”Elvis”, the nickname of the legendary American singer Elvis Presley, passed away unexpectedly on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42, and this year, it has been 45 years since he passed away.
He is one of the most important figures in American popular music in the 20th century. Elvis Presley’s music transcends racial and cultural boundaries, and integrates blues, country, and gospel music into a unique composition with a distinctive personality. The wind, full of passionate sexual energy and rebellious feeling, gave birth to the arrival of the rock and roll era.
He created a new era of rock and roll music, and his influence has not faded. In the Chinese music scene, the legendary superstar Leslie Cheung has been deeply influenced by him in singing.
Why is “Elvis” called “Elvis”?
On January 8, 1935, Elvis Presley was born into a poor family of farm workers in Mississippi. As a child, he often sang the gospel in church. This was the beginning of his exposure to music. In 1945, he participated in the Mississippi-Alabama State Fair and won second prize with “Old Shep”.
In 1946, Elvis Presley entered sixth grade at Milam Elementary School. He met country music singer Mississippi Slim through classmates in 1947, and performed two live shows with Mississippi Slim that same year. In 1948, he moved to Memphis with his family, began to contact some professional musicians, and participated in the performance of the four-piece gospel singing group “Black Forest Brothers”.
In August 1953, as a birthday present for his mother, he recorded the songs “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” in a studio owned by SUN Records owner Sam Phillips. (“That’s the Beginning of Your Heartache”), and in January of the following year, he recorded two more songs, but his music career has not been smooth sailing since then. Because the recording effect was not ideal, the record company did not sign him, but the owner of the record company left his contact address. He then failed an interview for a member of a quartet. In April, he became a truck driver for Crown Power.
Just when he thought he might have to drive a truck for a while, his fortunes took another 180-degree turn. On July 5 of that year, he recorded Arthur Crudupitz’s R&B-style song “That’s All Right” with guitarist Coty Moore and bassist Bill Black. After playing on the radio, Elvis Presley began to gain attention. Fourteen days later, he released his first commercial single.
“Elvis”‘s musical career has not been smooth sailing.
In April 1955, his rock-style single “Baby Let’s Play House” (“Baby Let’s Play House”), a cover of Arthur Gaunt’s country song of the same name, reached the United States in August of the same year. Country song charts. After that, he has a number of pop music chart number one singles, and his popularity skyrocketed. That same year, Elvis Presley had a solo appearance on CBS’ TV variety show “The Ed Sullivan Show,” which drew 55 million viewers.
In 1957, he began to enter the film industry. In July, the autobiographical drama song and dance movie “Love You” starring him was released in the United States; in October, the Christmas-themed studio album “Elvis’ Christmas Album” (“Elvis’ Christmas Album”) was released. The album’s 1970 reissue was certified Diamond Records in the United States (10 million copies).
In just a few short years, he became a well-deserved superstar, and he ushered in a new era of rock and roll. Elvis Presley reinvented rock music on a gender, racial level, making it known how sexy it is. As a white singer, he boldly covered black blues songs, which was unimaginable in 1950s America.
He has a more famous nickname than his real name – “Elvis”. This is because he has a classic dance move “twist the crotch” when he sings, and people at the time thought he was like a tom cat in love when he did this move on stage. Simply everyone called him “Elvis”. At first, this nickname was just used to satirize him, but it became his symbol after it spread.
Death of “Elvis”
On August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died of a heart attack in the bathroom of his home at the age of 42. This left his fans heartbroken.
On August 18, Elvis Presley was buried in Forest Hills Cemetery, with the tombstone next to his mother’s tomb. After that, three gangsters attempted to steal Elvis’ body, so at his father’s decision, Elvis and his mother were relocated to the “Elegance Garden”.
How did “Elvis” die? This question has been foggy.
In the 1970s, due to the pressures of life, Elvis Presley began to binge and eat junk food, which caused him to gain weight in middle age. Because he was afraid that his bloated figure would greatly reduce his image among fans, he suffered from anxiety, insomnia and other symptoms at the same time, so he began to take medication, even drinking, taking narcotics and stimulants. At the same time, he is also bohemian in his private life.
In October 1973, Elvis Presley was hospitalized with recurrent pneumonia and pleurisy, colonic dilatation, and hepatitis, while broker Parker used a squeeze brokerage strategy to push the poor health “Elvis” into financial crisis. In order to alleviate the economic hardship, he had to be exhausted touring concerts, and began to rely on drugs such as sedatives after physical and mental exhaustion. In early April 1977, Elvis Presley fell ill again and was admitted to the hospital. After being discharged from the hospital, he continued to sing until June. This should be the triggering factor for his life to freeze at the age of 42.
In 1957, “Elvis” began to enter the film industry.
”Elvis” left his fans in such a way, but his music was not forgotten.
In 1986, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Chuck Berry, James Brown and others. In 1987, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the 14th American Music Awards. In 1998, RCA Records awarded him the “Artist of the Century” Special Commemorative Award.
In 2002, his solo song collection “ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits” was released, which included Elvis Presley’s 31 number one singles on the US and UK singles charts. The album topped the album charts in 17 countries including the United States and the United Kingdom, and its global sales exceeded 9 million copies. The version reached number one on the UK Pop Charts.
On October 7, 2003, his solo collection “2nd to None” (“Second to None”) reached number three on the US Billboard 200 albums chart with sales of 181,000 copies in its first week. In 2004, he was ranked third in Rolling Stone magazine’s “50 Greatest Pop Musicians of All Time”. In 2008, Billboard ranked No. 1 on the list of “Artists with the Most Songs on the Hot 100”. In 2021, “Billboard” announced the Top 100 single artist list of all time, with Elvis Presley ranking fourth. In 2018, he was also posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Trump.
It has been 45 years since “Elvis” passed away, but he has not been forgotten, and his music is still heard and sung by countless people.