Today, the U.S. Postal Service previewed the Music Icons: Elvis Presley Commemorative Forever stamp. Launched in 2013, the Music Icons series consists of beloved musicians whose blend of sound and way of life broke musical boundaries. The first inductees were Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. Last year’s inductees were Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
Elvis Presley, The King of Rock and Roll™, is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His music and unique performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences, made him enormously popular. “The King’s” influence continues to inspire many of today’s artists, musicians, designers and social influencers.
During his lifetime, Presley starred in 33 films, recorded 18 number one singles, and racked up 14 Grammy nominations and three Grammy wins. He sold out every one of the 1,140 concerts he performed after serving in the Army. To date, no one has ever surpassed his record for scoring the most Top 40 hits, a total of 114. Presley is the first recording artist to have sold more than one billion albums, cementing his status as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Presley left an indelible mark on American pop music, inspiring and influencing thousands of rock musicians. Nearly 40 years after Presley’s death, more than 600,000 people still visit his Graceland home in Memphis every year.
Priscilla Presley will join Postmaster General Megan Brennan in dedicating the stamp on the morning of Aug. 12 at Graceland in Memphis as part of this year’s Elvis Week celebration.
The USPS also joined with Sony Music’s RCA/Legacy Recordings in announcing the upcoming debut of an exclusive music CD titled ELVIS FOREVER that includes an Elvis song, “If I Can Dream,” as you’ve never heard it before. Customers can get this track first by picking up a copy of the commemorative $9.99 ELVIS FOREVER at their local Post Office location and available online beginning August 12 — on the same day as the Elvis Presley stamp dedication ceremony.
The Postal Service previously honored Presley on a stamp in 1993. The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum calls that stamp the most popular U.S. commemorative stamp of all time. This Music Icons: Elvis Presley Commemorative Forever stamp features a 1955 black-and-white photograph of Presley taken by William Speer. In the bottom left corner, between the words “Forever” and “USA,” is a small gold crown, a nod to Presley’s nickname, The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Presley’s signature, in gold ink, also is featured along the right side of the stamp.
The square stamp pane resembles a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the pane includes 16 stamps while the image of a sliver of a record seems to peek out of the top of the sleeve. An image of Presley performing was shot by photographer Alfred Wertheimer and the logo for the Music Icons Series appear on the reverse side (above) of the stamp pane. Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, served as the art director and designed the stamp pane with Leslie Badani, also of Alexandria, VA.
The following text borders the block of 16 stamps:
“During his illustrious career, rock-and-roll superstar Elvis Presley starred in dozens of feature films, won three Grammy Awards, and recorded 18 number one singles: Heartbreak Hotel, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You, Don’t Be Cruel, Hound Dog, Love Me Tender, Too Much, All Shook Up , (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear, Jailhouse Rock, Don’t, Hard Headed Woman, A Big Hunk O’ Love, Stuck On You, It’s Now Or Never, Are You Lonesome Tonight?, Surrender, Good Luck Charm, Suspicious Minds.”