Today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. Considered one of the greatest rock n roll showmen of all time, Elvis is still very much a part of today's culture, even after so many years of being gone. But when he passed away, a cynical journalist at the time coined the now famous phrase that "it was a good career move". And we have seen since Elvis' passing that many other artists usually enjoy a sharp spike in record sales in the months since their demise. But Elvis seems to be far from losing momentum in the last four decades, and in fact, has been achieving far more in death than most do while they are alive. So we thought we would come up with some interesting things that Elvis Presley has seen come true in death rather than life.
Become A Billionaire
Ever since his death, Elvis has been one of the biggest selling artists in the world, year on year. Regularly outperforming his living counterparts, the man averages at least one million record sales every single year. In 2016, Elvis dropped to fourth place on Forbes' highest earning dead celebrities list, managing an income of $26m for that year. And while it may sound like a lot for someone to have made 40 years after death, remember that in 2015, he was earning roughly $40m in sales in that year. Meaning that if Elvis was still alive and in control of the majority of his assets, we would have passed the point of becoming a billionaire many years ago.
4 UK #1 Singles
It is not uncommon for record labels to rerelease material from their recently deceased signings in the years since their death, as we know it all becomes a bit of a cynical cash-grab for the industry. But as Elvis' material dates back so long, the copyright on a number of his singles was due to expire earlier this century. Leaving his label an opportunity to quickly reissue those tracks in order to get one last use out of them. They were 'Jailhouse Rock', 'One Night / I Got Stung' and 'It's Now Or Never'. All of which managed to top the charts nearly 50 years after their original release. Elvis did of course manage his first posthumous #1 when Junkie XL remixed his popular hit 'A Little Less Conversation' back in 2002. Which also managed to top the UK Dance Chart as well, so I guess you could count that as another achievement.
Sang With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
In 2016, a record called 'The Wonder Of You' was released. The idea behind it was to have Elvis Presley's most famous recordings reimagined with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the man himself croon his way over them from beyond the grave. And while he obviously never really performed with them, the quality of the recording in his voice was so spectacular, you could have been easy fooled into thinking to could have been him in today's world on that release. The compilation sold more than a million copies worldwide, and sits as his best performing body of work in this century so far.
Had His Home Replicated
The original Graceland in Virginia, USA has become sort of a Mecca for Elvis fans. Millions make their way to the estate every year and is responsible for than $150m of the state's tourism income. So many would be surprised to hear that a replica of the home is now available to visit in Denmark. Built by super fan Henrik Knudsen in the northern part of the country, the Euro Graceland (as it should be called but for legal reasons is called Memphis Mansions) is a £2.8m mansion house built to look exactly like the Virginian original. Complete with Elvis memorabilia, merchandise store and diner (which sells Elvis' favourite sandwich; Bacon, bananas, jam and peanut butter, all between two pieces of fried bread), the attraction is plagued with lawsuits from the Presley Estate but as it still seems to be standing, may become the new port of call for the European Elvis fanatic.
Had His DNA Tested
In 2014, Channel 4 ran a TV show called 'Dead Famous DNA'. The programme intended to highlight the developments in DNA analysis of the time by examining celebrities who died young to try and understand whether they were predisposed to a certain lifestyle or if any underlying illness could have been to blame. In the case of Elvis, whose DNA was traced through a jar of hair his barber had saved as a momento, it showed that the king of rock n roll was a sufferer of heart muscle disease. The symptoms of which include obesity, migraines and bad eyesight, all of which Elvis had during his final years. So while many blame the poor diet for his early death, many doctors who study the disease agree that a heart attack for someone with this condition would have been inevitable before the age of 60. Meaning that Elvis Presley was in fact born to die young.