Today, we call him one of the most iconic solo performers of all time. However, Elvis Presley has accumulated a long list of nicknames since he became iconic for thrusting his hips, selling billions of records, and singing swoon-worthy ballads with his deep voice.
From “The King” to “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” to “Alvis” to “Tiger” to “Elvis the Pelvis” to “Memphis Flash” to “The Hillbilly Cat,” there really isn’t a shortage of ways to refer to the “Jailhouse Rock” singer.
According to the Elvis official Instagram account, two of those nicknames are considered the most common.
“Through Elvis’ career he’s received a considerable amount of nicknames. However, the two that still live on today are ‘The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and ‘Elvis the Pelvis.'”
Elvis Presley was a huge fan of nicknames himself. The members of his “Memphis Mafia,” his close group of friends that also served as his bodyguards, all had a fun backup name.
Marty Lacker, an old friend from high school, went by “Moon.” Lamar Finke, who toured with Presley starting in 1957, went by “Birdy.” Richard Davis, who once was his valet, got the nickname “Broom.”
Although Elvis Presley was no stranger to nicknames, he wasn’t always a huge fan of the ones assigned to him.
‘Elvis the Pelvis’ Nickname
“Elvis the Pelvis” dominated the headlines back in the 1950s. It was likely just due to the fact that it’s a pretty stellar rhyme. At the time, his dance moves were considered to be extremely controversial and somewhat provocative in nature.
In a TV Guide interview from 1956, Presley said, “I don’t roll—what they call ‘pelvic gyrations’—my pelvis has nothing to do with what I do. I get rhythm with the music. I jump around to it because I enjoy what I’m doing. I’m not trying to be vulgar, not trying to stimulate sex. I just do a lot of wigglin’ and quiverin.'”
That isn’t the only time Elvis Presley mentioned his disdain for the phrase. That same year he also said, “I don’t like them to call me Elvis the Pelvis. It’s the most childish expression I ever heard from an adult.”
His nickname started to fade away for some time. He performed his last live show in the 1950s before leaving for the army. Once he returned, many of his fans, as well as himself, were older. The nickname no longer dominated the press. Regardless, the name is inescapable. Today it remains a popular way of referring to the “Can’t Help Falling in Love” singer.
As for “The King” nickname, who else could get such widespread support to be able to rock that nickname? Some of the most iconic performers like John Lennon, Jackie Wilson, Leonard Bernstein, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen have all spoke about just how iconic Presley is and continues to be.
“There have been a lotta tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king,” Bruce Springsteen said.