On August 16, 1977, Elvis’ fiance found him unresponsive on the bathroom floor. He was scheduled to fly to Memphis for a concert, one which he ultimately never made it to.
A witness described the scene and said that Elvis’s body looked like it froze while he was using the toilet and then fell down right in front of it. He was pronounced dead the next day.
The Final Proposal
In 1976, Elvis was dating model and actress Ginger Alden. He ultimately proposed, but friends of the singer claimed he wasn’t serious about getting married again after his recent divorce.
The quality of his performances declined even further. When he managed not to sleep through his shows, he would be slurring so badly that his words were inaudible. While he was able to lose some weight before his death, his health never recovered.
A Tell-All Book
To Elvis’ surprise, three of the bodyguards he fired chose to write a tell-all book — " Elvis: What Happened?" . While he tried to pay off the publishers to not release the book, it ultimately went public on August 1, 1977.
It not only detailed The King’s issues with substance abuse but his romantic and personal relationships as well. The musician was devastated, but his former employees claimed it wasn’t written as a way to bring light to his troubles and encourage him to get help. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the time to do so as he died just two weeks later.
Priscilla Is Devastated
Despite them having been divorced for several years at the time, Priscilla was devastated upon learning of Elvis’ death.
When interviewed about this day, she recalled being overwhelmed with the news and not being able to do anything or wrap her head around the events until a plane was sent for her. When she went into the house, she heard people cry with his father, who was grieving badly.
Elvis’ funeral was held on August 18, 1977, at Graceland where thousands of fans stood outside the gates hoping to get a glimpse of the casket. He was buried next to his mother at the Forest Hill Cemetery followed by a procession of nearly 80,000 people.
Just a week after the funeral, someone tried to steal the body, which was moved to Graceland's Meditation Garden in response. The public got a good look at Elvis in his casket though after his cousin, Billy Mann, was offered $18,000 by the "National Enquirer" for a photo. It was the magazine's biggest-selling issue.