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Musician and actor Elvis Presley endured rapid fame in the mid-1950s—on the radio, TV and the silver screen—and continues to be one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll.
Elvis' former girlfriend talks about how she tricked the shy young man into getting a date.
A short biography of Elvis Presley, whose new sound, sexually evocative dance moves, and abandon on stage catapulted his fame in the 1950s, starting with "Heartbreak Hotel."
Jerry Lee Lewis describes recording with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash at Sun Studios.
After a stint as an actor, Ed Sullivan started to appear on television and host the "Ed Sullivan Show."
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Musician and actor Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. From very humble beginnings, Presley grew up to become one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll. By the mid-1950s, he appeared on the radio, television and the silver screen. On August 16, 1977, at age 42, he died of heart failure, which was related to his drug addiction. Since his death, Presley has remained one of the world's most popular music icons.
"After a hard day of basic training, you could eat a rattlesnake."
"Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine."
Musician and actor Elvis Aron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. (He later changed the spelling of his middle name to the biblical form of Aaron.) Presley was supposed to be a twin, but his brother, Jesse Garon (sometimes spelled Jessie) was stillborn. From very humble beginnings, Elvis Presley grew up to become one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll.
Raised by loving, working-class parents, Presley's family had little money, and they moved from place to place frequently. He was deeply devoted to his parents, especially his mother, Gladys, and was raised to have a strong faith in God. Presley attended the Assembly of God Church with his parents, where gospel music became an important influence for him.
Presley got his first guitar at the age of 10, and soon after, had his first taste of musical success when he won a talent show at Humes High School in Memphis. After graduating in 1953, he worked a number of jobs while pursuing his musical dream. He cut his first demo record at what later became known as Sun Studio that year, and before long, Sam Phillips, the record label owner, decided to take the young performer under his wing. Presley soon began touring and recording, trying to catch his first big break. "That's All Right" was Presley's first single in 1954.
In 1955, Presley began to develop a following with fans being drawn to his unusual musical style, provocative gyrating hips and good looks. That same year, he signed with RCA Records, a deal worked out by his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Presley was on a roll, scoring his first No. 1 single with "Heartbreak Hotel," as well as his first No. 1 album, Elvis Presley, and signing a movie contract with Paramount Pictures—all in 1956. Despite the uproar that his sexy dance moves caused, he also became a popular guest on a number of television variety shows.
Soon, Presley was everywhere—on the radio, television and the silver screen—working as a musician and actor. His first film, Love Me Tender (1956), was a box office hit. Even a stint in the U.S. military couldn't put a damper on Presley's thriving career. He received his draft notice in 1957, and was inducted into the Army the following March. He eventually served in Germany for about a year and a half. Shortly before Presley left for Europe, his beloved mother, Gladys, died. He was granted a leave and returned to Memphis for the funeral. Deeply saddened by her death, Presley returned to duty. While in Germany, his spirits were lifted slightly when he met a young teenager named Priscilla Beaulieu.
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Elvis Presley met Priscilla Beaulieu when she was just 14 years old. He was 10 years older, and already a rock 'n' roll superstar. The two married in 1967 after a nearly eight-year courtship. The King of Rock was known to carry on affairs with women, including his Hollywood co-stars. In 1968 Priscilla gave birth to their only child, Lisa Marie. By 1973 Elvis' drug dependency and infidelity led to the couple's divorce. The only marriage Elvis ever entered, the story of Elvis and Priscilla continues to fascinate the public long after Elvis' death in 1977.
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Hollywood stars often get flack for their extravagant lifestyles, and sometimes they seem to be far removed from the rest of us. Not so for all celebrities, though—a surprising number of stars have taken on the big responsibility of serving in the United States Armed Forces. We know them as actors, athletes, musicians, and comedians, but these brave individuals have actually put their lives on the line for their country. Here's a look at celebrity enlistees.
Celebrity Enlistees 84 people in this group