Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley on January 8th, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. Elvis had a twin brother who died a stillborn, leaving him an only child. His life was far from stardom during his childhood as he grew up in poverty with his laboring class parents. Despite growing up in a poor family, he had a close bond with his parents during his younger years. Going to church was a common occurrence for their family–which is the stage that set Elvis to get involved in the musical world. The gospel music of church along with the music of his generation influenced his style. Despite being an ordinary pupil in school, he quickly realized his musical talent and joined a singing contest, in which he placed fifth. His family moved to Memphis soon after this and he began learning how to write songs and play guitar. He soon realized that academics were not where his strengths lie and that a career as a professional musician was his destiny.
Almost immediately following his high school graduation, he was given a recording contract at Sun Records, which fulfilled some of his musical ambitions. Sam Phillips was the owner of Sun Records and was astonished at the young man’s abilities. He soon offered Elvis a record deal after discovering his talent. Unfortunately, his success in this was not immediate, and he had to work blue-collar jobs to make a living while he waited on his musical career to take off. After consistently recording songs with many setbacks along the way, his talents started to become more recognized, and by 1955, he had a music single that made it to the number one spot. Additionally, he began starring in movies that showcased both his musical abilities and his acting skills.
Suddenly, his rise to fame grew exponentially, and his style and flare changed many aspects of the music industry. His audience and fame grew further following his first movie, “Love Me Tender.” In 1958, he was drafted into the Army and served there until 1960. During this time, his mother passed away, which partly contributed to his future depression. Even while enlisted and enduring family trials, his charisma and personality still had a charm that kept his fame in full force.
However, by the late 1960s, his popularity started to decline, but he continued to create music. Around this time he also went through a divorce with his wife Pricilla. Because of this and his decrease in fame, a deep depression soon came over him, leading to an abuse of prescription drugs and a problem with weight gain. As the years passed, his depression never left him, and his struggle with drugs continued to be a problem to his mental and physical health. This in turn provided further strain on his musical career, and the highlight of his life became performing shows in Las Vegas. He died in 1977 of heart failure, which was mostly attributed to his abuse and overdose of prescription drugs. He was only 42 years old.
Elvis has left a legend behind him, paving the way for future musicians with his unique talent that changed the musical spectrum. A superstar in his day, he continues to be a famous name in the present and is known as a dominant figure in the history of music. The King of Rock ‘n Roll could be the most influential musician of all time by the changes he brought to popular culture, and if not for his existence, the world of music would not be what it has become today.