Most people see Elvis Presley as a popular singer and actor, however, Priscilla Presley went even farther and compared him to God in her book. Later, Priscilla explained her comments. Here’s a look at how her book influences pop culture — and the other times the “Heartbreak Hotel” singer was portrayed as a semi-divine figure.
Priscilla Presley reveals how Elvis Presley taught her everything
In her book Elvis and Me, Priscilla gets candid about her relationship with the “Can’t Help Falling in Love” singer. “He taught me everything,” she revealed. “How to dress, how to walk, how to apply makeup and wear my hair, how to behave, how to return love- his way. Over the years, he became my father, husband, and very nearly God.”
This quote became very famous, partially because it was featured on the back cover of Elvis and Me. According to Rolling Stone, Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore said Elvis and Me inspired his band’s classic song “Personal Jesus.” The song seems to take the idea of Elvis nearly being Priscilla’s God to a more literal level.
Priscilla explains her comments
Priscilla would later reflect on the idea of her husband being her God after explaining how she felt following his death. “I just went to my room and tried to contemplate how this happened, and what happened, and just stayed there until they sent a plane for me,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “They sent a jet to come, and going into that house and hearing all the people — especially his father, who I will, to this day, still remember him crying in such grief, howling — that it still resonates the loss and the impact.”
Then Priscilla explained why she compared Elvis to God. “You have to remember, he was such an impact in my life, in every way,” she said. “He was my mentor, he was my confidant. I wrote this in my book. He was everything. In my book I wrote ‘my God,’ because I lived and breathed him.”
How pop culture has portrayed Elvis as a religious figure
The comparison between Elvis and God exists beyond Priscilla’s comments. For example, Jack Womack wrote a dystopian novel called Elvissey. Elvissey depicts a future where people see the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll as a semi-divine figure who had miraculous powers. More recently, Lana Del Rey released a short film called Tropico which depicted Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden alongside Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, and a unicorn. The film ends with Adam and Eve ascending to heaven while “Always on My Mind” plays. Priscilla saw her husband as semi-divine — and she wouldn’t be the last person to portray him that way.