Michael Jackson vs. Elvis Presley: The Prince and the King

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Difference between Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley

One of the most distinctive figures in the pop music landscape was Michael Jackson. Almost as well known for his stupendous talent as his much-publicized eccentricities, Michael Jackson’s life was common fodder for the press. Interestingly enough, Michael Jackson’s life mirrored that of another talented-yet-tormented personality: Elvis Presley. Arguably just as eccentric and as popular–albeit for an earlier generation of fans–Presley’s life bears some distinct similarities with Jacko’s. This comparison article takes a look at some of the key similarities between the King of Rock And Roll and the Prince of Pop.


Aside from their wildly successful careers, both Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley were also known for their eccentric tastes. Elvis had his Jungle Room in Graceland to retreat to, while MJ had the (in)famous Neverland ranch. Graceland was decorated in garish fabrics, particularly the billiard room, which gave new meaning to the word "tacky". Elvis Presley’s TV room was no less distinctive, and the multiple television sets, mirrored ceilings and blazing yellow accents gave the room a decidedly loud and gaudy feel. Michael’s Neverland motif was arguably a bit more tasteful, but the recreation aspect the likes of Disneyland could definitely turn heads. In any case, there is no way that Neverland could be mistaken for a traditional ranch.

The Price Of Fame

As a result of the stupendous amount of fame that both men acquired, they gradually retreated from the public view in similar ways. Elvis for his part adopted a more reclusive persona in his later years, which was a far cry from the exuberant and boyish charm of his early career. Presley also relied more and more on a cadre of bodyguards and trusted confidants as paranoia set in, and people who wanted to deal with him often found themselves having to deal with his lackeys instead. As for Michael Jackson, he too gradually retreated into his own world away from the prying eyes of the media and an increasingly critical public. The numerous accusations of pedophilia and inappropriate behavior caused him to withdraw even further into his own world, although by most accounts he remained cordial and thoroughly professional to those around him.

Medical Issues

Of course the fact that prescription drugs took their toll on both Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley is well known, but it remains uncertain just how instrumental they were in Jackson’s death. Both have also undergone plastic surgery, although Jackson has famously downplayed just how much modification he had undergone.


Michael Jackson

  • Known for his “Neverland” ranch.
  • Suffered from loneliness brought about by fame
  • Established a private world away from the public and the media
  • Was riddled with accusations of pedophilia and inappropriate behavior
  • Underwent extensive plastic surgery
  • Eventually resorted to prescription drug use

Elvis Presley

  • Known for the “Jungle Room” and Graceland
  • Suffered from loneliness resulting from fame as well
  • Became more reclusive in his latter years
  • Surrounded himself with a select few people that functioned as buffers between himself and the rest of the world
  • Underwent a face lift
  • Turned to prescription drugs as well

Comparison of Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley

source: youtube.com
Which singer had a better voice?
  • Michael Jackson
  • Elvis Presley

comments 10 Comments

  • Brenda . 3+ yrs. ago

I did not like the comparison. Elvis never did the surgery was Michael who became Elvis nose EVER! and that everyone knows, Michael always try to imitate Elvis in his style and way of life he married Lisa Marie for what? there are so many women in the world had to look at the king's daughter, everything was planned MJ use Lisa Marie to improve its image was being accused of pedophilia and many other things, silly Lisa Marie fell in the game with the illusion of record your hard she was paid to the game. Elvis is the only true king the greatest singer in the world, others only wanted to emulate his greatness and look into something for his majesty ELVIS PRESLEY!!

  • beyrem . 3+ yrs. ago

you serious Brenda!!

"he married Lisa Marie for what?" lol so he imitated Elvis by marrying his daughter you gotta be kidding me

just put your opinion in a respectful way don't be a butt-hurt fan-girl!! they're both the best, but if everyone is imitating Elvis why Michael have more impersonators, and why are all the modern singers copying his style?? just be realistic

  • Ed . 3+ yrs. ago

I like them both but Elvis definitely has more imitators.

  • yarilen . 3+ yrs. ago

Elvis de todas maneras el mejor, en la voz, el estilo, en la genialidad y originalidad de su música.

  • MARIA . 3+ yrs. ago

Elvis the best es el numero 1!!!!

  • Fergus . 3+ yrs. ago

Now, who should I believe – the Elvis’ fans BIASED opnions or these FACTS:

To CLOSE all arguments, Michael Jackson (NOT Elvis) was AWARDED/INDUCTED:

1.) MOST SUCCESSFUL ENTERTAINER of ALL TIME (Guinness Book of World Records, certificate given to MJ in 1996)

2.) “Biggest Selling Recording Musician of All Time”

IFPI (International Federation Of the Phonographic Industry) certified Michael Jackson as the “Best Selling Artist Ever” with an award at the 1996 World Music Awards.

3.) “ARTIST of THE MILLENNIUM” (World Music Awards,2000)

-this special millennium award was presented in 2000 to the WORLD’S BEST-SELLING recording-artist OF ALL TIME!

4.) The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame sites him: “the biggest-selling artist of all time,” “the single most awarded entertainer the world has ever known,” “the most popular artist in the history of show business,” and “the world’s most famous man.”

5.) “ARTIST OF THE CENTURY” (by the Annual American Music Awards, LA Jan 2002)

6.) the 1st to have reached more than 100million albums sold outside the USA (Guinness World Records)

7.) inducted into the ” DANCE HALL OF FAME” as the FIRST (and currently only) dancer from the world of pop and rock ‘n’ roll.

8.) “Triple Crown Award – KING OF POP, ROCK & SOUL” 1989, BRE Awards).

- As the haters claim, it is not true that Michael self-named the title “King of Pop”.

9.) Grammy LEGEND AWARD (Grammy, 1993)

other awardees in differeb years were: Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Quincy Jones, etc.... NO ELVIS!

Enough of the biased views of the ELVIS fans! MJ is clearly the GREATEST!!!

  • Ed . 3+ yrs. ago

Biased views of Elvis fans? LOL. You are biased yourself because of your views of MJ. Elvis was entertainer of the century for the 20th century. Elvis beats MJ hands down with the stats below, not just bias opinion.

-Elvis had most weeks at number 1 with 79.

-Elvis had 18 number 1 singles while MJ had 13.

-Elvis had 36 top 10 singles while MJ had 29.

-Elvis had 114 top 40 singles while MJ doesn't even crack the top 10 list for most 40 singles.

I could go on and on but you get the picture.

  • Joster Manoster . 3+ yrs. ago

Firstly - Michael Jackson strictly speaking sold more records, but he had the advantage of, ohhh not having to be the one who actually MADE his genre popular. Before him there were some people who did rock, but he's the one who made it famous. Without Elvis there would be NO ROCK AND ROLL. Think about how many other genres come from that. Sure MJ sold more records, and that's what all of those awards are based on, but Elvis had a much larger subjective impact on the music industry. He was so popular, there's actually an entire industry made for impersonating him.

MJ was the King of Pop, but Elvis was the King of Rock. And he definitely didn't come up with THAT. He actually didn't want people to call him that, because as he said, there was only ONE king.

He didn't win a Grammy Living Legend Award because that award came out in 1990. Significantly after he died. He was on the other hand the youngest person to have ever received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He has seven songs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the only ones above him are the Beatles as a band, and the Rolling Stones as a band.

That having been said, MJ is a great man, and he lived long enough to affect quite a few generations. But Elvis was HUGE. They aren't really comparable, they did different things and were both certainly great. I wouldn't say one is really better than the other, they each had their own things.

But there's a reason why they called Elvis "The King"

  • JAC . 3+ yrs. ago

Elvis had an impact that is still being measured today. Total awards and record sales are not the best way to measure artists from different generations. It is very telling how Elvis is still being measured against the best artists ever, living or dead. Elvis was necessary historically to get to where we are today. As one very famous and great artist in his own right, John Lennon said "before Elvis there was nothing". Elvis Aaron Presley, the reluctant King still reigns.

  • DOC . 3+ yrs. ago


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