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Elvis Presley Joins Elite Music Icon Series With Forever Stamp By US Postal Service
June 04, 2015  /  International Business Times
This marks the second time the late legendary singer has been honored by the Postal Service. In 1993, he was featured in a stamp in a watercolor painting by Mark Stutzman, the
Rolling Stone magazine reported.

Above: An E.E.R mock-up of the soon to be released "Forever" Stamp
The king of rock 'n' roll Elvis Presley will now be seen on a “Forever Stamp,”
becoming the sixth inductee into the U.S. Postal Service’s "Music Icon Series." Music
legends who are already part of the elite series include the first inductees Lydia
Mendoza, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles, and last year's additions Jimi Hendrix and
Janis Joplin.

The stamp will be released in the First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony on Aug. 12
in Graceland, Memphis, as part of this year’s Elvis Week celebration. The stamp
image will, however, be available to the customers at a later date, according to a
statement from the Postal Service, citing Postmaster General Megan Brennan.

Currently, the Forever Stamps cost 49 cents, USA Today reported.

“Elvis is a natural addition to our Music Icon Series,” Brennan said in the statement,
adding: “His life and talents are an incredible story. Spanning from his humble
beginnings in a Tupelo, Mississippi, 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.”
Above: An E.E.R mock-up of the soon to be released "Forever" Stamp
In 1992, the American public voted on a matter of vital national importance: young Elvis or old Elvis?
Allowing the public to select the artwork for the Elvis Presley stamp was an unprecedented move by the U.S. Postal Service. The choice was between two equally superb but
thematically distinct portraits: a watercolor of the youthful Elvis by Mark Stutzman, or a more mature Elvis painted by John Berkey.

Pre-addressed ballots were distributed in post offices around the country and in the April 13, 1992, edition of People magazine. America spoke, returning nearly 1.2 million ballots to
the Postal Service, and the choice was clear: More than 75 percent of voters preferred young Elvis. The stamp was dedicated at Graceland just a few moments after midnight on
January 8, 1993—Elvis’s 58th birthday.

Across the country, reaction to the voting process was boisterous and opinionated. Members of Congress debated the worthiness of Elvis as a stamp subject, newspaper editorialists
made lofty pronouncements, and presidential candidate Bill Clinton publicly voiced his support for the younger Elvis. Meanwhile, comedians and cartoonists used the opportunity to
poke fun at the Postal Service, the 1992 presidential candidates, and even Elvis himself.

A decade later, the Elvis stamp is still one of the most talked-about stamps ever issued by the Postal Service—and the most popular U.S. commemorative stamp of all time.

The stamps that would be King
The U.S. Postal Service commissioned eight artists to develop potential designs for an Elvis stamp. Working independently, they submitted 60 sketches and paintings in every
imaginable style, from somber watercolors to abstract modernist designs.

The artists were not restricted to any particular era in the life of Elvis, so their designs explored various aspects of his career, including his films, his early performances, and his reign
on the Las Vegas concert stage. These concept sketches and preliminary designs, which reflect the innumerable ways of looking at an American icon, show Elvis stamps that might
have been.