Elvis Presley is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture.
His core musical influences were the pop and country music of his time, the gospel music that was an integral part of his life, and the black R&B he absorbed into his soul as a Memphis teenager. In 1954, he began his singing career with the legendary Sun Records label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor.
By 1956, he was an international sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time, he ushered in a whole new era of American music and popular culture. He starred in 33 successful films, made history with his television appearances and specials, and knew great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking, live concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas.
Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards for 150 different albums and singles, far more than any other artist. Among his many awards and accolades were 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which he received at age 36. Elvis died at Graceland, his Memphis home, on August 16, 1977. He was 42.
Posthumous honors include membership in the Rock and Roll, Country Music and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.