Presley, the "King," cracks 100 million in sales

By Sue Zeidler LOS ANGELES, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Fans around the world may take a moment of silence to observe the 25th anniversary of the death of Elvis

By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Fans around the world maytake a moment of silence to observe the 25th anniversary of thedeath of Elvis Presley this week, but the roar of cashregisters to mark the occasion will be deafening.

Demonstrating that the King's selling power is now hotterthan ever, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)on Monday announced the sales total of the "King of Rock 'nRoll" recently reached 100 million albums in the United States,up from 80 million at its last count.

The new tally puts him behind only the Beatles who havesold 165 million units in the United States, and veteranrockers Led Zeppelin and country star Garth Brooks, who haveeach sold 105 million units.

With only days to go before the Aug. 16 anniversary ofPresley's passing, the "Elvis-mania" marketing machine has gonefull tilt, with various posthumous tributes being planned allweek near his home at Graceland in Memphis, as well as aroundthe world and on the Internet.

A newly released remix of a 1960s Presley song "A LittleLess Conversation," recently climbed the pop charts in both theUnited Kingdom and the United States, and Bertelsmann AG's RCA in September plans to release "Elvis 30 No 1Hits", a compilation of chart-topping songs, which industryexperts say could sell millions of copies.

"Reaching this milestone now is a perfect tribute to thelegendary career of Elvis Presley," said RIAA Chairman andchief executive officer Hilary Rosen, referring to the 100million unit sales total.

"He was and will always be a cultural, musical and anAmerican icon. We have long known that due to scattered salesdata from the early years of Elvis' career, the true volume andscope of his sales have not been reflected," she said.

Presley holds the record for the most chart hits, the mosttop-10 singles and most weeks at No. 1, according to musictrade magazine Billboard Magazine.

The RIAA said it will continue to work closely with RCA,Presley's label, to keep track of his sales.

Among Presley's best-selling albums are "Heart and Soul,""The Rock 'n' Roll Era," "It's Christmas Time," "Platinum: ALife In Music," and "The Legend Lives On."

In all, Presley has received 88 Gold Records (selling atleast 500,000 units), 45 of which have gone on to be certifiedPlatinum (selling at least one million units) and 22 have goneon to multi-Platinum status, selling two million units orhigher, the RIAA said.

His highest certified album is "Elvis' Christmas Album"which has been certified for the sale of more than sevenmillion copies, the RIAA said.