Elvis Presley earned millions from his haters with a brilliant move

When Elvis Presley burst onto the music scene in the mid-1950s, he was a controversial figure. Not only was it surprising to hear a white man singing music usually performed by black singers, but the presence of him on stage live caused a great deal of concern. His gyrating hips were, at the time, outrageous; but teenage girls absolutely loved him for it. He quickly earned the nickname Elvis the Pelvis. And then things turned sour for the young star.

Elvis defended his dance moves, simply stating that they were a natural reaction to his music. “I don’t roll my… what they call pelvic twists,” he explained. “My pelvis has nothing to do with what I’m doing. I just… have rhythm to the music. I jump because I enjoy what I’m doing.” But his actions reached the top. A Florida judge threatened to arrest the star for his “indecency.”

Elvis’ ex-girlfriend June Juanico said of the controversy: “[The judge] he felt that Elvis’s jabs and routines were objectionable to a teenage audience, and ordered Elvis to tone down his performance.”

Elvis biographer Chris Hutchins recalled that Elvis was even sent out with threats of kidnapping and death because of his movements.

Hutchins said: “An anonymous phone call had warned of a plot to kidnap him. The FBI had barely had time to react before a second call was made… Shortly after, a third warning came, this time stating that Hutchins would be shot.” Elvis on stage.”

Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, wasn’t sure if his artist was safe, or how long his fame would last after these threats. So, as a way to secure his own financial future, Parker signed a $40,000 contract that would make Elvis Presley a brand name. Through this, officially licensed Elvis merchandise was released and sold. This included, but was not limited to, jewelry, record players, and clothing.

Elvis earned $22 million in revenue, and Parker earned 25 percent of all profits. But that was not enough. To make sure Elvis got every piece of the pie, he did something drastic that would capitalize on those who hated him.

Parker and Elvis released anti-Elvis badges that had negative slogans peppered with them. These included sentiments like “I hate Elvis” and “Elvis is a jerk.”

Although he was promoting “negative” publicity for the King of Rock and Roll, the profits went directly into his pocket. As a result, he reportedly made even more money, racking up his earnings in the millions once again. Of course, Parker continued to take a hefty 25 percent of the profits, and did so until Elvis’s death. By the time Elvis died on August 16, 1970, Parker had earned more than $100 million through King.

However, he couldn’t hold it even if he tried.

Parker was a prominent gambler and spent all his money in Las Vegas while Elvis was on stage during his residency.

The manager died on January 21, 1997, at the age of 87, after suffering a stroke. At the time, his estate was worth a relatively meager $1 million.

He was shown as the villain of the story in the recently released biopic, Elvis, where he was played by Tom Hanks.


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