Elvis Presley was the “King of Rock and Roll,” a truly unique American icon.
Tuesday, Jan. 8 would have been Presley’s 84th birthday. While conspiracy theories have arisen since Presley’s untimely death during the summer of 1977 at the age of 42, those rumors simply serve as a way for many die-hard Elvis fans to fill the gap that the King left in all of our hearts. (RELATED: Elvis Presley’s First Hit Was Recorded Back In 1954)
The Mississippi native turned into a Memphis icon in the mid-1950s with his debut single “Heartbreak Hotel.” His southern charm and good looks quickly turned him into America’s heartthrob.
He also had his finger on the pulse of many cultural issues, standing up for the civil rights’ of African Americans in the Jim Crow south, while reaching out to President Richard Nixon to fight the drug epidemic that ultimately claimed Elvis’ own life. (RELATED: How Elvis And Kanye’s White House Visits Influenced Pop Culture And The Nation)
Elvis also served in the military during the early stages of the Vietnam War as a private in the U.S. Army after being selected in the draft. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump in 2018.
Elvis was not perfect. He faced many hardships throughout his short life, from divorces to drug addictions. He also became discernibly overweight near the end of his time.
In many ways, the triumph and tragedy of Elvis’ life represented the tumultuous time period America was facing throughout the ’60s and ’70s.
The King was truly one of a kind. His cultural impact transcended his music.
They’ll never be another like him.