Posted on: January 8, 2024, 08:17h. 

Last updated on: January 5, 2024, 09:33h.

Of all the myths about Las Vegas icon Elvis Presley that this series has busted so far — that he didn’t die in 1977, that he was a racist, that he performed 837 sold-out Vegas shows, that he resided in a Las Vegas house while in town — this may be the most believable.

Elvis Presley signs autographs for a group of fans.
Elvis Presley, who would have turned 89 years old today, signs autographs for a group of fans outside Detroit’s Olympia Stadium on Sept. 11, 1970. Do any look familiar to you? (Image: Mike McClure/Detroit Free Press)

“In 1970, Elvis signed an autograph for a very excited 12-year-old girl who later went on to become Madonna,” reads a grammatically challenged caption copied and pasted hundreds and hundreds of times over the years by clickbait social media pages seeking to exploit this serendipitous “discovery” for views.

The photo illustrated the Detroit Free Press’ review of Presley’s Sept. 11, 1970 concert at Olympia Stadium. (Image:

“Wow, that’s a cool fact!” commented Anita Smith under a post created by the Facebook group “Rock n’ Roll” on Nov. 19, 2023, which as of this publication has “earned” 1.4K likes.

“Then she became more famous than him. Girl power!!!!!!” added Pamela Hawk.

Material Evidence

The photo is genuine. It illustrated Tom DeLisle’s Sept. 12, 1970 review of Presley’s concert at Olympia Stadium the night before. Elvis had just wrapped his second run at the International Hotel in Las Vegas on September 7, and was three shows into a nine-city tour, his first multicity trek in 13 years.

Taken by photographer Mike McClure, the photo shows the King signing autographs for a group of fans outside the venue before his concert that evening. And, yes, one of those fans does look a hell of a lot like Madonna, who grew up in Detroit.

Let’s compare the photo to one of the real Madonna Louis Ciccone, age 14, from the 1972 yearbook of West Junior High School in Rochester Hill, Mich.

The Elvis fan in the 1970 Detroit Free Press photo is shown next to the undisputed Madonna at age 14. (Image:, inset: Daily Mail)

The hair, jawline, lips, and teeth are all very close matches. And the completely different eyebrows prove nothing since eyebrows are often removed and drawn back on by young women experimenting with makeup.

Madonna smooches a poster of Elvis in her 1987 movie, “Who’s That Girl.” (Image: YouTube)

Also, Madonna was a huge Elvis fan. In her 1987 movie, “Who’s That Girl,” her character is depicted kissing a poster of Elvis from his 1956 movie, “Jailhouse Rock.” And, in an October 1992 interview for Swedish TV, Madonna was asked to describe Elvis in one word.

The word she chose was “sexy.”

Suspicious Minds

Only one month before McClure snapped his photo, however, Madonna was 11 years old. While the subject of his photo is young, she doesn’t appear to be that young.

Casting further doubt is a tribute to David Bowie that Madonna posted to Facebook a day after his 2016 death. In it, she wrote that his concert at Detroit’s Cobo Arena was her very first. That concert occurred on June 22, 1974, when she was 15.

Wait, we’re not finished …

In 2005, Madonna tied Elvis’ record of 36 Top 10 US singles and was asked about him by dozens of interviewers. Yet she mentioned nothing about ever meeting or seeing him to any of them, nor during any of the hundreds of other interviews she granted in which Elvis’ name came up.

It lies beyond any stretch of the imagination to believe that such a notoriously outgoing superstar never once in her 42 years in show business would mention such an iconic encounter, and that no legitimate biographer or journalist would ever once dig it up.

Getting your photo taken with Elvis isn’t something that any true fan would want to keep secret. And one that was published in a big-city newspaper is not something they could.

One of hundreds of social media posts making the same false claim. (Image: Facebook)

Who’s That Other Girl?

So, while it’s still possible that a barely 12-year-old Madonna was enough of an Elvis fan to know exactly when and where he would enter Olympia Stadium, but not attend his concert there that evening — or that she met him and saw the show, but decided, for some reason, to forever conceal both facts — the preponderance of evidence suggests otherwise.

Especially considering the physical evidence we haven’t even got to yet …

Not every feature of the two photos we showed you above is a perfect match. The nostrils of the young woman in the newspaper photo are closer together, while her two front teeth are farther apart than Madonna’s are, and the real Madonna never wore braces as a child.

So, not unlike the Elvis impersonator standing to the mystery woman’s right in McClure’s photo, this Madonna was a mere lookalike.

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