Rock Singer, Actor. His career reached such acclaim that he is now universally known as "The King of Rock and Roll". Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, he and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1948. Graduating from Humes High School in 1953, in 1954, he began his singing career with the Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor, and he went to Nashville, Tennessee to record his first records for the company. On January 28, 1956, he made his television debut on the Dorsey brothers' "Stage Show". In March of that year he came under the management of "Colonel" Tom Parker, whose contract would last the rest of Presley's lifetime and beyond. In 1956 he released the singles "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes," "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," "Hound Dog," "Love Me Tender", all of which reached gold record status (selling over 1,000,000 copies). In August of that year he began filming his first movie "Love Me Tender." He got the nickname Elvis the Pelvis, from his performance on Milton Berle's "Texaco Star Theatre", which worried the family minded Ed Sullivan. By his third performance, Sullivan decided to "crop" Elvis. Thus, the now famous "from the waist up only" appearance on the Sullivan show. In March 1957 he purchased Graceland. On March 24, 1958 he entered the Army. A few months later he went on leave to be with his sick mother. Gladys Presley died the day after he arrived home in Memphis. He would call her death the greatest tragedy in his life. In January 1960 he was promoted to sergeant and was discharged that March. On May 1, 1967, he married Priscilla Beaulieu, daughter of an Army officer that he had met while in Germany. They were divorced in 1973. They had one daughter, Lisa Marie. During his career he had 94 gold singles, three gold EPs, and over 40 gold albums. His 33 movies grossed over $180 million and millions more were made by the merchandising of Elvis products. Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist. Elvis died at Graceland. His death was attributed to congestive heart failure. Later it was determined that drug abuse may have been a contributing factor. He was an international sensation. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture.
Bio by: Jane Stacy Eubanks