There are only a handful of artists who are known by the first name. Michael, Madonna, Bono.
But before Michael, Madonna and Bono there was the one and only Elvis Presley.
He died 40 years ago today of a heart attack. To invoke the name of Elvis Presley is to invoke a certain image. In his prime, Elvis represented a youthful rebellion that had not been seen before in American culture. Teenagers loved him and adults at best tolerated him and at worst tried to censor him.
While there was some controversy in hindsight (he was not actually the pioneer of rock and roll, he just started playing the music that the African-American community had been playing for years), he is still an icon who is still respected, adored and worshiped four decades after his passing.
RIP sir. Your physical presence maybe long gone, but your music will live forever.