When Did Elvis Presley Die? Facts About Music Legend on 42nd Anniversary of His Death

Regarded as one of the most influential people in music history, more than 40 years after Elvis Presley's death, fans still flock to his Memphis, Tennessee, home, Graceland, to pay their respects.

Presley passed away 42 years ago, on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42. In the years since his death, Graceland became a mecca of sorts for his fans, who travel from around the world to Memphis in the days surrounding the anniversary of his death for the annual event known as Elvis Week.

A celebration of Presley's music, movies and legacy, Elvis Week events include concerts, panel discussions, dances and a Candlelight Vigil. Always beginning on the evening of August 15, the vigil continues until the morning of August 16 with fans walking up the driveway of his home to the Meditation Garden.

Unlike some artists, whose contributions are only recognized after they're gone, the changes Presley brought to the world were felt while he was alive. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, his family later moved to Memphis, where he was exposed to blues and jazz.

After high school, in 1953, he recorded a few songs at the Memphis Recording Service studio and a year later, Sam Phillips, who owned the studio, called him in to cut a song with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. Their takes on Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right (Mama)" and Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky," were instant radio hits.

Presley quickly reached international fame, but after being drafted, in 1958, he left music behind for the Army. While stationed in Germany, he met Priscilla Beaulieu, 14, the step-daughter of an Air Force captain, and the two married years later in 1967.

In 1968, the two welcomed their daughter, Lisa Marie, into the world, but divorced in 1973.

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Candles arranged to spell out "Elvis 4 Ever" sit beside a collection of framed prints of Elvis Presley during a vigil outside the front gates of Graceland Mansion, the home of Elvis Presley, on August 15, 2007, in Memphis, Tennessee. Joe Raedle/Getty

At the age of 22, Presley purchased Graceland for $102,500, according to History.com, and former President George W. Bush was the first sitting U.S. president to visit. Along with Graceland, Presley also purchased former President Franklin Roosevelt's yacht. In 1964, he paid $55,000 for Roosevelt's 165-foot-long vessel. He later donated it to St. Jude's Children Hospital, which sold it to raise one.

Over the years, Presley starred in 33 films, sold more than one billion records, earned 14 Grammy nomination and three wins. More than 100 of his songs earned Top 40 spots and in 1986 he was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

"In 1954, the performer kicked off a musical revolution by modernizing traditional genres such as blues, country and bluegrass for contemporary (and more youthful) audiences," the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame wrote about Presley. "Throw in a charismatic stage presence with then-scandalous hip-swings and body contortions, and it's easy to see why Presley set the charts (and hearts) ablaze."