Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977; middle name sometimes spelled Aron) was an American singer and actor. A cultural icon, he is commonly known simply as Elvis and is also sometimes referred to as The King of Rock 'n' Roll or The King.
Presley began his career in 1954 as one of the first performers of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing "black" and "white" sounds, made him popular—and controversial—as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. Presley had a versatile voice and he had unusually wide success encompassing many genres, including rock and roll, gospel, blues, country, ballads and pop. To date, he has been inducted into four music halls of fame.
In the 1960s, Presley made the majority of his 31 movies, most of which were poorly reviewed but financially successful musicals. In 1968, he returned to live performances in a television special, which led to a string of successful tours across the U.S., notably in Las Vegas, for the remainder of his career. In 1973, Presley staged the first global live concert via satellite (Aloha from Hawaii), reaching at least one billion viewers live and an additional 500 million on delay.
Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales. He is one of the best-selling solo artists in the history of music, selling over one billion records worldwide, and he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture. Among his many awards and accolades are 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which he received at age 36 and being named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States Jaycees.
Health problems, prescription drug dependence, and other factors led to his death at age 42.