Elvis Presley : The Cultural Icon

Essay by eisha8University, Bachelor's November 2003

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More than two decades after his death, Elvis Presley presence in our society is still felt as much as he is still alive. Even on the 25th anniversary of Elvis death, millions of people worldwide still pay tribute to their beloved "King of Rock and Roll". Known to the world only by his first name, Elvis is one of the most important figures in American twentieth century popular music. He almost single-handedly popularized rock and roll music by blending white country music with black rhythm and blues on an international level. Due to his enormous success during his career, his image and work are constantly reiterated in our lives through Elvis impersonators and remixes of his music by new and current artists. This led Elvis's work to transcend generational gap. In addition to that, his legacy indirectly had a huge and lasting effect for redefining our way of life from the way he dresses to the way he sings.

Besides that, his talent, good looks, charisma and kindness has earned him the adoration of millions of fans. In short, Elvis Presley had a profound impact on western culture through his efforts in redefining rock and roll music and his strong determination to succeed that has inspired millions to follow.

In Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in January 1935. Growing up in a middle class family, Elvis and his family were constantly moving in search of better living condition. When they settled in Memphis, it was one of Elvis's most important point in life because it gave him the opportunity to discover popular Southern music in the form of blues, country, bluegrass and gospel. After graduating from high school, he became a truck driver which is a far cry from his status and wealth today.