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Elvis Presley : The Cultural Icon

1443 words - 6 pages

More than two decades after his death, Elvis Presley presence in our society is still felt as much as he is still alive. Even on the 25th anniversary of Elvis death, millions of people worldwide still pay tribute to their beloved "King of Rock and Roll". Known to the world only by his first name, Elvis is one of the most important figures in American twentieth century popular music. He almost single-handedly popularized rock and roll music by blending white country music with black rhythm and blues on an international level. Due to his enormous success during his career, his image and work are constantly reiterated in our lives through Elvis impersonators and remixes of his music by new and current artists. This led Elvis's work to transcend generational gap. In addition to that, his legacy indirectly had a huge and lasting effect for redefining our way of life from the way he dresses to the way he sings. Besides that, his talent, good looks, charisma and kindness has earned him the adoration of millions of fans. In short, Elvis Presley had a profound impact on western culture through his efforts in redefining rock and roll music and his strong determination to succeed that has inspired millions to follow.In Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in January 1935. Growing up in a middle class family, Elvis and his family were constantly moving in search of better living condition. When they settled in Memphis, it was one of Elvis's most important point in life because it gave him the opportunity to discover popular Southern music in the form of blues, country, bluegrass and gospel. After graduating from high school, he became a truck driver which is a far cry from his status and wealth today. Life in general was hard for him until one day he passed a recording studio called Sun Records that advertised producing a record for only 2 to 4 dollars a song. Elvis decided to give it a try and he recorded his first song "That's When Your Heartache Begins". Sam Philips, the owner of that studio, felt that there was something in Elvis that other singers at that time did not have after listening to Elvis record and decided to pursue further. "Heartbreak Hotel" was the first hit that earned Elvis recognition in the music industry. From then onwards, reaching the climax of his career was just around the corner for Presley. His fame is so worldwide that even when he was serving for his country in Europe, he helped popularized rock n roll there.Elvis Presley enormous success in the entertainment industry provided an inspiration for others to follow his path. According to "Elvis Information Network", his achievement includes selling an estimated of one billion record units worldwide. This made Elvis the best-selling artist in terms of record sales in the world. In addition to that, Elvis had at least 149 singles appear on the Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Chart in America. Of these figure, 114 singles made it into the top forty, 40...

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