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Homage to King Elvis

The death of ‘The King’ made the front pages of all newspapers, broadsheet and tabloid. Elvis Presley had done more than anyone to lay the foundations of modern music. By 1956, the 21-year-old was selling more records in a month than 50 British artists put together. He was Elvis the Pelvis, the king of rock ‘n’ roll.

Image from The Sun, 17 August 1977    
The Sun, 17 August 1977    
The British Library gratefully acknowledges the John Frost Newspaper Archive for permission to reproduce this front page.

Yet when he was found dead at Graceland, bloated by drugs, at the age of only 42, people saw the ultimate price of celebrity. Short headlines were enough to report the circumstances of Presley’s death. ‘King Elvis dead’, stated The Sun; ‘Siege of grief’, reported the Mirror the next day as 10,000 gathered to see his body at Graceland. For many, like The Guardian, ‘the age of rock was over’.

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