I submit that Elvis Aaron Presley is the most famous and recognized entertainment figure in the history of the world. More than The Beatles and Michael Jackson.
What are your thoughts?
Either way, Elvis was huge, and remains such.
Today, August 16, 2010, marks the thirty-third anniversary of his untimely passing at his home in Memphis: Graceland.
From Elvis’ official website,
It is estimated that Elvis Presley has sold over one billion record units worldwide, more than anyone in record industry history. In America alone, Elvis has had 150 different albums and singles that have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with more certifications expected as research into his past record sales continues and as current sales go on. Research is also underway to document his record sales achievements in other countries. It is estimated that 40% of Elvis’ total record sales have been outside the United States.
To learn more about Elvis’ record sales, jump to this page from his site.
There was something so extremely special, so “it” factor about this guy, that it really is somewhat ridiculous when you start comparing him to others. Unfortunately, his name has been drug through the mud far too oft via well-intentioned, but horrendously executed, impersonations, life rumors and wedding chapels.
Elvis’ family moved from Tupelo to Memphis in 1948, putting him in proximity to Sam Phillips and Sun Records.
Presley was at the right place at the right time, but consider the cumulative history of early 1950s United States. Think about that World War that had ended not too many years prior, the racial situation, the state of music, and television was still very new.
The U.S. was at an enormous turning point, as was most of the world.
Then comes along this guy named Elvis.
Not alone, but he did set the bar. Actually, he established the canon of Rock and Roll.
Elvis Presley changed the world.
I leave you with video of The King performing Kris Kristofferson’s classic, “For The Good Times,” on April 9, 1972 in Hampton Roads, Virginia.