Widely considered to be one of the more important figures of 20th Century pop culture, Elvis Presley was a renowned singer and actor from Nashville, TN by way of Tupelo, MS. After Sun Records owner Sam Phillips signed him in 1954 in a ploy to expose the world of African-American music to more mainstream audiences, Elvis soon began releasing a quick-paced blend of country and rhythm and blues that would go on to be called rockabilly. Elvis caught the attention of RCA Vector and released the 1956 debut single "Heartbreak Hotel," which would make him a leading figure of the emerging rock and roll scene. Though he has been criticized for shamelessly ripping off many songs from African-American sources, Elvis managed to put his own unique spin on many of the tracks with his characteristic croon and notorious dancing style. In addition to creating music, he'd also frequently star in films, although his show business career was put on hold when he was drafted into the armed services in 1958. When he returned stateside two years later, he relaunched his career in a period that would warrant some of his most commercially successful material. Elvis would spend much of the 1960s working on films and soundtracks, many of which were critically panned, and rarely performed for live audiences. After a nearly seven year absence from the stage, Elvis would return with a successful televised comeback special, that would ultimately lead to a lengthily successful--albeit unknowingly self-mocking--Las Vegas residency. Though he faded towards the end of his career into an impressive addiction to prescription pills that led to his early death at the age of 42, Elvis will forever go down in music history as the king of rockabilly.