Remembering Elvis Presley on the anniversary of his death

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Elvis Presley's Graceland Heads to Las Vegas

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.

Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley moved to Memphis, Tennessee with his family when he was 13 years old. In 1954, his music career took off when he recorded a song with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Presley worked with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, to popularize the rockabilly genre of music -- an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of R&B and country music.

Presley's first single "Heartbreak Hotel" was released in January of 1956 on RCA and became a No.1 hit in the United States. After a series of successful TV appearances and chart-topping records, he became widely regarded as the leading figure of rock and roll.

His music and persona as an artist made him enormously popular and eventually controversial -- pushing boundaries on the horizon of the Civil Rights Movement. His sexually provocative performance style and energized interpretations raised a lot of eyebrows amongst early adapters of popular music.

Elvis through the years
See Gallery
Remembering Elvis Presley on the anniversary of his death
HAWAII - MARCH 1977: Rock and roll singer Elvis Presley with his girlfriend Ginger Alden in March of 1977 in Hawaii. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
ELVIS PRESLEY WEDDING: ... to Priscilla Beaulieu, in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 01, 1967. (AP-Photo)
The King would have been 80 years old on Friday. January 7th marks what would have been Elvis Presley 's 80th birthday. To commemorate the event, Legacy Recordings have planned a yearlong celebration of Presley's music for modern-day Elvis fans. First up, the singer's The Complete '60s Albums Collection Volumbe One has been released onto iTunes. The set highlights all the LPs Presley recorded between 1960 and 1965 with newly mastered sound for the digital medium.
Rock'n'Roll-Saenger Elvis Presley auf einem undatierten Bild vor dem Schild seines Battaillons in Friedberg, wo er 18 Monate - von 1958 bis 1960 - als Soldat stationiert war. Am 21. November 2004 wird im 'Haus der Geschichte' in Bonn eine Ausstellung "Elvis in Deutschland" eroeffnet. (AP Photo)
Lisa Marie Presley poses for her first picture, safe in the lap of her mother, Priscilla, on February 5, 1968, while proud father, Elvis Presley, beams his approval. The baby is the first child for Elvis and his wife, the former Priscilla Beaulieu. (AP Photo/Perry Aycock)
1967 And the Years That Followed
Elvis Presley during winter shield exercise in Bavaria. (03/01/1960)(AP Photo)
Singer Elvis Presley gestures during a press conference inside his private railroad car at Los Angeles Union Station, California, United States as he arrived on April 20, 1960 to make a movie. (AP Photo/HPM)
Elvis Presley and actress Ann-Margret shown in a publicity photo for the 1964 film, "Viva Las Vegas". (AP Photo)
South African dancer and actress Juliet Prowse has been in America only 18 months, but already she’s beguiled both Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Here she plays opposite Presley in “G.I. Blues” in Hollywood, Los Angeles on July 6, 1960. Scenes like this have developed into dates, which Juliet successfully has managed to juggle between dates with Sinatra. (AP Photo)
Elvis Presley | January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977
Elvis Presley pereparing his hair for forthcoming entry into the Army. (1956) (AP Photo)
Elvis Presley shown as a Hollywood star kidnapped in the Middle East in the 1965 film, "Harem Scarem". (AP Photo)
'MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION' An Elvis Presley signed photograph, estimated between $100 and $1500, is displayed during a press preview at auction house Bonham's in Hollywood, California, on November 15, 2012, where Charlie Chaplin's iconic bowler hat and cane are to go under the hammer in this weekend as part of an auction which also includes the John Lennon nude drawing of himself and Yoko Ono, part of the Lennon lot estomated between $18,000 and $22,000 , among memorabilia from other artists. The hat and cane trademark of Chaplin's Little Tramp character are in 'remarkable condition' and are estimated to go for between $40,000 and $60,000 at the sale by auction house Bonhams on Sunday November 18. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION == (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
To GO WITH AFP STORY by Natalie Huet, USA-auction-people-curious Singer Elvis Presley's I.D. bracelet, given to the American rock star in 1963, is on display on September 24, 2010 in New York. The bracelet, a 14k gold band with the name 'Elvis' spelled out in 48 diamonds, was worn daily by Presley before he gave it to his future fiancée, Ginger Alden in 1976, reportedly telling her 'Now everyone will know you belong to me.' The bracelet, estimated at nearly 500,000 USD, will be on sale at Guernsey's Iconic Auction, September 24, 2010 in New York, an auction featuring a wide-ranging collection of items related to historical events and celebrities. AFP PHOTO/NATALIE HUET (Photo credit should read Natalie Huet/AFP/Getty Images)
Elvis Presley poses with wife Priscilla and daughter Lisa Marie, in a room at Baptist hospital in Memphis, Tenn., February 05, 1968. (AP Photo)
Elvis and Priscilla Presley cut their wedding cake after exchanging nuptials in the Aladdin Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas in this 1967 photo. (AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau)
Fair Exhibit Youth Talent
Elvis Presley, right, and Horace Logan, left, pose with disc jockey Ed Hamilton backstage at the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, La., in an undated photo. In October 1954 Logan introduced the teen-age Elvis Presley to America by saying "Ladies and gentlemen, you've never heard of this young man before, but one day you'll be able to tell your children and grandchildren you heard musical history made tonight." (AP Photo/Louisiana Hayride)
Elvis Presley is shown performing in this undated photo at an unknown location. (AP Photo)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 21: An autographed pair of Elvis Presley's original blue suede shoes and a photo of him autographing them on auction at Gotta Have It! store on March 21, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
A 45 rpm record of, "I forgot to remember to forget," is one of the items in a new "60 years of Elvis" exhibit sits inside an annex at Graceland on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. The exhibit features jump suits worn by Presley, an organ played in his California home, a copy of the original “That’s All Right” record and other miscellaneous Elvis items. (AP Photo/Lance Murphey)
Tim Greeway/Staff Photographer: the watch that was owned by Elvis Presley is on sale at Windham Jewelry in Windham on August 11, 2011. (Photo by Tim Greenway/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Army photographs of Elvis Presley are seen during the preview day of the 'Icons and Idols' and 'property from the life and career of Johnny Cash' auctions at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California on November 19. 2010. The auctions will be held in Beverly Hills next December 3 and 4. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
An Elvis Presley red velour pullover is seen during the preview day of the 'Icons and Idols' and 'property from the life and career of Johnny Cash' auctions at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California on November 19. 2010. The auctions will be held in Beverly Hills next December 3 and 4. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Elvis Presley items are seen during the preview day of the 'Icons and Idols' and 'property from the life and career of Johnny Cash' auctions at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California on November 19. 2010. The auctions will be held in Beverly Hills next December 3 and 4. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Dan Hahn, of Scarsdale, N.Y., listens to the music of Elvis Presley, as Presley's last guitar he played live in concert, far right, is now on display now at the Musical Instrument Museum Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011, in Phoenix. The 1975 Martin D-28 acoustic guitar is the one Elvis played during his 1977 tours, including his last concert on June 26, 1977, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Singer Elvis Presley in an undated photo. (AP Photo)
The grave of Elvis Presley at Graceland, Presley's home in Memphis, Tenn., is seen on Friday, Jan. 8, 2010, Presley's 75th birthday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
A new exhibit is going up at Masur Museum in Monroe, La., that features photographs of a young Elvis Presley on the stage of the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, La. The show focuses on 40 black and white photographs taken by Shreveport photojournalists Jack Barham and Langston McEachern, most depicting Elvis in his final performance in Shreveport on Dec. 15, 1956. (AP Photo,file)
Nancy Anderson, 89, a former reporter and West Coast editor of Photoplay magazine, looks through an old issue featuring Elvis Presley on the cover at her home in Bell Buckle, Tenn., Jan. 5, 2008. Anderson's first interview with Presley led to a friendship that lasted until his death in 1977 and continues today with the family of the late singer. Presley would have turned 73 on Tuesday, Jan. 8.(AP Photo/Jeff Adkins)
Displayed on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2006, in Beverly Hills, Calif., are two original ticket stubs to the Ed Sullivan show when Elvis Presley appeared in 1956. The stubs are with the original ticket folder. They're expected to auction for $25,000. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
FILE - This 1964 file photo originally released by MGM shows Elvis Presley. Television and radio personality Wink Martindale and Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former President George W. Bush, attended the annual birthday party at Presley's longtime Memphis home on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. The event featured a cake cutting and the singing of "Happy Birthday" by 16-year-old Canadian David Thibault. Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss., on Jan. 8, 1935, and moved to Memphis with his parents at age 13. He was 42 when he died Aug. 16, 1977. (AP Photo/MGM, File)
Elvis Presley is seen as a honky-tonk performer on the midway in this photo from the 1964 MGM film "Roustabout". (AP Photo)
The file photo from January 21, 1960 shows Elvis Presley in a US Army uniform during his military service in Bad Nauheim, Germany. (AP Photo) ---- Unser Archivfoto vom 21. Jan. 1960 zeigt Elvis Presley in Bad Nauheim, wo er als Soldat der USA-Armee stationiert war. (AP Photo)
This is a publicity photo from the 1960 film "G.I. Blues", starring Elvis Presley as a guitar playing tank gunner with the American Army in West Germany. (AP Photo)
Elvis Presley, a camera enthusiast, finds a favorite subject in his newest leading lady, Judy Tyler, on the set of MGM's "Jailhouse Rock", July 8, 1957. Whenever he wasn't in a scene, Elvis grabbed his camera to shoot his fellow players and the activity on the movie set. (AP Photo)
A publicity photo from the 1957 film, "Jailhouse Rock", in which Elvis Presley plays a convict who becomes a rock star. (AP Photo)
Elvis Presley is seen relaxing in 1958. (AP Photo)
Elvis Presley and Rudy Vallee, each a singing legend of his era, meet for the first time in this Hollywood photo as they report for work in a new movie, "Live a Little, Love a Little", May 13, 1968. (AP Photo)
Elvis Presley, left, appears in a scene from the movie, "Kid Galahad". (AP Photo)
Elvis Presley displays his Sergeants stripes in his home in Bad Nauheim, Germany, on Jan. 21, 1960. He was promoted to acting sergeant and squad leader in the 3rd armoured divisions 32nd armour scout platoon yesterday. His promotion doesnt mean a raise in pay. It is only temporary. As acting Sergeant Presley now commands a three-man reconnaisance team of his own. The singers service time is up in March. (AP Photo/Lindlar)
Elvis Presley performs in 1971 at an unknown location. (AP Photo)

Presley became on the most influential (and eventually celebrated) musicians of the 20th century. He was wildly successful across multi-genre formats including pop, R&B, country, blues, and gospel. To this day, he is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music with an estimated 600 million records sold worldwide. He has also won three Grammys and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

After several years of prescription drug abuse, Elvis Presley died in 1977. He was 42 years old.

More from
Ed Sheeran getting honorary degree for 'Outstanding Contribution to Music'
10 times Kelly Clarkson covered a song better than the original artist
Remembering Woodstock: Peace, love and music
Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL and get the top celebrity, movies, music and TV news delivered to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners