Remembering Elvis Presley on the anniversary of his death

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.

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Elvis through the years
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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)
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.
1967 And the Years That Followed
Elvis Presley | January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977
'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)
Fair Exhibit Youth Talent
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)
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)
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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.

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