Today, August 16 2011, marks the 34th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. A cultural icon, Elvis rebelled against the pop music of his time only to be crowned "the King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King". His racy lyrics and dance moves (his introduction of the hip swivel only allowed him to be filmed above the waist for some time), earned him a sex symbol status across the globe. Female audience members would claw at the King and be drenched in their own tears at least one minute into his first song.
John Lennon stated, "Before Elvis, there was nothing." Transcending genre boundaries of gospel, country, blues, rock and pop, Elvis was extremely versatile and remains today the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music.
Admittedly, as a handful of 20-somethings, we feel a tad out of touch writing a post commemorating Elvis Presley. Unlike my aunt, we do not have Elvis Presley plates or a hip-swivelling clock above the kitchen doorway. While his talent and groundbreaking actions in the music industry are undeniable, we're more familiar with his influence on some of our favourite modern musicians: Brandon Flowers of the Killers, Justin Timberlake and Eminem come to mind. Elvis's name, specifically, has also made a few cameos in some of our favourite modern classics. Did it sneak by you? Peep the lyrics below…
That Don't Impress Me Much - Shania Twain
"Okay, so what do you think you're Elvis or something… / Oo-Oh-Oh / That don't impress me much!"
Rockstar - Nickelback
"Hey, hey, I wanna be a rockstar / I wanna be great like Elvis without the tassels"
Free Fallin' - Tom Petty
"She's a good girl, is crazy 'bout Elvis / Loves horses and her boyfriend too"
Without Me - Eminem
"Little Hellions, kids feelin' rebellious / Embarrassed their parents still listen to Elvis"
Man on the Moon - R.E.M.
"Hey, Andy are you goofing on Elvis? / Hey, baby. Are you having fun?"
- AH, AL & SJ