Elvis Presley, best known as simply Elvis or “the King,” was one of the most popular singers in history. His career began in Memphis in 1954 and just 2 years later he had his first number 1 hit with the single “Heartbreak Hotel.” He quickly become a megastar and was one of the most important figures in the rising popularity of early rock and roll. He remains the best selling solo artist in popular music history. Alongside his many hit singles and albums he also had a very successful acting career. His sudden death on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42, came as a shock to many people and he was mourned by both his fans and the music industry as a whole.
Declining health and death
Those that knew Elvis recognized that his personal life had been in a downward spiral since his marriage failure in 1972. He was taking a number of prescription drugs and, despite his stance against recreational drugs, he became a long-term user. In 1973 he had two overdoses of barbiturates (nervous system depressants) and later in the year he showed clear signs of addiction to the pain medicine pethidine. His health continued to fail and by 1977 he was unable to get out of bed for his concerts.
On August 16, 1977, his girlfriend Ginger Alden discovered his unresponsive body in the bathroom. He didn’t respond to the attempts to revive him and he was officially declared dead at 3:30 pm at Baptist Memorial Hospital.
How did Elvis Presley die?
There is much debate to the cause of Elvis Presley’s death. Later tests showed that there were 14 different prescription drugs in his system and 10 of these were at significant levels. He was also known to be suffering from a number of conditions in his later years such as high blood pressure, enlarged heart, glaucoma, liver damage, enlarged colon. In 1994 the autopsy was reopened and the coroner declared Elvis had died from a heart attack and not a drug overdose. However, the coroner also noted that his extended use of prescription drugs contributed to his early death!
Did you know?
The death of Elvis is also the subject of many conspiracy theories, including the theory that he faked his death and went into hiding. Despite many Elvis sightings from the public this theory is not treated seriously by most people.