The life story of Elvis Presley is the real embodiment of the American dream. A handsome man from an ordinary poor family turned into an idol of millions, and his hits long ago became cult ballads about love. How Elvis Presley turned from an ordinary boy into a Hollywood legend?
Childhood and youth
Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in the provincial town of Tupelo, Mississippi, into a very ordinary working-class family. Few people know that the future King had a twin brother, Jess, who died shortly after birth – the baby was unwell.
Elvis’ parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley, had Irish, Scottish and German roots. The main breadwinner in the family was Gladys, while the father was interrupted by casual and not quite legal earnings, which is why the Presley family was constantly in a semi-impoverished state.
Despite the lack of funds, the father took great care of the spiritual upbringing of little Elvis. Every Sunday they went to church.
At school, Elvis studied mediocre — the boy secretly ran away from lessons to learn to play the guitar. Teachers constantly scolded the boy and belittled his talents, claiming that he had neither hearing nor vocal abilities. Little Elvis did not give in to criticism, although he, as a child, was very offended.
The first solo performance of the future rock idol took place when he was ten years old. At the annual fair, Presley, standing on a chair, proudly performed his song about the life of an old dog. The award was the fifth place.
His parents approved of his son’s love of music. Therefore, on his birthday, young Elvis received a new guitar as a gift. The boy, however, was upset because he wanted a puppy.
Despite all the difficulties and poverty, in 1948 Presley moved to Memphis — the birthplace of the blues. Here, Elvis’ life began to change dramatically. He made friends, started dating girls and worked hard on his appearance. To begin with, Elvis grew sideburns and changed the gray school wardrobe to a bright one.
In general, outwardly he began to resemble a typical African-American singer, which caused the bewilderment of others. At the same time, Elvis began performing at any events where musicians were needed. The young singer’s goal was to practice public speaking, as well as search for a potential producer.
After graduating from high school, Elvis did not have dreams of instant dizzying success. Despite the fact that the young man was known in the city as a “good fairground singer,” Presley has not yet received any serious offers as a musician. That’s why he started working as a truck driver, or, more simply, as a courier in a grocery store.
Having saved a certain amount of money, Presley went to the recording studio — he wanted to record and listen to how his voice sounds on the record. During the recording, the young singer became interested in the owner of the studio Sam Phillips. He asked Presley for a phone number and called back a year later.
It was decided to transfer the recording to a local radio station. As a result, there was great public interest in the singer.
Dawn of the King
In July 1954, Elvis’ first single appeared on the shelves, which received great commercial success. So a new manager came to the talented young man — Tom Parker, who later had a huge impact on the development of Presley’s career.
In the spring of 1956, the singer released his debut album. It was a real success. His popularity began to grow rapidly. 20-year-old Elvis was offered to star in a Hollywood movie.
In 1958, Elvis Presley received a summons to the US Army by mail. Presley did not try to avoid serving in the army: on the contrary, the young man was waiting for service. So that his fans would not forget him, Parker released new records and launched promotions with photos of the singer in an army uniform. After being demobilized, Presley began performing again.
“Priscilla is the love of my life”
While on tour in Germany, a friend of Elvis introduced him to 14-year—old Priscilla – and the singer instantly fell in love. The girl’s parents were very strict Catholics, so Elvis waited 4 years to marry Priscilla.
By the time of the long-awaited wedding, Presley was at the peak of popularity. A couple of days before the wedding, the singer sent an encrypted telegram to his closest friends with an invitation to the celebration. The event took place in Vegas. Dozens of reporters gathered in front of the hotel where the wedding took place — the news about the marriage of the famous ladies’ man became a real sensation.
Almost immediately after the wedding, Elvis began work on the film “Speedway”, and on July 12, he made an official announcement that his wife was pregnant with her first child.
From the outside, this marriage seemed perfect. But while his wife was pregnant, Elvis had an affair with Nancy Sinatra. After the birth of Lisa Marie Presley, the couple finally cooled down to each other, but they still lived together.
Priscilla forgave her husband’s adventures for a long time.
“I knew there could have been some affairs, but they were all insignificant,” she admitted in an interview.
And yet, the girl’s patience came to an end. In the fall of 1971, she informed her husband that she was filing for divorce. They divorced on October 9, 1973. The former spouses left the courtroom together, holding hands.
Beginning of the end
By the early 1970s, Presley’s popularity had declined. The musician himself did not want to put up with this. He tried to “revive” his career, recorded a new album and started touring again. At the same time, he developed an addiction to drugs.
Presley justified his attachment to sedatives by the fact that they were prescribed by qualified doctors. A busy schedule, a divorce from Priscilla led to the fact that it turned into an instinct: there was not a day when the musician would not take at least one pill.
Presley was heavily dependent on medications, and the singer’s body could not withstand such a load. This was supplemented by glaucoma of the left eye, discovered in March 1970, which later forced the singer to wear dark glasses, as well as stomach problems.
Concerts were canceled due to frequent ailments. In October 1973, Presley was admitted to the hospital for the first time, where he underwent long-term treatment, but even after that, the singer did not reduce the dosage, which is why he was hospitalized several more times.
This drug load affected Presley’s daily life: he developed suspicion, which later turned into paranoia: the rooms of his mansion were equipped with a communication system that allowed him to communicate with bodyguards around the clock. Security cameras were also installed on the estate.
In addition, the singer’s regime has completely changed. All his rooms in Graceland and in hotels were in semi-darkness. Presley usually went to bed in the morning and woke up in the afternoon.
Despite his health problems, Elvis Presley toured extensively. The last ray of glory came in January 1973, when his concert in Hawaii was broadcast in 36 countries.
Elvis has used the services of plastic surgeons more than once.
- As a child, Presley didn’t like his nose. In his opinion, the bridge of the nose was too wide. Elvis had a nose job in the late 1950s. After rhinoplasty, the shape of the nose changed, the bridge of the nose became thinner.
- Then he installed porcelain veneers on his teeth.
- In the mid-1970s, he performed blepharoplasty (eyelid lifting) and face lifting several times.
Cause of death
On the night of August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley returned to his estate with his new girlfriend Ginger Alden. The couple spent the whole night talking. Towards morning, Presley took a dose of sedative, and then took another dose, which turned out to be critical. After that, he spent some time reading books in the bathroom.
Alden woke up at 2 p.m. and was surprised not to notice Presley in bed. She went to the bathroom and was horrified. The lifeless body of the legendary musician lay on the cold floor. The girl immediately called an ambulance, but it was too late.
At four o’clock in the afternoon, the news spread around the world: the King of rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, has passed away. The official version says that the musician died as a result of a heart attack caused by an overdose of medications.
When his ex-wife got a call and was informed about it, she did not immediately believe it. But soon the musician’s death was confirmed.
“It was a real shock. I experienced it as hard as the rest of the world, only a million times sharper,” she said sadly.
The death of the musician was not immediately believed. A crowd of thousands of fans gathered near his Graceland estate, who did not believe that death had overtaken their idol.
Some still do not believe that Elvis Presley died then. There are many theories that in fact it was a pre-planned performance aimed at quietly hiding and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of star life.