The striking vintage photo shows Elvis at the height of his career, looking as kingly as ever. But would Elvis have said such a thing himself?
Humanity has yet to produce another icon like Elvis Presley. The legendary entertainer is still the industry’s most recognizable face and name some 40 years after his passing. In his lifetime, Elvis took nearly every genre of music – and the world – by storm. As such, he became known as the “King of Rock n’ Roll” within his lifetime. Fans intimately familiar with the life of the man beneath this crown, however, will know that this title is not one he bestowed upon himself.
Today, Elvis’ estate shares an absolutely striking photo of the icon. “Started a revolution, ended up a King,” his estate captions the photo, marked as a quote. While this glimpse of the King of Rock n’ Roll comes from the height of his career, the quote itself is not one that could be attributed to Elvis.
So what kept Elvis from ever embracing his title as “King?”
Elvis Never Called Himself “King”
For his entire life, Presley tried his best to be a devout follower of Christianity. As a small child in Tupelo, Mississippi, and later as a teen in Memphis, Tennessee, the Presleys raised Elvis in a deeply Christian household. As a result, the icon carried such convictions with him throughout his life. He was, however, constantly at odds with said convictions. Although he struggled with many demons himself, Elvis was a deeply spiritual man, and was always quick to send fans – and himself – “back to Jesus”.
Many of his devout fans know this of the “King”, too. On the Twitter post above, several followers immediately began speaking in defense of the icon.
“No he would not say that. He said the only King was Christ,” one fan clarifies of the estate’s chosen quote. Backing the fan up is The Romantic Fangirl. In response, she says “are you sure he said that? Because he didn’t want to get addressed as the King. He said there’s only one King and that’s Jesus.”
To further her point, Twitter user Fangirl then sources a graphic of another quote attributed to Presley. With it, she responds to his estate:
“I can’t accept this kingship thing”
Yet the layers continue to peel back for the “King” debacle. While the above quote is heavily attributed to Elvis, it is not his actual words, either. But there is an existing recording of where this quote originates.
At a concert in South Bend Indiana on the 30th of September, 1974, Elvis would confront the title of “King” directly. And he did so with love and class.
During the live performance, a young fan folds out a huge sign on it that reads “Elvis is King”.
“Oh thank you darlin’,” Elvis replies. “Thank you very much. Oh, thank you,” he says graciously. “The thought is beautiful, dear, and I love you for it. But I – I haven’t been caught up, ah, in this thing – and I can’t accept this Kingship thing because to me there’s only one – which is Christ.”
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