Today marks the twenty-sixth anniversary of the death of beloved rock n’ roll icon Elvis Presley, who tragically passed Aug. 16, 1977. He died from a heart attack due to drug abuse, the outcome of the emotional toll his divorce with Priscilla Presley in 1973 took on him.
The King of Rock and Roll never formally learned to read or play music, but started getting involved in the blues scene of his hometown in Memphis, Tennessee in the early 50s during his high school years.
This led to the takeoff of his music career in 1954 with Sun Records. Over the next two decades, he sold chart-topping records, became involved in the film industry and made network television appearances, all the while becoming one of the most loved symbols of the Civil Rights Movement due to his acceptance of all races and provocative performance styles.
After a two-year stint serving in the U.S. Army, Elvis met 14-year-old Priscilla in Germany, who he kept in touch with after his departure and would eventually move out to Los Angeles and marry. After a few affairs and the death of his mother, their marriage crumbled, throwing Elvis into the world of prescription drug abuse and his death at 42 years old.
Despite his tragic ending, Elvis will always be known as the king of rock and a male sex icon of the 1950s-60s. He is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music, won three Grammys including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and was inducted into multiple music halls of fame. Here are his top 10 greatest songs of all time.