According to Rolling Stone magazine, "it was Elvis who made rock 'n' roll the international language of pop." A PBS documentary described Presley as "an American music giant of the 20th century who singlehandedly changed the course of music and culture in the mid-1950s." His recordings, dance moves, attitude and clothing came to be seen as embodiments of rock and roll. His music was heavily influenced by African-American blues, Christian gospel, and Southern country.
Presley sang both hard driving rockabilly, rock and roll dance songs and ballads, laying a commercial foundation upon which other rock musicians would build their careers. African-American performers like Little Richard and Chuck Berry came to national prominence after Presley's acceptance among mass audiences of white teenagers. Singers like Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and others immediately followed in his wake. The Beatles superstar John Lennon later observed, "Before Elvis, there was nothing."