How Famous Was Elvis Presley?

By Tiara

Many people know who Elvis is, but few realize how famous he was. He was arguably one of the most influential artists in music history as well as having major lasting effects on other musicians. His influence can be seen in everyone from Adele to Taylor Swift!

He was born Robert Alexander “Elvis” Presley in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8th, 1935. At just three years old he began performing for family members and friends at church events and parties.

By his teens, he had made several appearances on local radio stations where he sang songs and performed musical numbers. It wasn’t long before he was singing professionally and receiving national exposure.

His first big break came when he was hired by RCA Records. There he recorded some unsuccessful singles that failed to make an impact on the market. But it didn’t take long for him to switch labels; Mercury Records gave him their chance with what would become his biggest hit ever.

That song? Of Course You Know What To Do!. More than 50 million copies have been sold worldwide making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. He went on to record over 1,000 songs and amassed six gold albums and ten platinum or higher albums and 35 number ones across various genres.

Sadly, Elvis wouldn’t live to see his 40th birthday due to health complications related to his drug use and weight issues.

First movie

how famous was elvis presley

As we discussed earlier, Elvis made his television debut in 1956 on The Steve Allen Show. He was paired with another famous singer at that time, Vic Damone, for this show’s finale which involved both performing their songs.

Elvis received much praise from fans and media members who considered him to be very talented and professional while also mentioning how handsome he was. After doing some radio work, he was asked by Paramount Pictures if he would like to test as an actor.

He accepted and later that year made his feature film acting debut in For Love or Money, a comedy about two ex-lovers competing against each other for the affections of someone else.

While not many people consider it one of his best films, it did do well financially, making over $7 million. This gave him the opportunity to pursue more dramatic roles and he never looked back!

His next feature film was Jail Bait, a crime drama that focused mostly on his character’s struggle to find love. While it wasn’t necessarily popular, it received several award nominations including Best Actor for Elvis.

After filming finished, he decided to take a break before pursuing more significant projects. But he didn’t stay away for long!

In fact, less than a year after finishing Jail Bait, he returned with what is arguably his most recognizable role to date: Colonel Tom Parker.

First sold out concert

how famous was elvis presley

On September 15, 1952, just over one year after his first big break as an singer with Jay Geat’s Orchestra, Elvis performed for only 500 people at Washington High School in Indianapolis. He sang two songs: “That’ll Be The Day!” and his own composition, “Heart Break.”

He was paid $175 for the show — not too shabby for someone who would go on to become America’s most famous musician.

Elvis wouldn’t get much bigger than that though. It took him nearly eight years before he recorded his first hit song (and it wasn’t even his idea). But once he did, he never looked back.

By the time of his death 40 years later, he had racked up more than 150 top-20 singles, 27 number ones including three consecutive, and five Grammy Awards. His best-selling albums include 35 No. 1 titles and six multi-platinum or gold records.

All this makes Elvis the most successful music artist ever. But what made him so popular? What qualities helped make him one of the biggest stars in the history of music?

This article will look into those questions and others like them by breaking down how influential Elvis was as a person and as a performer. Then we will talk about some of his lesser known quirks as well as stories related to his personal life.

First sold out TV show

how famous was elvis presley

Many people know who Elvio Albert King Jr., better known as his stage name was, but few know how popular he became. In fact, many don’t realize just how famous Elvis was! He is arguably one of the most recognizable celebrities in the history of humanity.

He made his big break into music at the age of 19 when he performed for less than two minutes on The Johnny Carson Show. Since then, he has recorded over 15 studio albums, eight live album/DVDs, and almost 50 singles.

Not only did he win three Grammy Awards, he also won seven American Music Award trophies and an MTV Video Music Award. His songs have been featured in several major motion pictures including Love Me Tender, Viva Las Vegas, A Star Is Born, and more.

His best-selling records include 25 number ones and six RIAA certified diamond records which means it spent over $10 million to sell enough copies.

First sold out tour

how famous was elvis presley

When Elvis first performed these songs in concert, he was not very well known. He had just finished his second studio album with RCA Records when he left to pursue a music career as a national phenomenon. His debut headlining show took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 30, 1956.

He performed eight tracks off of his self-titled LP including two that would go on to be among his most famous hits: “Heart Break” and “Hound Dog.”

Elvis would return to the songwriting process once again after this initial success but it wouldn’t take him too long before leaving behind any pretenses of being an up-and-coming artist. He would spend the next few years developing his craft while also creating one of the greatest legacies in American music history.

His popularity continued to climb even more quickly than ever before following his performance at Madison Square Garden. By 1957, he had recorded his first number one hit in America and went on to have what is still considered by many to be The Greatest Year In Music History.

So who was Elvis Presley? What made him so popular that he could fill large arenas all across North America for extended periods of time? And how did he manage to stay busy during those years?

This article will try to give you some insight into the mind of the man in the red suit.

Most expensive movie costume

In his career, he wore several costumes to the big screen that are now considered iconic representations of his persona and legacy. One such outfit is what we refer to as his “Glamour” suit. This was one of his most recognizable looks and cost over $1,000 to make.

Elvis wore this suit in two different films; it appears in 1968’s What's Up, Doc? and 1976's Love You Like A Man. Both times, it got him great attention.

Most expensive movie set

how famous was elvis presley

The most expensive location used for filming of any feature film is probably the Graceland Estate in Memphis, Tennessee. This was the home that singer/songwriter/rock icon Elvio made his new home after he achieved superstardom as a recording artist.

The estate cost $12 million to build and over $7 million to fully furnish. It took several years before it was completed but once finished it became famous all by itself!

Many movies have been filmed at the house including the aforementioned biopic which focused on his early life. More recently, it starred John Abraham in the lead role as an assassin who protected him from bad guys.

This article will talk more about this incredible house and some other interesting things about Elvis.

Most expensive recording studio

how famous was elvis presley

The most expensive recording facility that produced music under the name of Elvison was one he built himself, in his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi. Known as Sun Studio, it opened its doors for business in February 1957, just three months after his first album had been released.

It cost him $150,000 to build (about $3 million today), but he paid off the loan within two years by offering t-shirt sales to finance it. He then spent another $100,000 buying out other investors so he could own the whole place completely!

After leaving the company in 1972 due to health issues, he sold it to MCA Records for $4 million. It’s now worth over $30 million.

The record label used the space to produce new artists including Dave Matthews Band and Rascal Flatts. And before anyone asks, yes, they are still very famous.

Most important songs

how famous was elvis presley

There are so many songs that people consider to be “Elvis classics”, but only one song is considered to be his favorite. This is typically not known unless you listen to his music very closely or know him as a person.

However, we do have some information about what kind of music he loved. He mentioned listening to lots of classic rock while growing up in Tupelo, including The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones. These artists all had strong legacies that still live on today, which makes them worthy additions to your playlist if you enjoy their music.

He also listened to a lot of country music, particularly Jerry Lee Lewis. Both of these artists made significant contributions to musical genres that they now own part of!

Lastly, he enjoyed some Latin and funk music. All three of these types of music remain popular today, showing his talent as a musician.