So many artists become famous after their deaths. Great painters, writers and composers of the past certainly received the most acclaim years, decades, or centuries after their passing.
That’s the good and bad of being ahead of the times: You’re leaving a gift for future generations, but you’ll never see it celebrated during your own lifetime.
Elvis’ fame wasn’t like that. Elvis was a big name during his time, and is a household name even now.
And he is still being recognized for his contributions to society — both because of his music and his time in the military. President Donald Trump will be awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Nov. 16.
The award recognizes those who have made great positive impact on society.
The White House released a statement outlining the award and its recipients, detailing exactly why Elvis has been chosen as a recipient.
“This prestigious award is the Nation’s highest civilian honor,” the statement explained, “which may be awarded by the President to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
“Elvis Presley defined American culture to billions of adoring fans around the world,” the statement read. “Elvis fused gospel, country, and rhythm and blues to create a sound all his own, selling more than a billion records.”
“Elvis also served nearly 2 years in the United States Army, humbly accepting the call to serve despite his fame.”
“He later starred in 31 films, drew record-breaking audiences to his shows, sent television ratings soaring, and earned 14 GRAMMY Award nominations.”
“He ultimately won 3 GRAMMY Awards for his gospel music. Elvis Presley remains an enduring American icon 4 decades after his death.”
He’s not the only person to receive recognition after his death. Justice Antonin Scalia and Babe Ruth will be given the same honor.
There are seven people in total who will be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including Roger Staubach, Alan C. Page, Orrin G. Hatch, and Miriam Adelson.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.