Legacy of Elvis Presley

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Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935- August 16, 1977) was one of the most popular musicians of all time. He revolutionized the rock n' roll scene, and though he did not invent the genre, he made it what it was. Many musicians such as Bob Seger, The Beatles, and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin say Presley was an influence on their careers.

Presley brought the music of the streets of Memphis to a much larger audience.

Awards and Honors[edit]

In 1986 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1998 the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 2001 the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In 2007 Elvis Presley was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. He also was nominated for fourteen Grammys, winning three for his gospel hits "How Great Thou Art", "He Touched Me", and a 1974 live version of "How Great Thou Art".

Elvis Presley Enterprises[edit]

Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) originally founded by former manager Neal in 1954, created Graceland as a tourist attraction, secured copyrights for Presley's image and intellectual property. They have become the official organization to sell Presley merchandise. Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley are involved with and solely owned the company, until CKX Inc. acquired an 85% stake with Lisa Marie with a 15% stake.


Graceland is the former residence of Presley and is where he is buried, after being moved from Forest Hill Cemetery at 1661 Elvis Presley Blvd due to an unsuccessful break-in by grave robbers. It is a large white-columned mansion located on 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis about nine miles away from Downtown Memphis and less than four miles north of the Mississippi border. The Elvis Presley estate earns over $40 million and draws over 600,000 tourists yearly, a record for a deceased entertainer. Graceland Mansion, his home while alive, and his burial place, is designated as a National Historic Landmark. Graceland garners many tourists, and is second only to the White House in number of tourists visiting a private residence. Tourists are invited to see much of the house and the meditation garden where the family is buried, but the upstairs is reserved for Presley's family.

After Presley died, his father Vernon was responsible for the house. When he died in 1979, Priscilla took over. A CEO, Jack Soden, was responsible for making Graceland a moneymaker, since Priscilla could not afford the upkeep of the house, which was over $500,000 a year.

"A Little Less Conversation"[edit]

In 2002, 25 years after Presley's death, a remix of the single "A Little Less Conversation" was released by Dutch musician JXL. The song became a posthumous #1 hit for Presley, and appeared in a 2002 Nike World Cup ad. It topped the charts in six European countries, including Great Britain.

International fan base[edit]

Presley has many fans across the world, and fan clubs active in countries such as Australia and Turkey. Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (who shares a January 8 birthday with Presley) is a fan and visited Graceland with then-President George W. Bush and he sang "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You".

Elvis Impersonators[edit]

Presley's legacy is such that many entertainers have made careers emulating him in voice, looks, or both. They are called Elvis Tribute Artists, or informally as Elvis impersonators. Professional Elvis impersonators highlight in Las Vegas and other areas across the United States and around the world.

Elvis impersonators are in great demand due to the iconic status of Presley, and many of these tribute acts exist. The first recorded Elvis impersonator was Jim Smith in 1956, shortly after Presley began to rise in popularity. Smith looked like and imitated Presley, but was just pretending since he could neither sing nor play the guitar. The first influential Elvis impersonator was Phil Ochs in 1970. Andy Kaufman was a significant Elvis impersonator in the mid 1970s and Presley himself said Kaufman was his favorite. While Presley was alive, impersonators largely competed in talent shows. It was after Presley's death the art grew into the industry it is today. Elvis impersonators range from professional performers to people who do it as a hobby to people who do it as part of a comedy act. There is also an Elvis Tribute Artist contest sponsored by Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Sirius XM Elvis Radio[edit]

With the launch of satellite radio, a channel dedicated entirely to the works of Elvis Presley was created. The 24 hour station plays his studio recordings, live performances, lost and rare studio sessions and interviews with many of Presley's former friends, acquaintances and band mates. The station is located in Memphis across the Graceland estate. The Elvis Quiz Show is periodically hosted on the network, where fans can answer questions about Presley and his work to earn prizes.

Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel[edit]

In Memphis, Heartbreak Hotel, named after Presley's hit single, is a popular place for guests to stay.

Elvis is Alive conspiracies[edit]

Immediately after his death, people have speculated that Presley faked his death. National Enquirer published an article claiming the photo of Presley in his casket was actually taken of a double of his body. A claim to justify this belief is that Presley faked his death being tired of fame. There have also been claims of people seeing Presley, but these were most likely Elvis impersonators. While these claims are pure speculation and do not have validity, they are prominent in American popular culture. Although there is very little probability of Presley still being alive, it would not be an impossibility; Presley would be age 77 as of January 2012.