Elvis Presley's last performance two months before his death is phenomenal
17 August 2022, 12:21
Elvis Presley was just 42 years old when he died but video footage shows his stage presence was unrivalled to the very end.
Years of alcohol and prescription drug misuse saw the demise of one of history's greatest performers at the age of just 42.
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However, two months before his death Elvis Presley took to the stage for his last staggering performance to be captured on camera.
Despite what we now know to be his extensive health issues and struggles with addiction, The King gave a rendition of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight' that has gone down in history.
The star was on stage for an encore at his June 21 show in Rapid City, South Dakota that was being filmed for a TV special and live album, a show that had also seen him perform a stunning cover of 'Unchained Melody'.
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Elvis introduced the song to the crowd and began what would become the last ever recorded performance of his career.
Strumming his guitar, The King's unmistakable voice rings out with the immortal opening line: "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" as the crowd screams and almost drowns out his vocals.
The star looked more bloated than his younger self, and while his body may have been on the brink, but his voice was still as strong as ever.
When it comes to the speaking part of the song, Elvis starts to stumble and forget his words, laughing with the crowd over his forgetfulness.
He looks awkward and is visibly sweating, however as soon as he starts singing again, the words come back naturally and he finishes off the performance with incredible vocal skill.
The end of the song brings the end of an era – just 56 days later Elvis Presley would be dead.
On August 1, 1977, three bodyguards fired by Elvis the previous year would release a book entitled Elvis: What Happened?
Reportedly the last song Elvis sang in private was a rendition of 'Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,' performed on his piano in Graceland hours before his death.
Watch Elvis Presley's last recorded performance below:
It would become the first exposé on Presley's years of drug misuse.
By the time of his death, Elvis was struggling with various health issues: glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage, and an enlarged colon, each possibly caused by drug abuse.
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On the evening of Tuesday, August 16, 1977, Elvis was scheduled to head to Memphis for the start of another tour.
That afternoon, his partner Ginger Alden found him in an unresponsive state on a bathroom floor. Attempts to revive him failed, and his death was confirmed at 3.30pm.
The President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, praised Presley with having "permanently changed the face of American popular culture". Thousands of people visited outside Graceland to view the open casket.
Presley's funeral was held at Graceland on August 18. Around 80,000 people lined the processional route to Forest Hill Cemetery, where Presley was buried next to his mother.