40 years ago, America shocked by death of Elvis Presley

Forty years ago, on August 16, 1977, “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” Elvis Presley died and rock lost its first superstar.

Presley was found unconscious at his Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, and declared dead at hospital. He was just 42.

The cause was pronounced as cardiac arrhythmia. But rumours quickly swirled. One of his former bodyguards described him as drugged and paranoid in an interview recorded several hours before his death.

His heavy use of opioids and prescription pills — largely unknown to his legions of fans during his lifetime — was later determined to have played at least a role in his tragic death.

Remembrance and fainting fits

On August 17, te…

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