Elvis Aaron Presley, in the humblest of circumstances, was born to
Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi on
January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving
Elvis to grow up as an only child. He and his parents moved to Memphis,
Tennessee in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in
Elvis’ musical influences were the pop and country music of the time,
the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he
frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale
Street as a Memphis teenager.
In 1954, he began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records
label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA
Victor. By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and
style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred
and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in
a whole new era of American music and popular culture.
He starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television
appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim through his many, often
record-breaking, live concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas.
Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other
His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum
awards for 150 different albums and singles, far more than any other
artist. Among his many awards and accolades were 14 Grammy nominations
(3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which he received at age 36, and his
being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970
by the United States Jaycees. Without any of the special privileges his
celebrity status might have afforded him, he honorably served his
country in the U.S. Army.
His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared
him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated
throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is
regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century
popular culture. Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August