New Elvis stamp features a more toned-down King of Rock 'n' Roll

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  July 2, 2015 at 9:50 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Postal Service on Thursday unveiled its first Elvis Presley stamp since 1993, featuring a black-and-white photo of the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

The bust portrait of Presley against a white background -- taken in 1955 by William Speer -- is decidedly less colorful and dynamic than the stylized image that graces the 1993 stamp.

The Forever stamp includes Presley's signature in gold, along with a tiny crown located in the bottom left-hand corner, a nod to the singer's reputation as the King. On the reverse side of the pane of stamps is a photograph taken by Alfred Wertheimer of Presley performing.

Presley is being commemorated on the stamp as the sixth inductee into the USPS' Music Icon Series.

"Elvis is a natural addition to our Music Icon Series," Postmaster General Megan Brennan said in a statement in June when the stamp was first announced. "His life and talents are an incredible story. Spanning from his humble beginnings in a Tupelo, Miss., two-room house to becoming one of the most legendary performance artists of the 20th century, Elvis Presley's works continues to resonate with millions the world over."

A stamp dedication ceremony will take place on the morning of Aug. 12 at Graceland in Memphis as part of this year's traditional Elvis Week celebration. The stamp will be issued the same day.

The "Jailhouse Rock" and "Love Me Tender" singer died Aug. 16, 1977, after years of prescription drug abuse. He was 42.

The Music Icons stamp series, which was established in 2013, recognizes "beloved musicians whose blend of sound and way of life broke musical boundaries," a news release said. The first inductees included Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. Last year's inductees were Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

Karen Butler contributed to this report.

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