Who Are Elvis Presley's Step-Siblings?

In the 1950s, Elvis Presley rose from a difficult early life to become one of the most famous people in the world. With the fame and fortune that his music brought him, he was able to buy the luxurious Memphis mansion and ranch known as Graceland, which would remain the primary residence of him and his family for the rest of his life.

When his mother died in 1958, a distraught Presley invited his father, Vernon, to live with him at the property. And when Vernon remarried in 1960, his new family — which included three boys from his wife's previous marriage — all came to live with the King. It was an unusual arrangement for a megastar, especially as Presley was by then in his mid-20s and a millionaire with the world at his feet — surely he could have bought a separate home for his father if he had been so inclined. But Presley was a family-centric man, and with the loss of his mother, he continued to hold on to those closest to him.

The three step-brothers — Billy, David, and Ricky — were just kids when they were first introduced to Presley, and they were reportedly confused by his celebrity. Little could they have guessed at the time that the brotherhood between them would become the center of their lives.

Billy Stanley

The most prominent of Elvis Presley's step-siblings is arguably Billy Stanley, who was just 7 years old when he moved into Graceland to join the Presley family. Billy shared his experiences of getting to know his famous new step-brother in his book, "Elvis, My Brother," published in 1989.

Presley was already a major star by the time he met the Stanleys in the spring of 1960, and according to Billy's recollections, the megastar greeted his new brothers with open arms. "I always wanted a little brother. And now I have three," Billy recalled Presley telling his father. Elvis made a huge effort to win his new step-brothers over, buying them high-end toys and numerous pets and playing with them for hours the following day. Like his younger brothers, Billy remained close to Elvis for the rest of his life and worked as a bodyguard and assistant while on tour. However, his book reveals that his marriage broke down, with his proximity to the King — whom his wife wanted constant access to — a factor.

In his book, Billy is open about his drug use, which in some ways mirrored Elvis' toward the end of his life. However, the two men were also united in their religious beliefs. Billy later wrote a book, "The Faith of Elvis: The Story Only A Brother Can Tell," arguing that the King's Christianity was central to his life and worldview.

Ricky Stanley

A year younger than his brother Billy, Ricky Stanley also grew close to Elvis Presley and became a trusted member of the performer's inner circle, particularly when he came of age. As part of the so-called "Memphis Mafia" — a group of men entrusted with both protecting Presley and acting as assistants — Ricky admitted that he was an unwilling enabler to the King as his drug addiction grew in the 1970s. Indeed, Ricky told UPI that he supplied his step-brother with prescription drugs on the night of his death as he felt he was in no position to refuse him.

Ricky faced his own addiction issues too, but after the grief of Presley's tragic death, he changed his trajectory. In October 1977, he became an evangelist. After studying divinity, he spent his later years preaching at Eureka First Baptist Church in South Carolina and other churches around the globe. He died in 2019 at the age of 65, with an obituary in The Christian Post claiming that he visited over 4,000 churches throughout his career. His book, "The Touch of Two Kings," was published in 1986.

David Stanley

The third-born Stanley brother, David, was 4, two years younger than Ricky, when his family relocated from Virginia to Memphis, Tennessee to live with the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Like Billy, David has written several books about his relationship with the iconic singer, including "Life with Elvis," in which he describes his role as personal bodyguard for one of the world's most famous musicians. David was well recompensed by his step-brother for his work and lived a hedonistic lifestyle around his duties. Sadly, it all came crashing down in 1977 with the death of Elvis Presley, with David having the traumatic experience of discovering his step-brother's body. He later worked as a preacher and published his autobiography "Raised on Rock" in 1996.

In 2022, David courted controversy for comments he made in the documentary "Elvis' Women" concerning Elvis' death, which he claimed was suicide. He also stated that his famous step-brother had a penchant for liaisons with underage girls, which David says he was disgusted by. However, after an outcry, David apologized and rescinded his bombshell claims.

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