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Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935

August 16, 1977) was an American


singer, musician and actor. Elvis
Presley became one of the most
influential cultural icons of a
generation.He is commonly referred to
as the The King of Rock n Roll and
epitomises the post-war pop generation.

Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi.


When he was 13, his family moved to
Memphis, Tennessee, with his family at
the age of 13.

Elvis was relatively shy and as a


youngster was not keen on performing
in public. However, he received a guitar
as a present and learnt to play and sing,
not through musical training, but just
through hearing and picking up music.
As a teenager, he became more
interested in music, listening to a huge
range of contemporary American
music. He also started to sport a
distinctive look with sideburns and
styled hair. This would later become a
real Elvis trademark.

In 1953, he went to Sun recording studio


to record a song for his mother, but
also perhaps to hope to being noticed.
However, it didnt come to anything, he
was also turned down for an audition to
other groups. In April 1954, he took a
job as a truck driver.

However, later on in the year, Sun boss,


Sam Phillips invited Elvis to come in for
a recording studio. Initially the
recording session was unpromising, but
towards the end as they were getting
close to finish, Elvis started up his own
number, and Phillips was immediately
impressed by the verve, enthusaism and
dynamism of the music. Phillips
reckoned he was onto a winner. He felt
Elvis had the sound of negro.

Elvis recorded hte 1946 blues number,


Arthur Crudups Thats All Right and
it was well received on local radio
stations.

This lauchned Presley onto a lucrative


pop music career. His performances
were a fusion of country, gospel, pop
and rhythmn and blues it combined
both black and white sounds, with an
uninhibited stage routine which often
proved controversial. However, if it was
controversial, it was also wildly popular
with young listeners, and with his
unique gravelly voice, Elvis was on his
way to becoming a great star. His
catapult to stardom was helped by
rivalry between TV presenters, such as
Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan. Elvis
proved a star attraction and the
competition between presenters made
Elvis a national celebrity. It also helped
bring rock n roll into popular /
mainstream culture.

After a stint in the army (1958-60)


Presley served as a regular soldier, he
began to focus more on movies. In the
1960s, Presley made several movies.
These were generally received with low
critical acclaim, though they were quite
popular.

The huge fame which surrounded his


career perhaps contributed to health
problems, which would ultimately cause
his premature death aged only 42.
Towards the end of his life, he was
obese and suffered from drug
dependency. His early death only
cemented his legendary status, and he
has become deeply engrained in
popular culture.

Presleys home Graceland was opened


to the public in the 1980s and attracts
over half a million visitors annually. It
was declared a National Historic
Landmark in 2006