Also referred to as the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley had talent and charm like no other.
Presley’s musical takeover started in the mid-50s – his ability to modernise classic genres immediately stood out from the crowd. But, it wasn’t just Elvis’ blues and country twangs that put him on a pedestal. His unique style and iconic dance moves all contributed to his legendary status.
Whether you’re interested in the history of Elvis or still hold a piece of him in your heart, let’s take a look at how Elvis captured the world with his style.
What Made Elvis So Popular?
A few different areas may spring to mind when you think about Elvis’ famous style. From his genre of music right through to personality, there was much to adore.
1. His Varied Music Style
Music was always a part of Elvis’ roots. As he grew up, he learnt to play the guitar and took inspiration from country-western and R&B artists. It’s clear that the diversity of his upbringing was partially responsible for his fusion of sounds.
While Elvis didn’t invent rock ‘n’ roll, he came onto the scene at the right time. His ability to stray from traditional stereotypes captured the hearts of teenagers going through their rebellious stage. Due to this, he managed to build a very devoted following (at the age of 19!).
Of course, it wasn’t just teenagers that swooned over Elvis. As the artist matured and experimented with even more music styles, he began to entice older generations. There was a version of Elvis for everyone to enjoy.
To Summarise: Although titled the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis’ music style also featured elements of blues and country. Due to having such a diverse sound, he became well-known across most generations.
2. His Unique Talent
Elvis was a man of many, many talents. While his charisma (more on that later) might have contributed to his fame, there’s no denying that his talent was unmatched.
Described by an early girlfriend as a “God-given talent”, Elvis had a distinctively deep voice. This was very popular amongst women in particular, whether it be due to the smoothness of his tone or his youthful looks to match. No wonder he gained 21 number 1 hits and 76 top 10 hits in the UK alone!
To Summarise: Elvis was gifted in both the music and looks department. This did not go unnoticed, giving near enough everyone on the planet a reason to like him.
3. His Charisma
Apart from being insanely talented, Elvis stood out from the crowd thanks to his charisma. He was one of the first charismatic rock stars around, expressing his mysterious persona through “bad-boy” looks and slanted smiles. It’s safe to say that a lot of his fanbase attended shows just to see him in the flesh.
Once again, it was young women who were swooned by Elvis’ charisma. He knew exactly what he was doing with his tight clothing, sideburns, seductive moves and melodic voice. He was a heart-throb for all generations.
To Summarise: When you think of Elvis, it’s near-impossible to forget about his charismatic nature. This was a big hit with his female fanbase in particular, who devoted their lives to supporting their crush.
4. His Absence
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and with Elvis, this was very much the case.
After spending around ten years building mass amounts of fame, Elvis was summoned to serve in the army in 1958. For most musicians, this would have marked the downfall of their career. For Elvis, however, it was a weirdly positive omen.
After years of live performances and non-stop hits, Elvis pretty much disappeared overnight. This only made his fans miss him more, and after two years in the army, his much-anticipated return went down a treat. It was like nothing had ever happened, and before he knew it, he was back on stage with women swooning at his feet.
To Summarise: Elvis served in the army from 1958 to 1960. As he had already built a large following before serving, he had devoted fans patiently waiting for his return.
5. His Fanbase
It really didn’t take long for Elvis’ fanbase to become a part of his style. While the above factors enticed fans in the first place, it was their loyalty that kept him successful for so long.
The excitement of Elvis’ fans was something that no one had seen before. Instead of clapping and cheering at live shows, his audience would scream and holler… before he had even said a word. Even the popularity of The Beatles didn’t garner this much giddiness.
Although a predominantly female audience, men would still attend Presley’s shows and be blown away by the buzz of the crowd. It’s as though Elvis had a special power that created a new type of energy – he would walk onto the stage and put everyone in a trance.
To Summarise: All of the factors mentioned in this guide helped to create a fanbase full of energy and devotion. No matter what Elvis did, his fans were there to support him.
The King Lives On
Elvis was a very clever man. Whether you fell in love with his charisma or enjoy his melodic voice, he offers something for everyone. It’s no surprise he managed to capture the whole world in his hands.
Since his passing in 1977, Elvis has continued to rock the charts with loyal fans by his side. His active years and incredible persona created an unforgettable legacy. There might be no new music to enjoy, but the gold he created while alive is enough to keep any generation happy. The King of Rock and Roll lives on!