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All hail the King of Rock and Roll

January 8, 1935 is a day of special importance in the music world. On this day, the King of Rock and Roll was born.

Elvis Presley, or simply Elvis, is a cultural icon and one of the world's greatest music legends. He has sold more than a billion records. His music was the start of everything we listen to today. Even the outstanding John Lennon once said, "Before Elvis, there was nothing." 

Not only was Elvis a brilliant performer; he was also an exceptionally kind person. He dedicated his life to pleasing people. On several occasions, he was known to just give people cars for no reason than to be a good person. 

Elvis began his life in a small house in Tupelo, Miss. When he was 13, his family moved to Memphis, where his fame would begin.

In 1954, only six years after the move, Elvis signed a deal with Sun Records, accompanied by guitarist Scott Moore and bassist Bill Black. These three men were among the original performers of rockabilly and helped popularize the sound, which is an up-tempo, backbeat fusion of country and rock.

In 1955, RCA Records signed Elvis and managed him for two years. During this time, Elvis' hit song "Heartbreak Hotel" and his self-titled first album were released. He became famous as a singer of the newly popular rock and roll sound. 

He also had a series of television appearances in that time, including his famous performances on "The Ed Sullivan Show," as well as a number of chart-topping hits. In November 1956, he made his film debut in "Love Me Tender." 

In 1958, Elvis was drafted by the Army and sent to Germany. There, he met his future wife, Priscilla Beaulieu, on Sept. 13, 1959, during a party held at his home.

After returning from the military, Elvis focused on movies for several years, starring in "G.I. Blues," "Blue Hawaii," "Viva Las Vegas" and many more. On May 1, 1967, nearly eight years after they met, Elvis and Priscilla married at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. Their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, was born on Feb. 1, 1968.

Later in 1968, Elvis returned to the stage in a concert that has become known as his '68 Comeback Special. His career skyrocketed once again, and on Jan. 14, 1973, his concert, "Aloha From Hawaii," was broadcast live around the world. About 1.5 billion people worldwide watched it. No other artist -- then or now -- could command such a huge audience. It is still the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in TV history.

As his fame extended, Elvis found himself away from home a lot, causing a strain on his marriage. On Feb. 23, 1972, he and Priscilla separated, and on Oct. 9, 1973, their divorce was finalized.

The two stayed close, though, and on several occasions, Priscilla was known to teach Elvis' girlfriends how to take care of him. Many people believe that when Elvis lost Priscilla, he lost himself and this brought about his demise. On Aug. 16, 1977, Elvis died suddenly due to prescription drug abuse. He was 42.

Elvis will forever go down in history as The King. He created the foundation of modern music and is one of the most exceptional people ever to live. He was more than a man; he was a god among men.

Elvis was a true genius. He's the only musician who is a member of the Rock and Roll, Country and Gospel halls of fame. In 2000, TV Guide Magazine deemed him Entertainer of the Century. This shows how remarkable of a star he truly was.

It is impossible to describe how unique and how beautiful a person Elvis was, but it is possible to celebrate his legend.


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