Elvis Death Photos Biography
Musician and actor Elvis Aron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. (He later changed the spelling of his middle name to the biblical form of Aaron.) Presley was supposed to be a twin, but his brother, Jesse Garon (sometimes spelled Jessie) was stillborn. From very humble beginnings, Elvis Presley grew up to become one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll.
Raised by loving, working-class parents, Presley's family had little money, and they moved from place to place frequently. He was deeply devoted to his parents, especially his mother, Gladys, and was raised to have a strong faith in God. Presley attended the Assembly of God Church with his parents, where gospel music became an important influence for him.
Presley got his first guitar at the age of 10, and soon after, had his first taste of musical success when he won a talent show at Humes High School in Memphis. After graduating in 1953, he worked a number of jobs while pursuing his musical dream. He cut his first demo record at what later became known as Sun Studio that year, and before long, Sam Phillips, the record label owner, decided to take the young performer under his wing. Presley soon began touring and recording, trying to catch his first big break. "That's All Right" was Presley's first single in 1954.
Around this time, Presley's personal life also seemed to be on an upswing. He and Priscilla wed in 1967 and had a daughter, Lisa Marie, the following year. Unfortunately, this joyous time would not last. By the early 1970s, Presley's marriage was falling apart. The couple divorced in 1973, and Priscilla received custody of Lisa Marie. Presley was also wrestling with other personal problems, including a growing addiction to prescription drugs; the once-thin rock star was battling a weight problem, and his destructive lifestyle caught up with him that fall, when he was hospitalized for drug-related health problems.
Despite his personal obstacles, Presley remained a popular draw in Las Vegas and on tour. He performed at his last concert in June 1977, in Indianapolis, Indiana. After the concert, he returned home to his Memphis mansion, Graceland, to prepare for another tour.
Sometime in the morning of August 16, 1977, Presley died of heart failure, at the age of 42. It was later ruled that his death was related to his prescription drug use. Presley was buried on the Graceland property, near the gravesites of his mother, Gladys, father Vernon and grandmother Minnie Mae Hood Presley.
Throughout his amazing career, Presley helped popularize rock 'n' roll music in America. He also won three Grammy Awards for his gospel recordings. A major musical force, Presley had 18 No. 1 singles, including "Don't Be Cruel," "Good Luck Charm" and "Suspicious Minds," as well as countless gold and platinum albums. He was one of the first performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986). But Elvis has been recognized for his contributions several musical genres, most notably rock, country and gospel. In 1998, Presley was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame; three years later, he was posthumously inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Since his death, Presley has remained one of the world's most popular music icons. Over the years, several documentaries and films have explored the enigmatic performer, including a 2005 television miniseries starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Elvis. Presley's Memphis home, Graceland, is open to the public, and numerous fans from around the world visit the legendary residence annually, especially around Presley's birthday and the anniversary of his death.