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 Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Elvis Presley: Life and times
Elvis Presley (Pic: EPE)
Elvis Presley is known as the king of rock and roll
BBC News Online takes a look at key events in the life of Elvis Presley, who died 25 years ago on 16 August.

  • 1935

    Elvis Aaron Presley is born on 8 January in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi. His older twin brother, Garon, is stillborn.

    Presley's early years are spent in poverty, with his mother Gladys working as a cotton picker and his father Vernon drifting from one job to another.

  • 1947

    Gladys Presley buys 12-year-old Elvis his first guitar.

  • 1955

    Presley makes his TV debut on 5 March on the regional show Louisiana Hayride, filmed in Shreveport, Louisiana.

    Elvis Presley (Pic: EPE)
    He has had 18 UK number ones

  • 1956

    The singer tops the charts for the first time with Heartbreak Hotel, going on to sell 14 million records in the same year. He also stars in Love Me Tender, the first of his 31 films.

  • 1957

    He buys the famous Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, which currently receives around 650,000 visitors per year. Presley's grave is in the garden.

  • 1958

    Presley is drafted into the army for two years and is shipped to Bad Neuheim in Germany. He reaches the rank of sergeant.

  • 1959

    The King meets 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu, the daughter of an Air Force officer. She will later become his wife.

  • 1961

    Presley plays a concert that raises around 20,000 towards the building of the USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. The memorial opened in 1962.

    Elvis starred in Viva Las Vegas with Ann-Margret
    Presley starred in Viva Las Vegas with Ann-Margret

  • 1964

    Viva Las Vegas, widely regarded as one of his best films, is released.

  • 1967

    Presley marries Priscilla Beaulieu. They divorce five years later.

  • 1968

    The couple's daughter, Lisa Marie, is born on 1 February. Meanwhile Presley attempts to revive record sales with a TV special which focuses on his "Las Vegas comeback". It goes on to become the top-rated US show of the year.

  • 1970

    Despite battling an addiction to prescription drugs, Presley becomes a Federal Narcotics Bureau agent after persuading President Nixon to make the appointment.

    He collects his badge at the White House - reportedly while under the influence of amphetamines.

  • 1975

    Presley wins the third and final Grammy of his career for the live album How Great Thou Art. He has been shortlisted for 14 Grammys, including one posthumous nomination.

    Elvis performing in his later life (Pic: EPE)
    His last years were characterised by his rhinestone jumpsuits

  • 1977

    Elvis Presley dies on 16 August of heart failure, aged 42. His autopsy detects 10 different drugs in his bloodstream. His single Way Down tops the US country music charts in the week of his death.

  • 1979

    Elvis: The Movie, starring Kurt Russell as The King, is released.

  • 1982

    Graceland opens its doors to the public for the first time.

  • 1998

    Presley becomes the first person to headline a concert posthumously when his image is projected on to a screen at Wembley Arena while musicians played on the stage.

  • 2002

    The remix of A Little Less Conversation by Dutch DJ JXL tops the singles chart for four weeks, giving Presley his 18th UK number one and putting him ahead of The Beatles as the artist with the most chart-toppers in the UK.

  • Features




    The Elvis years

    The Elvis years

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