Like so many other legendary musicians, Elvis Presley was born poor.
His entry into the music business began in 1953 when he payed Sun Studios to let him record a demo— intended, according to legend, as a gift for his mother. The recording reached the ears of Sun's founder, Sam Phillips, who immediately recognized Presley's potential.
Elvis recorded five singles at Sun, and before long he had become the teen idol of the century, playing concerts for rioting hordes of screaming teenage girls. He drew his inspiration from a wide palette of musical colors, incorporating country, pop, gospel, bluegrass, and even a little opera into his music. Elvis was known for his explosive stage presence and his controversially suggestive hip movements. As his fame continued to grow, he toured internationally and appeared countless times on television and in films. By the late 50's he was known in nearly every corner of the world.
There are probably more rumors and legends surrounding Elvis than any other entertainer. These rumors run the gamut from the plausible to the ridiculous. Even today there are frequent reports of Elvis sightings, more than 25 years after his death. Unfortunately, Elvis' status as a rock icon often obscures his prominence as an artist. He was the most popular musician ever, with 38 top ten hits to his name — a number that remains unchallenged to this day. From 1956 to 1959, there was not one week when an Elvis song was not on the charts. The popularity and larger-than-life status reached by Elvis even before his early death have made him one of the most iconic individuals in the history of recorded music.