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Celebrities Who Absolutely Hated Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley is known as the King of rock ‘n’ roll, but he didn’t earn that title by unanimous consent. In fact, some people couldn’t stand him.

Elvis began his singing career with Sun Records out of Memphis, Tennessee, in 1954. By late 1955, his recording contract got sold to RCA Victor. The following year, he became an international sensation. Elvis-mania, much like Beatlemania, took the world by storm. If you were to go to an Elvis concert back during the mid to late 50s, you would expect to have your eardrums split by thousands of screaming adoring fans – the majority of whom were young girls who couldn’t help but crush on the charismatic, hip-gyrating crooner with those puppy dog eyes.

If you weren’t alive during this iconic era of musical history, it’s difficult to capture just how influential and important Elvis was to the entire industry and really, an entire generation. Not only was he good-looking, charming, and had a voice that could melt the coldest and most hardened of hearts, but he also helped introduce an entire generation to a sound that previously was only showcased by African American artists. Today, people might call him a cultural appropriator, but arguably he helped break down racism at a time when the western world was in the process of going through some genuinely monumental social changes.

Elvis went on to win three Grammy Awards for his gospel recordings. It’s estimated that over half a billion of his records have been sold in the last seven decades. And if you’ve ever been to an antique store or swap meet, then you already know just how much merchandise and memorabilia was produced featuring his image.

Clearly, Elvis Presley was beloved by many, but in this video, we’re going to take some time to discuss some of his biggest haters. Yes, not everyone was a fan of the King back in the day. Keep watching to find out who couldn’t stand the guy and why.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Back in the 1950s, there were several other claimants to the title of King of Rock ‘n’ Roll who were all vying for the throne. Other contenders included Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. All three musicians had their fair share of inner demons. In the end, Elvis ultimately become the claimant to the throne, largely because he was smart enough to hide his demons from the fledgling genre’s youthful fans.

While Chuck Berry was a bit older than Elvis, was black, and recorded in Chicago, Jerry Lee was about the same age as Presley, had a similar upbringing, and found success in Memphis as well.

Lewis was born in Ferriday, Louisiana, on the 29th of September, 1935. That makes him just ten months younger than Elvis who was born just a couple hundred miles away in Tupelo, Mississippi. Both musicians were raised in poverty in the deep south, grew up with Christianity being a central tenant in their lives, and were drawn to music by a very age. So, with so many similarities, it makes sense that the two were destined to become rivals.

When Jerry Lee was still in high school, he earned the nickname The Killer. He hated the name but it was what all of his friends called him. Lewis acquired that unique moniker not because people thought that he would someday literally kill people but rather that he ‘killed it’ musically speaking.

Ironically, however, eventually that nickname would take on a much more literal meaning. By 1976, both Elvis and Jerry Lee’s musical careers were already on the way out. Both stars had already achieved quite a bit by then, both in the music scene and Hollywood. For the longest time, Jerry Lee and Elvis were rather supportive of each other while still being rivals in a somewhat healthy kind of way. You know, the kind of rivalry that helps inspire both parties to bring their best offerings to the table.

On the morning of November 23, 1976, however, the cops responded to a call about a drunk man carrying a gun outside of Presley’s Graceland home in Memphis. The fact that that individual ended up being Lewis didn’t stop the police from arresting him. Shortly after he was taken into custody, the media erupted with accusations that Jerry Lee was planning to shoot his old musical rival.

Shockingly, this wasn’t just a one-off incident. Earlier that week, Lewis had attempted to enter Graceland as well. The evening before he was arrested, Lewis had rolled up to Elvis’ estate in a Rolls-Royce, only to be informed by the security guard, Harold Loyd, that Presley was already asleep. After being told that he would have to leave, Lewis politely thanked Loyd and drove off. Later that evening, however, Lewis crashed his fancy car and was cited for DUI and operating a motor vehicle without a license.

The following evening when he showed up with a pistol, he arrived driving a brand-new Lincoln Continental. Instead of being polite and cordial, Lewis seemed to be in a much darker state of mind. Loyd would later tell reporters that Lewis appeared to be out of his mind. He apparently was screaming, cussing, and creating quite a scene while he demanded that the gate guard get Elvis on the phone.

He aggressively insisted that Loyd get on the intercom and tell Elvis that he wanted to visit him. Lewis reportedly even told Loyd to tell Elvis that the ‘Killer’ was there to see him.

Naturally, Loyd responded with a bit of panic. After calling the house, he was told that he should notify the police about the situation. Not long after, six police cars were dispatched to the mansion home.

Elvis apparently had been watching the entire situation unfold on closed-circuit security footage. When he talked to Loyd and asked what was going on, that’s when he was informed that Lewis was wielding a pistol and “raisin’ hell”.

Presley reportedly told Loyd that he didn’t want to talk to Lewis and asked him to make sure that law enforcement was notified about the situation. He further told Loyd that when the cops arrived, that he should instruct them to lock Lewis’s “butt up and throw the key away”.

Billy J. Kirkpatrick, Lewis’s arresting officer later reported that the “Great Balls of Fire” singer had broken a window of his car when he threw a champagne bottle through it and that he had suffered a facial injury in the process.

The pistol that was found on him was not only loaded, but already cocked. Lewis ultimately was arrested for being drunk in public and carrying a loaded weapon. In the end, however, those charges mostly just went away.

The musicians never met again. Just ten months later, Presley was found dead.

Frank Sinatra

Ol’ Blue Eyes was never really a fan of Elvis or his music, but regardless of that fact, Frank invited Elvis to be on his popular primetime TV show in 1960 as a special guest. The appearance was meant to celebrate Presley’s return to the US after serving two years in the military in Germany.

During that appearance, the two stars joked on stage and at one point even mentioned their rivalry. They performed a medley of each other’s songs, and really it just seemed like their beef was more lighthearted and just for show. Behind the scenes, however, the two shared some seriously bad blood.

Sinatra likely couldn’t stand Presley for a pretty good reason. We now know that Elvis was having an affair with Juliet Prowse while she was still dating Frank. Prowse and Sinatra met while on the set of the musical Can-Can. Sinatra was so impressed by her that he invited her on his program as a backup singer, and soon enough, they fell in love.

Prowse met Presley in 1960 while they were co-stars in GI Blues. Shortly after meeting, the two began a passionate affair. Despite the fact that she and Presley were secretly seeing each other behind closed doors, Sinatra asked Juliet to marry him in 1962. They never ended up marrying, however, because Prowse wanted to focus on her career. 

John Lennon

Former Beatle John Lennon was known for being somewhat of a Leftist icon. Just listen to the lyrics of his 1971 song Imagine, and you’ll know what we mean by that. While Lennon spent much of his free time advocating for social justice and political change, Presley never used his platform to make any kind of overt political statement.

When Lennon met Presley in the 1960s, he described him as being a ‘right wing southern bigot’. Apparently, the resentment shared between the two musical rivals was instantaneous. According to iconic music presenter Bob Harris, it was ‘hate at first sight’. It’s also alleged that then-President Richard Nixon had tasked Elvis to spy on John Lennon due to his very public criticism of the war in Vietnam.

Nixon viewed Lennon as a counter-culture enemy. He even went as far as attempting to deport him on multiple occasions. At one point, Nixon even pledged that if Lennon ever were to leave the country, he wouldn’t be allowed to re-enter the United States.

Elvis and Nixon were great friends. As such, he was more than willing to agree to gather as much info about Lennon as he could. Before John met Elvis, he had a great deal of respect for his music, but after getting a chance to actually meet the guy, he was greatly disappointed and disillusioned to discover that he was basically just another one of Nixon’s pawns.

Dolly Parton

While Elvis was the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Dolly Parton is the reigning Queen of country music. Unlike Presley, however, Parton was never one to get lost in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. At the end of the day, all she’s ever wanted to do is share her musical gift with the world while using her fame as a means to spread positivity throughout the world.

While she’s ridiculously rich these days, Parton grew up fairly poor in Tennessee as one of 11 siblings. Throughout her childhood, there was never much money to go around, and by the time she was 10, she was already working to help support her family. Parton would later say that she was grateful for growing up poor as she got to see firsthand just how hard her mom and dad struggled to take care of the family while stretching a dollar further than anyone could imagine. To this day, whenever she thinks about spending money on things like clothing, wigs, and home furnishing, she still thinks about how her family would have frugally spent that cash if they had it.

Elvis, on the other hand, came to be this almost absurd symbol of extravagance. By the time that he was dubbed the ‘King’, he had already fully embraced the title by purchasing luxury cars, clothes, houses, and vehicles.

When asked what she thought about people like Elvis, Parton expressed that she was glad that she didn’t have to live like him as all of that fame and popularity had gone to his head and led him to believe that he was some sort of god instead of just being extremely lucky. Simply put, she found Elvis to be entitled and disconnected from his roots. Parton further told reporters that she would never want to live as publicly as Elvis did.

In 1980, Parton told Rolling Stone about the time that Presley had requested to cover one of her famous songs, I Will Always Love You. At first, she was super excited about the opportunity. The song had already been a number one hit for her, so the prospect of someone as big as Presley covering it was pretty exciting.

Unfortunately, after the two sat down and discussed the specifics of recording the track, they weren’t able to reach an agreement about publishing rights. Elvis wanted at least half of the publishing deal, but  Parton wasn’t okay with that. Ultimately, Parton didn’t let Presley cover the song, and apparently she was pretty heartbroken about it.

Although Presley never covered the song, years later Whitney Houston did – and really she was the perfect fit for the song.

With that, we’ll go ahead and wrap this video up.

You’ve heard what we have to say, now we’d love to hear from you!

Did you know that Jerry Lewis was once arrested outside of Elvis’ Graceland home with a loaded pistol and that Elvis Presley helped Richard Nixon spy on John Lennon? Let us know in the comments.

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