Elvis Presley is one of the world's most famous singers, an icon of music and pop culture. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1935, Elvis moved to Memphis with his family when he was 13. He was know locally for his singing talent and called himself "The Hillbilly Cat". In 1955, he signed to the recording label RCA.
This was the era of rock and roll, and Elvis Presley was a huge figure in this type of music. He was nicknamed "Elvis the Pelvis" due to his famous gyrations. When he appeared on television shows of the time, the cameras were not allowed to film Presley below the waist. He was managed by Colonel Tom Parker throughout his life. Parker also strictly controlled Presley's film career.
Elvis Presley starred in 33 films, the first of which was called Love Me Tender. Most of these films included Presley's singing, although he also tried some serious acting roles. Colonel Parker would not allow Presley to star in any films in which he did not have star billing. Critics panned most of the films, but the public, especially teenage girls, loved them. Box office earnings of his films reached 150 million US dollars (USD).
To date, Elvis Presley has sold over 1 billion albums worldwide. That is more than any other musical artist or group in the world. Presley has also had 18 #1 records on the Billboard chart. His first was Heartbreak Hotel in 1956, and his last was Suspicious Minds in 1969. He is only one of the very few artists who have been inducted into both the Country Hall of Fame and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The personal life of Elvis Presley did not detract from the adoration of his fans. He suffered from overeating and was said to be addicted to prescription drugs. He had two full face-lifts and rhinoplasty during the mid-1970s. His autopsy detected 10 different types of drugs in his blood and his weight was 260 lbs (118 kg). Presley died in 1977 with about 5 million USD in his bank account.
Elvis Presley bought the Graceland mansion in 1957 for 102,000 USD. It has 23 rooms and is surrounded by 13 acres. Graceland is now the second most visited house in America, beaten only by the White House.
Elvis Presley was known for his generosity. Friends, family and even total strangers often received presents from him. A favorite gift from Presley was one of his many Cadillacs. He once gave a poor woman a wheelchair, and when the woman's daughter admired Presley's car, he gave the car to the daughter.
Presley once said, "I want to entertain people. That's my whole life. To my last breath." In 1974, 89,000 people attended his concert for two days running. Elvis Presley is one of the world's most loved and admired singers. This was true before and even more so after his death.