To this day, Elvis Presley is one of the most famous and recognizable figures in pop culture and music history. Throughout his career, he recorded more than 600 songs and gave performances all across the United States to his many millions of fans.
For any music fan, there are a handful of Elvis Presley’s live performances that are memorable because of their iconic status in music history.
Here are the top four most iconic Elvis Presley performances from his career:
1. The Ed Sullivan Show (September 9th, 1956): The first Elvis performance on the then-popular Ed Sullivan show catapulted Presley into enormous popularity. His performance was watched by more than 82% of the entire television viewing audience when it aired. His electric stage presence was broadcast in the living rooms of millions, earning him an entire generation of fans.
2. The Frank Sinatra Timex Special (May 12, 1960): This was the first Elvis live performance on television after his brief stint in the army. Elvis Presley was paid $125,000 for just eight minutes of singing on the show.
3. “Elvis” (December 3, 1968): Considered Elvis Presley’s “comeback” performance, this special aired on NBC in 1968. He gave an informal performance in front of a small audience which some people refer to as a major influence for the MTV Unplugged concert series. The performance special was hugely popular and is described as a revitalization for Elvis Presley’s career, which had faltered during the 60s.
4. Elvis Aloha From Hawaii (January 14, 1973): Elvis’ live performance in Hawaii was broadcast live via satellite to more than 40 countries around the world. Some estimates claim that the performance had more than 1 billion viewers during its original airing! Elvis Presley’s Hawaiian performance was also famous for debuting his famous white jumpsuit costume. The special cost more than $2.5 million to produce, making it the most expensive entertainment special at the time.