Elvis Gets Presidential Medal of Freedom
Elvis Presley is an American Icon. He literally changed the world. And now, he's finally being honored for his contributions to the world. President Donald Trump on Friday honored several key American figures, including Elvis, with the highest honor a civilian can receive, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Also receiving the award was former Cowboys Quarterback Roger Staubach, baseball legend Babe Ruth and late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Now, if you're wondering "why Elvis?", the answer is simple he changed the world. If you go back to 1955 when Elvis began making national waves while performing on the Louisiana Hayride, the world and music business were completely different. White people were relatively unaware of black music in the 1950s. Elvis exposed America to music from that community, which made artists like Little Richard, Chuck Berry and countless other black musicians household names.
He also changed the structure of music as a whole. Pop music/Country music never used a drummer. It was typically just stringed instruments and vocals. However, thanks to Elvis bass player pounding his stand up into oblivion, when he left Sun to go to RCA they re-recorded some of his Sun hits with drums. From that point forward, drummers became a staple of pop and country music. Oh yeah, it also helped form a new style of music called rock and roll.
And those are just his professional accomplishments. On a human level, Elvis was known to use his fortune to help those in need. Elvis reportedly donated thousands of dollars every year to numerous charities around the US. He was also an Army vet.
Elvis joins a lengthy list of musical stars to be awarded the medal, including Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Wonder.
Explaining the posthumous award, the White House said: "Presley defined American culture to billions of adoring fans around the world. Fusing gospel, country and rhythm and blues" the star had created 'a sound all his own'."