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Elvis hits No. 1 -- long after death

Elvis Presley

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The King may be dead, but his music lives on.

More than 25 years after Elvis Presley's body was found in the bathroom of his Graceland mansion in Memphis, he is once again topping the charts.

This week, as fans around the world celebrated what would have been his 70th birthday, Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" reached the No. 1 spot on the UK singles chart -- a position it first held in 1958.

And it is just one of 18 of the singer's songs -- all previously UK chart-toppers -- to be re-released by Sony-BMG in the weeks to come.

Next out will be "One Night," which could give Elvis his 20th UK No.1 -- more than even The Beatles managed in their own country.

Since his death in 1977, Elvis' popularity and impact on popular culture has continued to grow.

"He invented rock'n'roll, which then went on to become modern pop music. So he invented the modern music scene," says Elvis Schmelvis, a Presley impersonator. "Also, John Lennon once said, before Elvis there was nothing."

Sony-BMG is tapping into the enduring sentiment.

"People say, 'Oh you're exploiting the (Elvis) catalogue, you're doing too much. There's too much Presley around'," says Charlie Stanford of Sony-BMG.

"My argument is, I know the fans, I know what they want and they do really want to see him back in the charts."

Presley is not only topping the music charts again, he also came in at No.1 on the Forbes 2004 list of top-earning dead celebrities.

The money-making power of Presley's legend is not lost on Sid Shaw, who owns Elvisly Yours, a memorabilia shop.

"There's something about Elvis. For each of his fans, and there's millions out there, he had that look just for them. It could be just a little smile, even a sneer.... He just had that magic."

Gennaro Castaldo, of music retailer HMV, adds: "He's very very collectible, anything that's released by him, people want to own, want to collect.

"And he's got a very dedicated, very loyal fan base that will buy anything released by his estate."

CNN's Sonia Sequeira contributed to this report

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