Elvis Presley, the King
Elvis Presley and the actress Vera Tschechowa at the Eve Bar in Munich (detail), Benno Wundshammer(C) BPK, Berlin, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais
It was on 16 August 1977 that the world of rock and roll learned that the King had died aged just 42. Born Elvis Aaron Presley, he revolutionised his era, as much through his choice of attire and the freedom from restrictions that would follow as through his music.
From his first public appearances in 1954, he attracted fans both for his new and provocative performance style and his sensual voice. He helped to popularise rock and roll and provided inspiration to a new generation of musicians.
He quickly became a film star in 1956 with performances that were primarily based around his songs and swaying hips.
Elvis Presley in the film "Jailhouse Rock", United States, 1957, (C) BPK, Berlin, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais
During his Hollywood period, the musical landscape changed considerably and the English rock and pop of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones brought new developments in rock and roll, which Elvis had first popularised.
A youth icon from his earliest years and a record breaking recording artist
He was one of the first stars to be broadcast live worldwide to an global audience that still remains unequalled. Although he sold over 700 million records during his career, his success continued long after his death, and forty years since, not a day passes without his hits being played.
Posters of Elvis Presley on floral wallpaper, Günter Zint, (C) BPK, Berlin, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais