Elvis Presley: 'Pathetic' state of the King inspired pop icon to get sober


Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977, aged just 42-years-old. In the final few years of his life, the King of Rock and Roll let himself go. Not only did the star gain a lot of weight, but he was also reportedly indulging in alcohol and drugs and eating many burgers throughout the days. The star’s cause of death was determined as a cardiac arrest after “fourteen” different kinds of drugs were found in the star’s body. In 1976, while he was in this deteriorating state, he met Sir Elton John.

At the time,​ Elton was 29-years-old and had admitted to drinking a lot and using drugs.

The singer was endlessly excited to meet Elvis for the first time – but when it actually happened it didn’t go as he expected.

Telling his story on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997, Elton said: “Elvis, I saw him in Washington – bless his heart – and I’m a huge Elvis fan.

“It was so sad because he’d turned into this big man with no eyes – they’d sunken into the back of his head. It was pathetic.”

READ MORE: Elvis Presley’s funeral prompted death of two fans of the King

Elton went on to say the similarities between himself and Elvis at the end of his days were too close for comfort.

He continued: “In the end, there are pictures of me… when I look at them I think, oh my god: You turned into Elvis! You shut your door, you gained weight, you did this, you did that, and you didn’t care how you were. It’s very easy to do that.”

The Rocketman singer confessed after seeing Elvis in the state he was in, he decided he “didn’t want to end up like that”.

He went on: “I knew he would be dead in a year if he carried on like that – and he was.”

Unfortunately, a year later, Elvis was found dead in his home at Graceland.

He was discovered by his fiancée, Ginger Alden.

She later described the scene in her memoir, Elvis And Ginger, writing: “Just after 2pm, I awoke and walked into Elvis’s bedroom in search of him. The bathroom door was cracked open a little.

“I knocked on the door and said: ‘Elvis?’ There was no answer. Slowly opening the door, I peered in and saw Elvis on the floor. I stood paralysed.”

Ginger went on: “Elvis looked as if his entire body had completely frozen in a seated position then fallen forward.”

She later added: “This day had begun with excitement and hope for Elvis and me, but ended in heartache and disbelief. At the age of 42, my fiancé, Elvis Aaron Presley, was dead.”

The King’s death devastated not only his friends, his family, and his colleagues, but also his fans around the world.

To commemorate the singer a vigil was held for him two days later, on August 18, 1977, on the Graceland grounds.



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