adult contemporary charts, and his live performances were marked by exhaustion and incoherence.

On August 16, 1977, Presley was found dead in the bathroom of his Memphis mansion, Graceland; he had suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 42. The outpouring of grief from all corners of the globe that followed Presley's death seemed to indicate the end of an era, but in truth, Presley's popularity was inextricably entwined with that of rock and roll, and as such, remained not only a cultural touchstone for both the heights and excesses that came with the music form, but also a remarkable hitmaker, even four decades after his death. As late as 2002 and 2003, remixes of his 1968 single "A Little Less Conversation" and 1969's "Rubberneckin'" reached No. 1 in the UK and No. 1 in America respectively; in 2016, he ranked sixth among the highest-earned deceased celebrities with earnings of $35 million.

Credits

The Best of The Ed Sullivan Show

Self
Show
2023

Elvis Presley: Mama Liked the Roses (Official AudioLove Songs)

Music Performer
Show
2022

Elvis Presley: Mama Liked the Roses

Music Performer
Show
2022

Love Song Hall of Fame

Music Performer
Show
2022

Elvis Presley: Big Boss Man (Take 107) (68 Comeback Special)

Music Performer
Show
2022

Elvis Presley: Saved (Take 517) (68 Comeback Special)

Music Performer
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2022

Elvis Presley: Trouble (Take1013) (68 Comeback Special)

Music Performer
Show
2022

Retro: Holidays Hits

Music Performer
Show
2022

Country: Home For The Holidays

Music Performer
Show
2022

Elvis Presley: Viva Elvis

Actor
Show
2022

I've Got A Thing About You Baby: In the style of Elvis Presley

Music Performer
Show
2021

Elvis Presley: Can't Help Falling in Love (Animated)

Music Performer
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2021

Elvis Presley: Ready Teddy

Music Performer
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2021

Country Christmas

Music Performer
Show
2021

NOW 70s presents NOW 60s!

Music Performer
Show
2020

Rock Hall's All-Time Greats

Music Performer
Show
2020

Elvis Presley: Hound Dog

Music Performer
Show
2020

Elvis Presley: Don't Be Cruel

Music Performer
Show
2020

Elvis Presley: Love Me

Music Performer
Show
2020

Elvis Presley: When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again

Music Performer
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2020

Elvis Presley: Too Much

Music Performer
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2020

Elvis Presley: Love Me Tender

Music Performer
Show
2020

Elvis Presley: Don't Be Cruel (Live on the Ed Sullivan Show)

Music Performer
Show
2020

Cozy Country Christmas

Music Performer
Show
2020

Elvis Presley: Blue Christmas (Animated Video)

Music Performer
Show
2020

Elvis Presley: My Way (Aloha From Hawaii, Live in Honolulu, 1973)

Music Performer
Show
2019

Elvis Presley: You Gave Me A Mountain (Aloha From Hawaii, Live in Honolulu, 1973)

Music Performer
Show
2019

Elvis Presley: An American Trilogy (Aloha From Hawaii, Live in Honolulu, 1973)

Music Performer
Show
2019

Elvis Presley: Suspicious Minds (Aloha From Hawaii, Live in Honolulu, 1973)

Music Performer
Show
2019

Elvis: '68 Comeback Special (50th Anniversary Edition)

Music Performer
Show
2018

Elvis Presley: Trying To Get To You ('68 Comeback Special)

Music Performer
Show
2018

Elvis Presley: If I Can Dream ('68 Comeback Special)

Music Performer
Show
2018

Elvis Presley Feat. Lisa Marie Presley: Where No One Stands Alone

Music Performer
Show
2018

Christmas Classics by the Fireplace Vol. II

Music Performer
Show
2018

Elvis: The Final Hours

Self
Show
2017

Elvis Presley Home Video

Actor
Show
2017

Elvis Presley: Always On My Mind

Music Performer
Show
2016

Elvis Presley Feat. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: The Wonder of You

Music Performer
Show
2016

Barbra Streisand Feat. Elvis Presley: Love Me Tender

Music Performer
Show
2014

Elvis Presley: Return To Sender

Music Performer
Show
2013

Elvis Presley: (You're The) Devil in Disguise

Music Performer
Show
2013

Elvis Presley: Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Music Performer
Show
2013

Elvis Presley: In the Ghetto

Music Performer
Show
2013

Elvis Presley: Heartbreak Hotel

Music Performer
Show
2013

OnSTAGE

Music Performer
Show
2013

Elvis Presley: Burning Love

Music Performer
Show
2013

Elvis Presley: Jailhouse Rock

Music Performer
Show
2013

Elvis Presley: Blue Christmas

Music Performer
Show
2013

Elvis Presley: Santa Clause Is Back In Town

Music Performer
Show
2013

Elvis Presley: Take My Hand, Precious Lord

Music Performer
Show
2013

Elvis & Lisa Marie Presley: I Love You Because

Music Performer
Show
2012

Elvis Found Alive

Actor
Show
2012

Elvis: Summer of '56

Self
Show
2011

God Is the Bigger Elvis

Self
Movie
2011

Elvis Presley: Burning Love (Viva Elvis)

Music Performer
Show
2010

Elvis Presley: Love Me Tender (Viva Elvis)

Music Performer
Show
2010

Elvis Presley: Suspicious Minds (Viva Elvis)

Music Performer
Show
2010

Elvis: Love Me Tender: The Love Songs

Self
Show
2009

Elvis '56: In the Beginning

Actor
Show
2009

Elvis Feat. Junkie XL: A Little Less Conversation (Remix)

Music Performer
Show
2009

Elvis Presley Feat Martina McBride: Blue Christmas (Official HD Video)

Music Performer
Show
2008

Elvis Presley: Baby Let's Play House (Spankox Re:Version)

Music Performer
Show
2008

Elvis Presley: A Generous Heart

Self
Show
2007

Elvis Thru The Years

Actor
Movie
2007

Hollywood Rocks and Rolls in the 50s

Narrator
Show
1999

Hollywood Rocks and Rolls in the 50s

Self
Movie
1999

Elvis, Aloha From Hawaii

Executive Producer
Show
1997

Elvis, Aloha From Hawaii

Music Performer
Show
1997

Elvis Presley: Good Luck Charm

Music Performer
Show
1995

Elvis Presley: By and By

Music Performer
Show
1994

Elvis '56

Music Performer
Show
1991

Elvis Presley - Love Me Tender

Music Performer
Show
1986

Elvis Presley: Amazing Grace

Music Performer
Show
1974

Elvis on Tour

Self
Movie
1972

Esto es Elvis

Actor
Himself
Movie
1970

Elvis: That's the Way It Is

Self
Movie
1970

Elvis '68 Comeback Special

Music Performer
Show
1969

Elvis Presley: Kentucky Rain

Music Performer
Show
1969

Change of Habit

Actor
Dr. John Carpenter
Movie
1969

The Trouble With GirlsStream

Actor
Walter Hale
Movie
1969

Charro!Stream

Actor
Jess Wade
Movie
1969

Elvis '68 Comeback SpecialStream

Music Performer
Special
1968

Elvis Presley: Heartbreak Hotel/Spoken Word ('68 Comeback Special 50th Anniversary HD Remaster)

Music Performer
Show
1968

Elvis Presley: Love Me ('68 Comeback Special 50th Anniversary HD Remaster)

Music Performer
Show
1968

Elvis Presley: If I Can Dream

Music Performer
Show
1968

Live a Little, Love a LittleStream

Actor
Greg Nolan
Movie
1968

Stay Away, JoeStream

Actor
Joe Lightcloud
Movie
1968

SpeedwayStream

Actor
Steve Grayson
Movie
1968

Elvis Presley & Martina McBride: Blue Christmas

Music Performer
Show
1967

Easy Come, Easy GoStream

Actor
Ted Jackson
Movie
1967
43%

ClambakeStream

Actor
Scott Hayward/"Tom Wilson"
Movie
1967
20%

Double Trouble

Actor
Guy Lambert
Movie
1967

Frankie and Johnny

Actor
Johnny
Movie
1966

Paradise, Hawaiian Style

Actor
Rick Richards
Movie
1966

Spinout

Actor
Mike McCoy
Movie
1966

Sin Cuidado Alguno

Actor
Movie
1965

Fiesta en el Harem

Actor
Movie
1965

Girl HappyStream

Actor
Rusty Wells
Movie
1965

Harum Scarum

Actor
Johnny Tyronne
Movie
1965

Tickle MeStream

Actor
Lonnie Beale/Panhandle Kid
Movie
1965

Elvis Presley: Puppet on a String

Music Performer
Show
1964

Roustabout

Actor
Charlie Rogers
Movie
1964

Viva Las VegasStream

Actor
Lucky Jackson
Movie
1964
87%

Kissin' CousinsStream

Actor
Josh Morgan/Jodie Tatum
Movie
1964

One Broken Heart For Sale: Elvis Presley (Karaoke Version)

Music Performer
Show
1963

Fun in Acapulco

Actor
Mike Windgren
Movie
1963

It Happened at the World's FairStream

Actor
Mike Edwards
Movie
1963
25%

Girls! Girls! Girls!Stream

Actor
Ross Carpenter
Movie
1962
33%

Follow That Dream

Actor
Toby Kwimper
Movie
1962

Kid Galahad

Actor
Walter Gulick
Movie
1962
50%

Elvis Presley: Ku-u-i-po (Hawaiian Sweetheart)

Music Performer
Show
1961

Elvis Presley: Can't Help Falling in Love

Music Performer
Show
1961

Wild in the Country

Actor
Glenn Tyler
Movie
1961

Blue HawaiiStream

Actor
Chad Gates
Movie
1961
22%

Frank Sinatra's Welcome Home Party for Elvis Presley

Guest
Show
1960

Elvis Presley: It's Now or Never

Music Performer
Show
1960

Elvis Presley: Stuck on You

Music Performer
Show
1960

Elvis Presley: I Gotta Know

Music Performer
Show
1960

G.I. Blues

Actor
Tulsa McLean
Movie
1960

Flaming StarStream

Actor
Pacer Burton
Movie
1960
91%

Elvis Presley: I Got Stung

Music Performer
Show
1958

Elvis Presley: A Big Hunk O' Love

Music Performer
Show
1958

Elvis Presley: Hard Headed Woman

Music Performer
Show
1958

Elvis Presley: It's Only Make Believe

Music Performer
Show
1958

King Creole

Actor
Danny Fisher
Movie
1958

Elvis Presley: (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear

Music Performer
Show
1957

Elvis Presley: (Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame

Music Performer
Show
1957

Jailhouse RockStream

Actor
Vince Everett
Movie
1957
81%

Loving You

Actor
Deke Rivers
Movie
1957

Elvis Presley: Love Me Tender (Live on the Ed Sullivan Show)

Music Performer
Show
1956

Elvis Presley: Poor Boy

Music Performer
Show
1956

Love Me TenderStream

Actor
Clint Reno
Movie
1956
58%

News aboutElvis Presley

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Elvis Presley in 'Christmas in Graceland'
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NBC Celebrates Elvis With ‘Christmas at Graceland’ Musical Special

Elvis TV Crossword

Play the Elvis TV Crossword

Elvis Presley in his '68 comeback special, 'Elvis'

Elvis Presley Documentary Examines The King’s 1968 Comeback

Elvis Presley in his '68 comeback special, 'Elvis'
Preview

‘Reinventing Elvis: The ’68 Comeback’ Boss on the King’s Defiant Return to the Top

Lisa Marie Presley at Fury Road premiere

Lisa Marie Presley’s Cause of Death Revealed

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Matthew McConaughey as Elvis? Star to Voice Icon in Netflix Animated Comedy (VIDEO)

Elvis Presley Rolls Royce Graceland
Preview

The Music & New POV of the Documentary ‘Elvis: Are You Lonesome Tonight?’

Elvis: '68 Comeback Special

Our Night With Elvis: Behind the Scenes of His 1968 Special

elvis cover

His Signature Moves in His Own Words — What Elvis Thought of His Public Reception in 1956

Elvis and Priscilla Presley
Q&A

Priscilla Presley Remembers Elvis 50 Years After His Iconic 1968 Special

Elvis Presley in the '68 Comeback Special
Preview

Inside the ‘Elvis All-Star Tribute’: 7 Highlights From NBC’s Upcoming Special

Elvis All-Star Tribute - 2019

‘Elvis All-Star Tribute’: Blake Shelton, Jennifer Lopez & More Honor the King of Rock ‘n Roll

Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley on wedding day

‘Elvis Presley: The Searcher’ Documentary Spotlights the Man and His Music

Elvis Presley - The Searcher

Priscilla Presley Says HBO’s ‘Elvis Presley: The Searcher’ Humanizes the Music Icon

Jane Elliot in the hospital on General Hospital

‘General Hospital’s Jane Elliot Dishes on Her Awesome 50-Year Run in Soaps