Elvis Presley needs no introduction. He was one of the most renowned and celebrated musicians of the 20th century, as well as a cultural icon. He is also known as the King of Rock and Roll, and the King. In the entire history of music recordings, he was the top-selling solo artist. He was equally successful in several genres such as pop, country, blues, and gospel. He had won three competitive Grammy awards and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He died in 1977, at the age of 42; yet his musical legacy lives on. You may explore in details below the life, career and net worth of Elvis Presley in 2020.
Early Life & Biography:
Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935. His birthplace is in Tupelo, Mississippi. He was baptized as Elvis Aaron Presley. Presley’s parents Gladys Love and Vernon Elvis Presley were very supportive of him. His ancestry was mixed Western European, although his great-great-grandmother could have been a Cherokee American.
His family was religious, and he was first inspired by the music in the church. Presley attended his school in 1941 at East Tupelo Consolidated. He won a singing competition while at school, at the age of ten. For this tenth birthday, he received a guitar and learned to play music under the tutelage of his uncles.
In 1946, Presley entered a new school in his sixth grade. He brought his guitar to school and sang and played during lunch break. He developed his guitar skills from Mississippi Slim, and he put him on a radio show.
In 1948, Presley’s family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, and Elvis was admitted to L.C. Humes High School. He played the guitar regularly with his group of boys. He also began working on temporary jobs. He took an active interest in musical events and participated in them. In 1953, he graduated from high school and had decided by then to make music as his career.
Elvis was very close to his mother, and his father was very supportive of him. Elvis married Priscilla Beaulieu on May 1, 1967, after seven and a half year of courtship. The marriage ceremony was brief and held at their suite at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. The couple had only one daughter, Lisa Marie, who was born on February 1, 1968. Elvis was against drugs and was a non-alcoholic.
Due to the extra-marital affair on the part of both, the Presleys separated on February 23, 1972, filed for divorce on August 18. It was a blow from which Presley never recovered. Presley’s divorce took effect on October 9, 1973.
Career, Awards & Nominations:
In 1953, Presley began working as a truck driver and was rejected in several auditions. Presley cut a two-sided record at Sun Records to present it to his mother. Next year also he did the same. In July 1954, he was able to record two of his songs which immediately became popular. This led to his live performances at several venues. His unique style drove the audience crazy.
In 1955, Sun Records recorded many of his music, which came to be called rockabilly. It earned him the nickname The Memphis Flash and The Hillbilly Cat. He began performing all over the US with his band of the quartet. Later he chose RCA Victor s his recording company and created two companies; Elvis Presley Music and Gladys Music.
In 1956 his debut record for RCA was the epic Heartbreak Hotel. He also appeared on TV in a CBS stage show program. He then recorded eight songs with RCA, which reached the top of Billboard charts and stayed there for weeks.
Presley appeared in NBC Milton Berle Show on which he performed on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hancock in San Diego on April 3, 1956. He also signed an acting contract with Paramount Pictures. Presley also appeared for other TV shows such as the Ted Allen and Ed Sullivan shows. Presley’s second album, Elvis, was released in October 1956 and soon became number one. Commercially he broke many records in the music industry.
On March 24, 1958, Presley was drafted into the U.S. Army. During this time his mother, with whom he was very attached to, died leaving Presley devastated. Presley was sent to Friedberg, Germany, after his training. Here he met Priscilla Beaulieu, whom he later married. Meanwhile, RCA had been regularly releasing his music and had ten top hits.
On March 2, 1960, Presley was back in the US after completing his Army service. He soon released his new albums which reached the top spots. Presley got an astounding $125,000 for an eight-minute of singing for the TV show Welcome Home Elvis.
Presley also appeared in several films, having made his debut in Love Me Tender in 1956. These films were accompanied by soundtrack albums. In 1967, one of his gospel albums won him the Best Sacred Performance Award, which was his first Grammy. However, 1967-68 was terrible for Elvis as only two out of his eight albums were successful. His live performance for TV called Elvis was aired in December 1968, his first live performance since 1961. Presley had 14 Grammy nominations, out of which he won three.
After his divorce in 1973, Presley’s health deteriorated for the worse. He was unable to perform on stage. He would spend time in his hotel suite under the influence of drugs. By the end of 1973, he had to be hospitalized in a semi-comatose condition. Presley had a problem of drug overuse of prescription drugs. He also suffered from several serious ailments like glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage etc.
On the evening of August 16, 1977, Presley had a severe heart attack, and he fell in the bathroom. He was pronounced at 3:30 p.m. at Baptist Memorial Hospital. Thousands offered their homage at Graceland. His picture on the cover of the National Enquirer became its highest-selling issue. He was buried at the Forest Hill Cemetery, next to his mother; later they were reburied in Graceland’s Meditation Garden to avoid theft of his body by his fans.
Net Worth & Earnings:
As of now, The estimated net worth of Elvis Presley is $350 million. Presley’s music sales reached a new high after his death. Many new album and singles were released subsequently which were blockbusters internationally. In his estate at Graceland, a new entertainment complex called Elvis Presley’s Memphis, and a hotel called The Guest House has been opened. From 2000 to 2005 Forbes has ranked Presley as the top-earning deceased celebrity with a gross income of $45 million. He ranked fourth in 2016 with earnings of $35 million.
Elvis Presley epitomized the American dream of making it big. His rags to riches story have been a constant source of inspiration; so is his dedication and hard work to make his music reach millions. Every year on his death anniversary on August 16, thousands assemble outside his home Graceland and pay their tributes in candlelight. May the King rest in peace.