Elvis Presley — one of the biggest, most celebrated icons of the music world — died on August 16, 1977.
He had everything: Talent, charisma and looks to spare. Even looking back at the earliest performances of his career will make you feel all tingly. Some people just have that magical “It” factor, and Elvis certainly had that, too.
“The King” remains one of the best-selling artists in music history selling about 400 million records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), 139 million of those records were sold in the United States. The only other artists to out-sell him in the United States are Garth Brook and The Beatles, who’ve sold 157 million and 183 million records, respectively.
The influence of Elvis is an incredible ripple effect. Notably, he was a massive influence on The Beatles. Paul McCartney is notably quoted saying, “When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted to be was Elvis Presley.” John Lennon concurred and was quoted saying, “Nothing affected me until I heard Elvis. Without Elvis, there would be no Beatles.”
Even contemporaries recognized the magic of Elvis. Little Richard once said, “Elvis was God-given, there’s no other explanation. A Messiah comes around every few thousand years, and Elvis was it this time.”
To celebrate his life and career, check out the videos below. Long live “The King.”