August 16, 1977. Found unconscious at his Graceland estate, the "King of Rock and Roll" was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Presley's death was ruled a heart attack. His addiction to barbiturates is thought to have contributed. He was 42. Elvis was 19 when he recorded his first songs, a present to his mother. With his movie star looks and soulful voice, it didn't take long before an RCA record contract turned Elvis into a national obsession. In addition to dominating the charts in the late 1950s, Elvis made 27 musical films in the 1960s. His final hit during his lifetime came in 1972, with "Burning Love."