What Kind of Entertainer Was Elvis Aaron Presley?
Elvis had a unique style of music and performance all his own. His music was a combination of country and gospel music. Elvis made quite an impact during his short life. Maybe he even helped shape your own musical taste!
In the mid-1950s, Americans saw Elvis Presley everywhere they looked. His music played through the radio. His movies hit the big screen. He even ended up on TV, as a guest on shows like the Ed Sullivan Show.
He also danced around on stage shaking his hips. At the time, many adults were shocked by his music and dancing. When he went on TV, he was usually asked not to dance or was filmed from the waist up. Teenagers, however, loved Elvis’ music and dancing. They had never seen anything like it and they loved it.
Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8, 1935. He was the only child of Vernon and Gladys Presley. His family was poor and his father had a tough time holding down a job. For a while, Elvis and his mom lived with his grandmother while his father spent 8 months in prison. Growing up, Elvis was a shy child who was very close to his mother.
When Elvis was a teenager, the Presley family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. That’s where Elvis would later start his music career. Shortly after graduating from high school in 1953, Elvis began recording music. He worked with the record label Sun Records. He released his first single in 1954. The next year, he signed with a different label, RCA Records.
He released his first number-one single, “Heartbreak Hotel,” in 1956. He combined many genres, including blues, gospel, country, and rock and roll. Elvis sometimes referred to his own music as “rockabilly.” Some of his most popular songs were “Love Me Tender,” “All Shook Up,” and “Hound Dog.”
In 1957, Elvis was drafted into military service. He joined the U.S. Army and served in Germany between 1958 and 1960. There, he met Priscilla Beaulieu, whom he would marry in 1967. When Elvis returned from military service, he picked up right where he left off. He starred in a total of 33 movies, the most popular of which was “Blue Hawaii.” He recorded more albums as well. Elvis went on to receive 14 Grammy nominations, three of which he won.
As his success continued to grow, Elvis developed some troubling lifestyle habits. He began abusing drugs and eating a greasy, unhealthy diet. His personal relationships also suffered. He and his wife, Priscilla, divorced in 1973. On August 16, 1977, Elvis passed away in his home, called Graceland. Doctors determined he’d had a heart attack, likely brought on by his diet and drug use. He was only 42.
Today, Elvis lives on through his legacy. He’s been called the greatest cultural force of the 20th Century. His music influenced countless entertainers, including Michael Jackson, Prince, and the Beatles. His daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, has also followed in her father’s footsteps to become an entertainer.