The Cultural Impact of Elvis Presley

In this chapter we will highlight some special themes that confirm Elvis’ worldwide impact on pop-culture. This page will be continuously updated with new posts.

Time: The 100 Most Significant Figures in History

Here we present an extract of an article written by Steven Skiena and Charles B. Ward for the Time website:

When we set out to rank the significance of historical figures, we decided to not approach the project the way historians might, through a principled assessment of their individual achievements. Instead, we evaluated each person by aggregating millions of traces of opinions into a computational data-centric analysis. We ranked historical figures just as Google ranks web pages, by integrating a diverse set of measurements about their reputation into a single consensus value.

Significance is related to fame but measures something different. Forgotten U.S. President Chester A. Arthur (who we rank as the 499th most significant person in history) is more historically significant than young pop singer Justin Bieber (currently ranked 8633), even though he may have a less devoted following and lower contemporary name recognition. Historically significant figures leave statistical evidence of their presence behind, if one knows where to look for it, and we used several data sources to fuel our ranking algorithms, including Wikipedia, scanned books and Google n-grams.

Elvis Presley (#69) is the highest ranked figure that has been completely dissed: no author or artist has ever so been honored.

1. Jesus / 2. Napoleon / 3. Muhammad / 4. William Shakespeare / 5. Abraham Lincoln / 6. George Washington / 7. Adolf Hitler / 8. Aristotle / 9. Alexander the Great / 10. Thomas Jefferson / / 69. Elvis Presley

Author; Steven Skiena and Charles B. Ward / Source; Time – “Who’s Biggest? The 100 Most Significant Figures in History” (http://ideas.time.com/2013/12/10/whos-biggest-the-100-most-significant-figures-in-history/)

Velvet Elvis

A Velvet Elvis is a painting of Elvis Presley on velvet. It typically represents a costumed torso of Elvis holding a microphone, painted on black velvet (or velvet of some other dark color, such as navy blue, red or purple). This iconic velvet painting is considered an archetypical example of kitsch. Velvet was a popular medium for artists on the streets of Tijuana, reaching a height of popularity in the 1970s.

A number of songs reference velvet Elvis paintings:

“Elvis” by Sister Hazel (2000), “Elvis on Velvet” by the Stray Cats (1992), “Hawaiian Tropic” by Lana Del Rey (2010), “My Velvet Elvis” by Farnell Cole (----), “Paint Me on Velvet” by Austin Lounge Lizards (1993), “Velvet Elvis” by Aztec Two Steps (1986), “Velvet Elvis” by Pink Lincolns (1987), “Velvet Elvis” by Adrenalin O.D. (1987), “Velvet Elvis” by "Weird Al" Yankovic (1990), “Velvet Elvis” by Scott Davis (1992), “Velvet Elvis” by STIR (2000), “Velvet Elvis” by Ralston Bowles (2005), "Velvet Elvis” by Alex Winston (2011), “Velvet Presley” by The Wildhearts (1998).

Even on TV or in the movies we find some references to velvet Elvis paintings;

In “The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland”, Huxley points to a Velvet Elvis painting as one of his many possessions. On an episode of the television series “Pawn Stars” Rick tells Chumlee he'd “have a Velvet Elvis over his fireplace” after he buys a fake etching without Rick's permission. On episode 2, season 4, of “The Killing”, Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) says “So I'm not gonna find a Velvet Elvis hanging anywhere around here?” In the movie “Entrapment”, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the leading roles, the playful thief (Connery) replaces a priceless painting with a Velvet Elvis. In the romantic comedy “When in Rome” Kristen Bell plays a young curator at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. She is in charge of putting on a very important exhibit. All of her romantic entanglements seem destined to sabotage the project, and her boss (Angelica Houston), keeps telling her she will lose her job if a key artwork doesn’t get there in time. At her peak of frustration Houston says; “I’ll see that the only artwork you’re ever allowed near are the Velvet Elvis paintings on sale in Times Square”.

Author; Wikipedia – Admin ELVIS the ICON / Source; Wikipedia – “Velvet Elvis” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velvet_Elvis)

Elvis has left the building

“Elvis has left the building” is a phrase that was often used by public address announcers following Elvis Presley concerts to disperse audiences who lingered in hopes of an encore. It has since become a popular culture catchphrase and punchline.

Origin and popularization; The phrase was first used by promoter Horace Lee Logan on December 15, 1956, near Shreveport, Louisiana, to plead with concert-goers not to leave a concert hall to try to see Elvis, as he had already left, and instead remain to see the other acts on the bill. The full quotation was: “Alright, alright, Elvis has left the building. I've told you absolutely straight up to this point, you know that he has left the building; he left the stage and went out the back with the policeman and he is now gone from the building”.

Throughout the 1970s, the phrase was captured on record several times, spoken by Al Dvorin. In later years the phrase would be spoken by some of Presley's backup singers to calm down the audience after concerts.

The phrase has since become a popular culture catchphrase and punchline, used to refer to anyone who has exited in some sense. For instance, it might be used when someone makes a dramatic exit, such as at the end of an argument, partly to relieve tension among those who remain. Baseball announcers on radio or television sometimes use the phrase as a humorous way to describe a home run, which is typically hit over the outfield fence and into the stands, thus leaving the field of play. The hockey announcer Mike Lange uses the phrase when a goal puts the game out of reach, signaling that fans can leave the arena. Frank Zappa used the phrase on the opening track of the album Broadway the Hard Way, which satirized numerous contemporary figures. It is referred to in the Dire Straits song “Calling Elvis”. When singing the closing theme to the television series Frasier, Kelsey Grammer sometimes followed the last line with the statement “Frasier has left the building!” Steve Wright uses this phrase during the feature 'Ask Elvis' to close the episode on BBC Radio 2. Sometimes Wright says that he is 'about to leave' the building. In the Fireman Sam episode “Open Day” at the end when firefighter Elvis Cridlington leaves the fire department building, Fireman Sam says to Station Officer Steele “Sorry sir. Elvis has left the building”. In the film Independence Day, Will Smith's character says “Elvis has left the building”, which is followed by Jeff Goldblum using another Elvis-related catchphrase “Thank you very much”. Ice hockey player Jaromír Jágr used the phrase during TV interview, after winning the NHL Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992.

Author; Wikipedia / Source; “Elvis has left the building” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_has_left_the_building)

Elvis impersonators

Some Elvis fans love it… some loath it. I’ve even heard the following statement; “it is impersonators that give Elvis a bad name!” Here’s an extract of an informative article on Wikipedia;

Introduction; An Elvis impersonator is someone who impersonates or copies famed American musician Elvis Presley. Professional Elvis impersonators, commonly known as Elvis tribute artists (ETAs), can work all over the world as entertainers, and such tribute acts are in great demand due to the unique iconic status of Elvis. There are even a number of radio stations that exclusively feature Elvis impersonator material.

Origins; Contrary to popular belief, Elvis impersonators have existed since the mid-1950s, just after Elvis began his career. The first Elvis impersonator was a young man named Carl “Cheesie” Nelson in Texarkana, Arkansas who in 1954 built up a local following on WLAC radio in Texarkana with his renditions of “That's All Right, Mama” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and actually sang duets with Elvis in 1954 when the pair first met. It is even legend that the young “Cheesie” is the only person in history to ever have Elvis booed off the stage chanting for him to come back on. The friendship between Nelson and Presley is documented in the book "Elvis in Texas”.

Many other Elvis impersonators appeared while Elvis was still alive, evolving mainly out of small town talent competitions which took their influences from major music artists of that time. Dave Ehlert from Waukegan, IL began performing as Elvis in 1967 a full 10 years before Elvis died. Some of his contemporaries included Rick Saucedo of Chicago and Johnny Hara, a Texas native.

In the mid-1970s, Andy Kaufman made an Elvis impersonation part of his act. He is considered to be one of the first notable Elvis impersonators and Elvis himself said that Kaufman was his favorite impersonator.

Only after Elvis' untimely death on August 16, 1977 that impersonating Elvis started to become popular in the mainstream. The large growth in Elvis impersonators seems tightly linked with his ever-growing iconic status.

According to a popular joke, Elvis himself entered an Elvis lookalike contest at a local restaurant shortly before his death, and came in third place. This joke was featured as a news item in the Weekly World News, and has been misunderstood to be factual by people who do not realize that the Weekly World News is well known to publish outlandish and often unbelievable articles.

Types of Elvis impersonator; There are many different types of Elvis impersonator. Most fall under the following categories:

1. Example of the "fun/comedy"-level Elvis impersonator. Look-alikes who concentrate more on visual elements of Elvis fashion and style using accessories such as wigs, costumes and jewelry.

2. Sound-alikes who concentrate on changing their voice to sing or talk like Elvis. Notable examples of this type include country artist Ronnie McDowell and rock 'n' roll artist Ral Donner. Kurt Russell did this type of Elvis impersonation in the 1994 film, “Forrest Gump”, even though he was uncredited for his voice role of Elvis.

3. Those who use a combination of both the visual and aural methods listed above. Country singer Billy "Crash" Craddock was an example of this in the 1970s and actor Kurt Russell was an example of this type in his 1979 film, “Elvis” and in his 2001 film, “3000 Miles to Graceland”.

Levels of impersonation; There are different levels of impersonation, which depends largely on who is doing the impersonation and for what purpose. They mainly fall under three main levels of impersonation, which are:

1. Professional (or Elvis Tribute Artist or ETA) Full-time Elvis impersonators who are in the business of performing for a living. Some ETAs record CDs to sell at their shows, which of course contain many of the Elvis standards, but could also include some of their own songs as well as songs of other artists.

2. Amateur Enthusiasts or people who impersonate Elvis in contests, for a hobby, or at social gatherings (such as parties, reunions, etc.). Most of this type of impersonator aspires to eventually become full-time ETAs.

3. Fun / Comedy Usually done as part of a parody.

According to Gael Sweeney (article; “The King of White Trash Culture: Elvis Presley and the Aesthetics of Excess”) in Annalee Newitz and Matt Wray; “White Trash: Race and Class in America (1996)”; Elvis impersonation offers a spectacle of the grotesque, the display of the fetishized Elvis body by impersonators who use a combination of Christian and New Age imagery and language to describe their devotion to The King. 'True' impersonators believe that they are 'chosen' by The King to continue His work and judge themselves and each other by their 'Authenticity' and ability to 'Channel' Elvis' true essence. True impersonators don't 'do Elvis' for monetary gain, but as missionaries to spread the message of The King. Especially interesting are those who do not perform, per se, that is, they don't do an Elvis act, they just 'live Elvis,' dressing as The King and spreading His Word by their example”.

Contests, festivals and events; There are many Elvis contests for amateurs, festivals and other events held across the world celebrating Elvis and his many impersonators. Events tend to attract large numbers of amateur Elvis impersonators and fans.

CKX, INC. which now owns Elvis Presley's estate has full control including the grave of Elvis Presley and his family members along with his home Graceland in early 2008. This has seen some impact on what Elvis impersonators and contests have on the media and marketing industry. They began using the contest along with their Elvis brand, licensing anyone wanting to charge a fee to hold an Elvis contest.

Author; Wikipedia / Source; Wikipedia – “Elvis Impersonator” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_impersonator)

I am an Elvis Fan: Top Ten Famous Elvis Fans

B. B. King: “I remember Elvis as a young man hanging around the Sun studios. Even then, I knew this kid had a tremendous talent. He was a dynamic young boy. His phraseology, his way of looking at a song, was as unique as Sinatra's. I was a tremendous fan, and had Elvis lived, there would have been no end to his inventiveness”.

John Lennon: “Before Elvis, there was nothing”. (You can read more about John Lennon and Elvis in an article below)

Bob Dylan: “When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail” and “The highlight of my career, that’s easy… Elvis recording one of my songs”. (You can read more about Bob Dylan and Elvis in an article below)

Sir Elton John: “It was Elvis that got me interested in music. I've been an Elvis fan since I was a kid” and “The news of his death absolutely stunned me. I stopped drinking”.

Bruce Springsteen: “There have been a lot of tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king” and “Elvis is my religion. If it were not for him I’d be selling Encyclopedias”.

Eddie Murphy: “That's my idol, Elvis Presley. If you went to my house, you'd see pictures all over of Elvis. He's just the greatest entertainer that ever lived. And I think it's because he had such presence. When Elvis walked into a room, Elvis Presley was in the fucking room. I don't give a fuck who was in the room with him, Bogart, Marilyn Monroe...”

Nicolas Cage: Cage's second marriage was to Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley. Cage is an Elvis fan and used the star as the base of his performance in “Wild at Heart”. Presley and Cage married on August 10, 2002 and filed for divorce on November 25, 2002 which was finalized on May 16, 2004.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: Actor and professional wrestler The Rock stated that he was a long time Elvis fan. During the late 90's he donned a hairstyle similar to Elvis' and sang "SmackDown Hotel", a reference to "Heartbreak Hotel", in response to a title challenge from the self-proclaimed "Pride of Pittsburgh" Andrew Lee Michaels. In an interview he simply stated; “I love Elvis!”

Bruno Mars: Mars' time spent impersonating Elvis Presley as a child had a major impact on his musical evolution; he later reflected: “I watch the best. I'm a big fan of Elvis. I'm a big fan of 1950s Elvis when he would go on stage and scare people because he was a force and girls would go nuts!”

Lana Del Rey: Besides the numerous Elvis references in her lyrics, she names Elvis’ “Edge of Reality” her second all-time favorite song after the “American Beauty Theme Song” in an interview with Beat Magazine.

Source; Wikiquote “Talk: Elvis Presley” (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Elvis_Presley), Wikipedia – “Nicolas Cage” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Cage), Movies Online – “Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Interview, The Game Plan” (http://www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_13022.html), Wikipedia – “Bruno Mars” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Mars), Beat Magazine – “Lana Del Rey Top Eleven” (http://www.thebeatjuice.com/listen/2011/11/22/1220/lana-del-rey-top-eleven/) Check out this one; CBS News – “Famous Elvis fans” (http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/famous-elvis-fans/)

The Influence of Elvis Presley on John Lennon

Here we present an excellent article written by Richard Buskin for the website How Stuff Works:

Popular (and therefore white) songs of the early 1950s were invariably pleasant, a smooth voice crooning about the joys and heartaches of love, urging people to dance, or asking “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?” Then, on May 11, 1956, a record entitled “Heartbreak Hotel” entered the British charts.

The song was performed by an unknown 21-year-old singer out of Memphis, Tennessee -- Elvis Presley. The song's theme -- about the feelings of loneliness following the breakup of a relationship -- was nothing new in itself, but the morbid lyrics, harsh instrumental sound, and creepy atmosphere were something else entirely.

Clearly, since his “baby” left him, the singer had been suffering from a near-suicidal case of the blues, and he was now inviting the listener to join him in his misery and self-pity. His voice was both sensual and threatening, and the echo that it was buried in gave the impression that he was delivering his message from the farthest corner of some melancholy, deserted town.

Hearing this performance for the first time, late at night on Radio Luxembourg, was almost like a call to arms for John Lennon. Luxembourg, the British teenage alternative to the BBC, continually broadcast the new pop songs as opposed to the lighter music that parents preferred.

Listening to the sounds of Bill Haley, the Platters, and the Drifters had provided John with a pleasant-enough diversion, but now here was this mysterious stranger from across the water, talking to John about the loneliness that they both shared. It was a subject that he understood, and the language appealed to him.

His reaction was immediate: He had to find out more about this Elvis character. Soon, photos in British magazines and movie newsreels confirmed the unlikely rumors he'd been hearing: The man with the raw, bluesy voice was, in fact, white.

Even more surprising was his actual appearance, which was anything but conventional. His top lip seemed to be fixed in a permanent sneer, his eyes were circled by heavy lids and dark shadows, and his long hair was greased back in a style similar to that of movie star Tony Curtis. Similar, but not identical. Curtis was clean-cut; Elvis wore sideburns, that vaguely threatening trademark of the sullen lower classes. He looked odd, all right. He even had an odd name!

“Nothing really affected me until Elvis”, John later reflected, and this simple statement just about says it all. At that moment the effect upon him was total, almost as if everything that had happened to him until then didn't matter. Sure, John had been impressed by James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, and by the spectacle of the classroom violence instigated by the menacing young Vic Morrow in The Blackboard Jungle, but that was only acting. Elvis, on the other hand, was the living reality.

John acted quickly. Out went the old clothes and the conventional image, to be replaced by an Elvis hairstyle, Elvis sideburns, extra-tight jeans -- called “drainpipes” -- and crepe-soled shoes. He has turned himself into a full-fledged Teddy boy so called in Britain because of the long, Edwardian-style drape coats that the rock 'n' rollers wore. As such, he now had the perfect excuse for looking mean and moody; that's the way Elvis looked, and Elvis was King!

If John had been difficult to handle before, he now became almost impossible, at home as well as at school. His guardian, Aunt Mimi Smith, noticed a change in his behavior right away, especially in terms of his untidiness.

Ray Coleman's John Winston Lennon quotes Mimi as recalling, “He became a mess, almost overnight, and all because of Elvis Presley, I say. He had a poster of him in his bedroom. There was a pajama top in the bathroom, the trousers in the bedroom, socks somewhere else, shirts flung on the floor. … What he wouldn't come to terms with was that I had a house to run. Oh, he was a mess and a problem in those years. Elvis Presley!”

As things turned out, the next few years were ones of constant battles between aunt and nephew. “There's going to be a change in this house”, she would shout at him. “We're going to have law and order!”

Not that Mimi's warnings had much effect. John was now heavily into rock 'n' roll, and little else mattered. “It was the only thing to get through to me after all the things that were happening when I was 15”, he said many years later to Rolling Stone interviewer Jann Wenner. “Rock and roll was real, everything else was unreal. And the thing about rock and roll, good rock and roll -- whatever good means -- is that it's real, and realism gets through to you despite yourself. You recognize something in it which is true …”

Author; Richard Buskin / Source; How Stuff Works - “John Lennon” (http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/john-lennon5.htm)

Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley

Here we present an excellent article written by Harold Lepidus for the website Examiner.com:

Part 1: “The King of Rock and Roll” was a huge influence on Bob Dylan, as well as just about every one of his peers. Dylan compared first hearing Elvis to “busting out of jail”. In a 1978 Melody Maker interview, Dylan had this to say about Presley's death: “It was so sad. I had a breakdown! I broke down... one of the very few times I went over my whole life. I went over my whole childhood. I didn't talk to anyone for a week after Elvis died. If it wasn't for Elvis and Hank Williams, I couldn't be doing what I do today”.

In 1978, Presley's long-time bassist, Jerry Scheff, toured with Dylan, and played on his album, Street Legal.

Dylan has referred to Presley in song both directly (“T.V. Talkin' Song”), and indirectly, especially on “Love and Theft”. Dylan has recently denied that his 1970 song, “Went To See The Gypsy”, was about meeting Presley, going on to say that he never actually met the man.

In 1997, after Dylan was hospitalized with a potentially fatal heart infection, he was quoted as saying, “I thought I was gonna meet Elvis”.

Presley recorded a number of Dylan's songs. Dylan once said that Presley's cover of “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” was “the one recording I treasure the most”. According to Ernst Jorgensen's book, “Elvis Presley: A Life In Music - The Complete Recording Sessions”, it was recorded at RCA's Studio B, Nashville, in late May, 1966. The song originally appeared on the album, Spinout.

According to Jorgensen's' book, Presley got into the song via Charlie McCoy, who had participated in the Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde sessions. McCoy played the album Odetta Sings Dylan before an Elvis session, and Presley “had become taken with 'Tomorrow is a Long Time'”. Although it had been covered by other artists, Dylan had not yet released a version. Scotty Moore, Chip Young, and McCoy grabbed their acoustic guitars, while Bob Moore played electric bass. A tambourine was then added. “By take three, they had completed a gorgeous - and for Elvis, extraordinarily long - five-minute master”.

Part 2; Elvis Presley covered a handful of Bob Dylan songs during his career. Some were released posthumously.

A home recording of Elvis singing "Blowin' In The Wind". In Jorgensen's book, it is identified as being recorded sometime between February 1966 and early 1967, in Rocca Place, Hollywood. Jorgensen commented that these informal sessions gave Presley the opportunity to sing the music he wanted to sing, and to temporarily escape the Hollywood movie straight jacket he found himself trapped in.

These home recordings indicate that Presley was tuned into the contemporary folk music boom of the mid-1960s.  It appears that Elvis was a fan of Peter, Paul and Mary, and learned some of Dylan's songs from the folk trio's recordings.

During the sessions for Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas, Presley recorded another Dylan song. The May 16, 1971, session in RCA's Studio B in Nashville, was the first session to feature the return of drummer Kenneth Buttrey, once again playing with Charlie McCoy. Buttrey and McCoy both played on Blonde On Blonde and John Wesley Harding.

It seemed that Elvis was quickly losing interest in the Christmas material he was recording. According to Jorgensen, James Burton played a guitar lick that inspired Presley to sing an impromptu version of “Don't Think Twice, It's All Right”. A new tape was started, while Elvis and the gang repeated verses and added licks for eleven minutes. This version was much faster than what Presley originally had in mind, but no one cared because of the great vibe in the studio. Elvis listened to the playback, and then left the studio, leaving the musicians to record backing tracks of the Christmas songs, so Presley could overdub his vocals a few nights later.

On May 20, 1971, Presley was back in RCA's Studio B. While Elvis “struggled to remember the melody” of his upcoming single, “It's Only Love”, he slipped in a truncated version of “I Shall Be Released”, another song not yet officially released by Dylan.

Part 3: Bob Dylan has performed a handful of songs associated with Elvis Presley throughout his career. Dylan has revisited Presley's catalog from his earliest days as a recording artist, through last year, when he played “Heartbreak Hotel” at a Nevada concert. Only a handful of these cover versions have appeared on official releases, including “Blue Moon” on Self Portrait, and, two songs from the 1973 album Dylan, “A Fool Such As I” (a minor hit for Dylan), and “I Can't Help Falling In Love With You”. That Dylan album was released by Columbia Records without the approval of Bob Dylan.

While it is difficult to pinpoint what actually constitutes an “Elvis Presley” song, since he rarely wrote his own material, there are certainly some songs that Presley made his own. I will just touch upon them here.

“That's All Right, Mama” was the A-side on Presley's first single for Sun Records. It may have even influenced the title of Dylan's “It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)”. We know Dylan attempted this one during the following sessions: Freewheelin', The Times They Are A-Changin', Nashville Skyline (with Johnny Cash,) and Desire.

While Bob Dylan was in Woodstock, recovering from his motorcycle accident , he got together in 1967 with members of The Hawks, soon to be known as The Band, to rehearse and record what are now known as The Basement Tapes. Among the vast cross-section of material covered during this period was a stab at Elvis' “A Fool Such As I”. This version has a very different feel from the one released on Dylan.

On September 30, 1994, Dylan went into New York's Sony Studios to record a few Elvis-related songs, all originally from 1956. According to Clinton Heylin in his book, The Recording Sessions [1960-1994], three tracks were recorded: “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”, “Money Honey”, and “Anyway You Want Me”. The session was produced by Don Was, who also co-produced Under The Red Sky. Heylin reported that Dylan was getting frustrated with his attempts to record the two up-tempo songs, at one point saying, “Maybe we should go back to the ballad”. The stellar result can be heard below.

Author; Harold Lepidus / Source; Examiner.com – “Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley (Part One)” (http://www.examiner.com/article/bob-dylan-and-elvis-presley-part-one)

Cyrus the Virus?

Miley Cyrus: Elvis Presley Was the Original Twerker: Her infamous MTV Video Music Awards performance in 2013, as evidenced by all those FCC complaints, was arguably the most scandalous and controversial music moment since Janet Jackson's Nipplegate. Cyrus tells Australia's Sunday Night, she's just carrying the torch lit by Elvis Presley's gyrating hips; “Elvis, he wasn't wearing the outfits I was wearing but he was coming out and he was doing like the OG twerking. Like, no one wants to admit that he was twerking, he was… He was like sex. He was a symbol of sex but no one would have ever called Elvis a shit because he wasn't a girl. It's that double standard and I think I'm doing something for the double standard”. Miley also has a message for the “concerned parents” riled up that might be sending a bad message to her young fans; “The only thing I'm an example of is freedom, especially in this time where the energy of the world is shifting from male energy to female energy… I think a lot of that was started by these girls that get to watch my show and see young people just being themselves and representing freedom”.

In this context it is interesting to take a closer look at what Time Magazine wrote about Elvis after his first performance on the Ed Sullivan show in September 1956;

On September 9, 1956, Elvis visited The Ed Sullivan Show, attracting the show’s highest ratings in two years with around 60 million viewers. TIME Magazine wasn’t merciful in its review of the show; “(Elvis) was dripping with sweat and goose grease”. They wrote further that he “mumbled” through his songs and noted that he “contorted his mouth suggestively and his pelvis more so”. The article continued; “When it was over parents and critics, as usual, did a lot of futile grumbling at the vulgarity of this strange phenomenon that must somehow be reckoned with”.

The ‘Wrecking Ball’ singer said she wore the outfit, which echoed one of The King’s most iconic looks, to honor Presley on his 80th birthday: Miley Cyrus honored Elvis Presley by giving her own spin to one of his most iconic looks. Miley showed up in a white jumpsuit when attending the opening of W magazine’s Shooting Stars exhibit in Los Angeles on Friday (January 9th). The pop star wore a low-cut, V-neck top with a cape, giant belt buckle and flared white pants, a look that echoed Elvis’ 70s-era jumpsuits. “I was thinking this was very Elvis Presley. I thought it felt right because it was just his 80th birthday”, Cyrus told E! News.

On January 8th, she posted this message on Instagram ;“Happy birthday to my bb daddy!!! #elvis”.

Instead of dissing Miley, we at ELVIS the ICON will actually give her cred for putting Elvis in the Spotlight… Cyrus the Virus? Nope! We give Miley a Smiley!

Source; Rolling Stone – “Miley Cyrus: Elvis Presley Was the Original Twerker” (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/miley-cyrus-elvis-presley-was-the-original-twerker-20140830), Time – “What Miley Cyrus and Elvis Presley Have in Common” (http://time.com/3308576/elvis-presley-ed-sullivan-fan-culture/), New York Daily News - “Miley Cyrus pays tribute to Elvis Presley by donning white jumpsuit” (http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/miley-cyrus-pays-tribute-elvis-presley-jumpsuit-article-1.2072984)