Elvis Presley toured tirelessly across the United States beginning in the late 1960s and was even scheduled to return to a concert the same day he died in 1977. From 1969 to 1976 he had a legendary seven-year residency at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, which at the time had the largest showroom in the city. The king of rock and roll’s half-brother has just revealed the star has a spiritual ritual he will perform every night after he finishes performing in front of 2,000 fans in a record 636 shows.
Billy Stanley, Elvis’ half-brother, recently spoke about the side of the King that fans never knew.
He described a tender version of a man who acted like an older brother to him and was vulnerable even in his strongest moments.
He also recalled how Elvis left himself unattended every night after singing. Instead of using alcohol or drugs to recover from the adrenaline of the stage, Elvis will turn to one of the greatest passions he retained from his childhood: his religion.
Billy revealed that Elvis worships his god every night after playing live music, as an act of celebration and reflection.
Billy said, “A lot of people don’t realize that after every show he would chill out singing gospel songs until the sun came up.”
Even on Elvis’ busiest days, he would sing hymns to his god to unwind after a hard night’s work. And not only did Elvis practice what he preached, but he took care of the Bible that he kept with him at all times, Billy revealed. He was still studying it, highlighting scriptures and prayers that he felt spoke to him in some way.
“He was in touch with the Lord,” Billy continued. “A lot of people said, ‘Well, he did this and that. [But] we are all below. We are all human. As Christians, most of us live under a magnifying glass. Well, Elvis lived under a microscope because he was a big star. It was hard.”
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Billy said: “[Elvis] would simply dive into the Bible and read it. Every experience we all have is in the Bible…it will comfort you. I think the biggest thing everyone has a problem with is forgiveness. But God forgives. All you have to do is ask. But it’s hard to forgive yourself.”
He added that Elvis often spoke about how “God forgive us”. “He was very comforted by that,” he added. “Once you start to believe that Jesus came and died for your sins, your actions will change. You will try to stop doing the things that aren’t good for you.”
Priscilla and Elvis finalized their divorce on October 9, 1973. But Elvis still had a smile on his face as they walked down the aisle of the government building after completing their paperwork.
According to legend, Elvis took Priscilla’s hand as he walked out of the room and sang a beautiful Dolly Parton song to his now ex-wife.
Elvis sang I Will Always Love You to Priscilla, with whom he had shared a home, a daughter – Lisa Marie Presley – and countless pets.
Billy revealed that this was normal for Elvis, who was “focused on helping others”.
He continued, “The Bible says the Lord loves a generous giver and [Elvis] was the most generous donor I have ever met. Whenever you feel lonely or no one loves you… you see the devil’s playground is your mind. But help someone else? It takes away all that self-doubt and fears that you have in your life. This is why we are all put here on this Earth. Elvis believed in it.”