Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley was one of the most famous singers of the 20th century. Throughout his career he has ranged from rock and roll to rhythm and blues, country and western, gospel, spiritual, traditional, melodic and light music genres.

In his twenty four year career he has released 61 albums, it is estimated that he has sold over 1 billion records worldwide. Throughout his career he has seen his songs land several times in the Top Chart of Billboard magazine. Except for six concerts held in Canada in the late 1950s, he never performed outside the United States.

After the last performance at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977, when he was forty-two years old, the singer returned to Memphis for a period of rest and to dedicate himself to the organization of the new tour, which should have started around the second half in August. On August 16, Elvis returned to Graceland late in the evening, following a busy day in which he had also undergone a dental examination.

Although he had already taken a large dose of barbiturates, some of which for the filling of a molar he had undergone, he remained awake until the early hours of the morning, chatting with his family and his staff and taking care of the last details of the concert which should have taken place in Portland (Maine) the next day. Later he retired to his room to try to rest before leaving, but, unable to sleep, he decided to take another dose of barbiturates and began to read a book.

At half past nine the next morning he headed for the bathroom. About four hours later, at about one-thirty, he was found on the bathroom floor by Comrade Ginger Alden. The singer, who had been dead for several hours, was transported by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital, where he arrived at 2:56 pm and was pronounced dead at three in the afternoon.

The death was immediately attributed to cardiac arrest, although there was still no medico-legal confirmation. Peter Guralnick, biographer of the singer, reported that Elvis vomited immediately after the heart attack and crawled on the floor in an attempt to get to the bathroom door. After performing the autopsy of the corpse, a high rate of drug intoxication was found and the presence of traces of fourteen different medicinal substances, which were later discovered to have been legally prescribed by the attending physician.

The cause of Elvis' death appears to have been heart failure. Cardiac arrest is now thought to be the result of the rock star's long-standing drug abuse.