Special Report

Most Popular Elvis Presley Songs

Keystone / Getty Images

Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935. Nicknamed the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Elvis left an indelible mark on popular culture that endures to this day.

He also permanently changed popular music with his unique combination of genres such as blues, country, and gospel. While Elvis wasn’t the first to perform music of this kind — Bill Haley & His Comets’ “Rock Around The Clock” was recorded months before Elvis’s version of “That’s All Right (Mama)” — he is widely regarded as the best to ever do it. His music, style, and attitude paved the way for the cultural revolution of the 1960s and all that followed.

The music of Elvis has been popular since the 1950s. It is estimated that he has sold more than 1 billion albums worldwide. He also sent 109 songs to the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, even though the chart began about four years after he started releasing music. While he doesn’t have the most chart topping hits, he certainly ranks among the artists with the most. These are the artists with the most No. 1 hits.

In honor of the King’s legacy and the anniversary of his birthday, 24/7 Tempo has identified his most popular songs, based on album sales and Billboard performance. Many of these songs were released during Elvis’s hot streak during the late 1950s. However, some of his most beloved recordings came out as late as the 1970s — a testament to his staying power as an artist.

Click here to see the most popular Elvis Presley songs

To determine the most popular Elvis Presley songs, 24/7 Tempo created an index based on two metrics: the number of singles sold as reported by the Recording Industry Association of America and performance on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. As the Hot 100 did not begin until August 1958, some Elvis Presley songs did not have the opportunity to chart upon their release — these songs were not penalized in the ranking. Editorial discretion was used in rare instances where a song had a greater cultural impact than reflected by its sales and chart performance in relation to other songs.

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

20. Burning Love
> Release date: August 19, 1972
> Certified copies: 1 million

“Burning Love” was Elvis’s final single to break into the Top 10 on the Hot 100, peaking at No. 2 on October 28, 1972. The song remained on the chart for 15 weeks, making it the singer’s biggest hit since “Suspicious Minds” in 1969.


Source: Getty Images

19. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
> Release date: May 1, 1956
> Certified copies: 1 million

Released in 1956, “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” was an early ballad hit for Elvis. Unlike in many of his previous songs, Elvis excluded most of his frequent collaborators, the Jordanaires. Still, the single would go on to be certified platinum.

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

18. Too Much
> Release date: January 1, 1957
> Certified copies: 1 million

Elvis recorded “Too Much” during the period he was filming “Love Me Tender” (1956). It was the singer’s fifth single record released on RCA, falling between “Love Me Tender” and “All Shook Up.”

Source: Rosemary Matthews / Getty Images

17. Don’t
> Release date: January 27, 1958
> Certified copies: 1 million

“Don’t” was ranked as the third biggest pop single of 1958 at the time by Billboard. Songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote this early composition specifically for Elvis.


Source: usnationalarchives / Flickr

16. In the Ghetto
> Release date: April 1, 1969
> Certified copies: 1 million

“In the Ghetto” helped revive Elvis’s career in the late 1960s. The song — the lyrics of which were inspired by the civil rights movement — was an unexpected choice for Elvis, who generally avoided politically charged topics in his music. The decision paid off as the song reached No. 3 on the Hot 100.

Source: Slaven Vlasic / Stringer /Getty Images Entertainment

15. Blue Suede Shoes
> Release date: August 1, 1956
> Certified copies: 0.5 million

The opening track on Elvis Presley’s classic 1956 debut album is among the most recognizable songs in rock and roll. The song was written by Carl Perkins, who released his own version before Elvis that same year. The song was not a chart hit for Elvis but became a staple for him regardless.


Source: Keystone / Getty Images

14. Hard Headed Woman
> Release date: June 30, 1958
> Certified copies: 1 million

“Hard Headed Woman” was released as a single with “Don’t Ask Me Why” as a B-side. Both songs were from the 1958 movie “King Creole,” starring Elvis. The song peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100, despite being released just over two months after Presley’s previous single, “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck.”

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

13. Can’t Help Falling In Love
> Release date: November 1, 1961
> Certified copies: 1 million

Most people who have attended a wedding in the past 60 years or so are familiar with Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The song — based on a French melody from the 18th century — was recorded for the 1962 movie “Blue Hawaii” and proved successful as a single, peaking at No. 2 on the Hot 100.

Source: Evening Standard / Getty Images

12. Suspicious Minds
> Release date: August 1, 1969
> Certified copies: 1 million

The 1969 hit “Suspicious Minds” is about a mistrusting couple. Prior to Elvis’s recording, the song’s writer, Mark James, cut his own, far less successful version. The Presley version hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 on Nov. 1, 1969, making it his final chart-topper.


Source: Keystone / Getty Images

11. Way Down
> Release date: June 25, 1977
> Certified copies: 1 million

“Way Down” was Elvis’s final single, released shortly before his death. The song peaked at No. 18 on the Hot 100 after the singer passed away, and reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Singles Chart.

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

10. Stuck On You
> Release date: March 1, 1960
> Certified copies: 1 million

“Stuck On You” was the first single released by Elvis upon returning to the U.S. after his time abroad in the army. Elvis was so popular that RCA reportedly printed 1.4 million record sleeves for the release before the music was even recorded. The song hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 and stayed there for four weeks.


Source: G. R. Greated / Getty Images

9. Return To Sender
> Release date: October 20, 1962
> Certified copies: 1 million

Elvis recorded “Return to Sender” for his 1962 film “Girls! Girls! Girls!” The song spent 16 weeks on the Hot 100, peaking in the No. 2 position.

Source: Hannelore Foerster / Getty Images

8. It’s Now Or Never
> Release date: July 18, 1960
> Certified copies: 1 million

Songwriters Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold borrowed the melody from the Italian song “O Sole Mio” for this 1960 hit. Elvis recorded the vocally challenging track in a single take. The song hit No. 1 on the Hot 100, where it stayed for five weeks.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

7. Are You Lonesome To-Night?
> Release date: November 14, 1960
> Certified copies: 2 million

Romantic ballad “Are You Lonesome To-Night?” hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 on Nov. 28, 1960, and stayed there for six weeks. The song was recorded following Elvis’s stint in the Army at the suggestion of his manager Col. Tom Parker. The track — originally written in 1926 — was reportedly a favorite of Parker’s wife.


Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

6. Heartbreak Hotel
> Release date: January 1, 1956
> Certified copies: 2 million

“Heartbreak Hotel” was Elvis’s first nationwide hit. Fans who have credited it with having life-changing effects include John Lennon, Keith Richards, and Elton John. Songwriters Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton said the song was inspired by a newspaper article about a man’s suiсide; his final note read, “I walk a lonely street.”

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

5. All Shook Up
> Release date: March 1, 1957
> Certified copies: 2 million

Songwriter Otis Blackwell, who also wrote “Don’t Be Cruel,” authored Elvis’s 1957 hit “All Shook Up.” According to Elvis authority Ernst Jorgensen, the song’s beat is the sound of the singer drumming on the back of a guitar.


Source: Keystone / Getty Images

4. Teddy Bear
> Release date: June 1, 1957
> Certified copies: 2 million

“(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” is often omitted from lists of Elvis’ greatest songs, yet it is one of his most commercially successful. The song was included on the soundtrack of his second movie — “Loving You” — and is one of four singles by the artist to be certified 2x Multi-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

3. Jailhouse Rock
> Release date: September 1, 1957
> Certified copies: 2 million

“Jailhouse Rock” was penned by songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for Elvis’s upcoming movie, then titled “The Hard Way.” Following RCA’s decision to release the song as a single, the movie was retitled to “Jailhouse Rock,” and both were scheduled to be released on the same day.

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

2. Love Me Tender
> Release date: August 1, 1956
> Certified copies: 3 million

The ballad “Love Me Tender” was performed by Elvis for his first movie, which went by the same name. The song borrows the tune from “Aura Lee” — a song which gained popularity during the Civil War — and features lyrics by Ken Darby, who was the music director for the film. Elvis’s recorded performance of the song was accomplished in two takes.


Source: NBC Television / Getty Images

1. Hound Dog
> Release date: July 1, 1956
> Certified copies: 4 million

Elvis’s scandalous performance of “Hound Dog” on “The Milton Berle Show” in June of 1956 is among his most iconic moments and has been credited as being essential in shaping rock and roll. Complete with hips swinging, the appearance cemented his status as a national sensation. The song is Elvis’s best selling single in the United States.

Take This Retirement Quiz To Get Matched With An Advisor Now (Sponsored)

Are you ready for retirement? Planning for retirement can be overwhelming, that’s why it could be a good idea to speak to a fiduciary financial advisor about your goals today.

Start by taking this retirement quiz right here from SmartAsset that will match you with up to 3 financial advisors that serve your area and beyond in 5 minutes. Smart Asset is now matching over 50,000 people a month.

Click here now to get started.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.