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”. Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, when he was 13, his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family at the age of 13.
Presley received his first guitar as a gift from his mother on his 11th birthday in 1946. 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. He had his first taste of musical success a few years later when he won a talent show at Humes High School in Memphis. After graduating in 1953, he worked a number of jobs while pursuing his musical dream.
In 1955, Presley began to develop a following with fans being drawn to his unusual musical style. Presley was on a roll, scoring his first No. 1 single with “Heartbreak Hotel,” as well as his first No. 1 album, Elvis Presley, and signing a movie contract with Paramount Pictures—all in 1956. he also became a popular guest on a number of television variety shows. He served in Germany for about a year and a half. After leaving the Army in 1960, Presley resumed his career and was soon back at the top of the charts. Presley was everywhere—on the radio, television and the silver screen—working as a musician and actor.
His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions. Known to the world 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 16, 1977. He was 42. Presley’s 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.