Elvis Presley, better known by his mononym “Elvis,” was an American singer and actor, and was considered the “King of Rock and Roll.” He was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Vernon Presley and Gladys Love Smith. Presley didn’t have the best childhood growing up because his family was impoverished and his father was jailed for eight months after altering a check. They eventually moved to Memphis, Tennessee where the aspiring musician set out to pursue music full-time.
In 1954, 19-year-old Presley signed up with producer Sam Phillips of Sun Records. Phillips then formed a quarter around the singer and transferred his contract to the record label, RCA Victor. In January 1956, Presley released his first single “Heartbreak Hotel” and it was an instant hit, selling over ten million copies in the United States. Over the years, he would release over 20 studio albums and become an influential figure in rock and roll. With his handsome looks and strong charisma, Presley quickly became a cultural icon and sex symbol.
Aside from singing and dancing, Presley also dabbled in acting and starred in many films. The singer’s film debut started with “Love Me Tender” in 1956. After being drafted into military service, Presley snagged more leading roles in “Jailhouse Rock” (1957), “Blue Hawaii” (1961), and “Viva Las Vegas” (1964). In 1968, Presley performed for the first time in seven years during his Las Vegas concert residency. He was also the first artist to have his concert broadcast around the world.
Unfortunately, Presley’s drug abuse and unhealthy habits eventually caught up to him. In 1977, the singer suddenly died while residing at his Graceland estate – he was only 42 years old. Presley’s unexpected death sent shockwaves throughout the globe, sparking speculations about his personal life and sexuality. So, was Elvis gay? Let’s find out the truth below.
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Elvis’s Dating History
When it comes to relationships, Presley is infamous for his conquests. Most people would say that his affairs could fit an entire book. From Hollywood actresses to celebrity models, the King of Rock and Roll was a magnet for women. Here are some of his high-profile relationships throughout the years.
Elvis and Natalie Wood (1956)
In 1956, Presley met actress Natalie Wood and started a whirlwind romance. However, things started spiralling down when Wood accompanied the singer to meet his parents. Apparently, Wood was turned off when she saw how close Presley was to his mother. According to sources, the singer would often sit on his mother’s lap and could be extremely affectionate. It got to a point that Wood had to make an excuse in order to get home. Their love affair didn’t last long after that encounter.
Elvis and Anita Wood (1957-1962)
A year after his split, Presley started seeing another performer, Anita Wood. When the singer asked her to move to Memphis, Wood gave up a contract and joined him. However, when Presley was assigned to Germany during his time in the military, it put a strain on their relationship. Wood suspected that Presley was seeing somebody else behind her back and she was proven right. The couple broke up when Presley got back and he immediately moved on with Priscilla Beaulieu.
Elvis and Priscilla Presley (1959-1973)
In 1959, Presley met 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu while stationed in Germany. When he got back to the United States, the singer managed to convince Beaulieu’s parents to let him keep seeing their daughter. Presley and Beaulieu dated for several years until the latter permanently moved to his Graceland estate in 1962. The couple eventually tied the knot in May 1967 and welcomed their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.
The pair’s relationship deteriorated over the years due to the singer’s dependence on prescription drugs. Beaulieu then had an affair with her karate teacher which severely crushed Presley’s ego. The couple separated in February 1972 and officially divorced the following year. Despite their split, they remained on amicable terms until his death in 1977.
Elvis and Rita Moreno (1961)
According to actress Rita Moreno, she met the King of Rock and Roll around 1961. The pair had an on-and-off passionate love affair that lasted for eight years. Moreno later shared that she dated Presley to make Marlon Brando jealous. When asked who was the better lover, the actress was coy but confessed Presley was “sweet but boring.”
Elvis and Ann-Marget (1963-1964)
While Presley was seeing Beaulieu, he was also dating actress Ann-Margret. The latter was his co-star in “Viva Las Vegas” (1964). While the couple went their separate ways, Ann opened up about their relationship in her 1994 memoir. According to the actress, their chemistry was intense and was like “a force they couldn’t control.” They officially split up in 1964 and Ann went on to marry Roger Smith in 1967.
Elvis and Linda Thompson (1972-1976)
In 1972, Presley dated Linda Thompson, an actress from “Princes of Malibu.” It was the singer’s second-longest relationship after Priscilla. While Thompson eventually married Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, the actress had fond memories of their romantic affair. Thompson called Presley her first love and the “one who altered her life the most.”
Elvis and Ginger Alden (1976-1977)
During Presley’s remaining years, he was engaged to his girlfriend, Ginger Alden. She was the singer’s last serious relationship before his death. Alden was also the one who found Presley unresponsive on the bathroom floor. It turned out that the singer had a cardiac arrest and had passed away.
Elvis And Gay Allegations
Throughout his entire career, Presley was followed around by gay allegations. The speculations stemmed from the singer’s apparent lack of interest in sex and his close male friendships. In fact, his group of friends were dubbed the “Memphis Mafia” by the media. Presley spent most of this time with his entourage and partied almost every night.
On the other hand, Presley’s “asexuality” came from statements made by alleged girlfriends and affair partners. Some people shared that the singer was not an overtly sexual individual. When he dated Priscilla, they didn’t engage in intercourse until their wedding night. However, these claims were easily refuted by other stories stating that the singer was a “lover of sex.”
Was Elvis Gay?
No, Elvis wasn’t gay. He was known for having a long list of relationships but was mostly associated with women. It’s important to note that the singer has never publicly talked about his sexuality. At this rate, fans can assume that the King of Rock and Roll was straight.