Musicians and singer-songwriters are usually known for their hits, glitz, and glam and capturing the heart and soul of millions of fans around the world through their music. With their iconic styles resonating throughout the ages, these famous musicians who served in the military aren’t only about the hits they made but also the hits they took for their country.

Here are five influential music legends you might not know who served their country on the frontlines.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley at a U.S. base in Germany posing for the cameras (Wikimedia Commons).

The King of Rock and Roll himself, the Mississippi-born, Tennessee-raised Grammy Award-winning Elvis Aaron Presley, served in the United States Army. He served after releasing his film “King Creole,” and a series of top-charting songs, including “Too Much” and “All Shook Up.” Of course, you can never forget the number one hit album, the Jailhouse Rock E.P. too!

With his name stirring a buzz across fans in the United States and beyond, he was drafted into the U.S. Army at Fort Chaffee on March 24, 1958. This turned the fort into a media circus, with photographers and paparazzi hounding the musician. Here he requested that he be treated like any other soldier and refused an easy enlistment entertaining the troops.

He completed his basic training at Fort Hood and was notorious for being a pistol sharpshooter and knowing his way around tanks. Afterward, he went into the 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 32nd Armor, 3rd Armored Division based in Friedberg, Germany. Here, he learned Karate and met Priscilla. He denied any special treatment, refusing previous offers by the Army, Navy, and Pentagon to join the Special Services to entertain the troops, and was known to be a generous soldier. He donated his army salary to various charities and bought many luxuries for his buddies in the army, even buying them extra army clothes within his close circle. Finishing his career with the rank of Sergeant, you could say he was great with a mic and a gun!

B.B. King

B.B. King performing in Hamburg, 1971 with his guitar, “Lucille.” Heinrich KlaffsCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The late blues king known for his string bending, Riley B. King, was known for his hits “The Thrill Is Gone” and “Every Day I Have The Blues,” usually using his trusty Gibson ES-335s named “Lucille.”

But before all his success and fame, the Mississippi-born guitarist sang at the Elkhorn Baptist Church because he enjoyed the music. During his tenure at the church, he learned how to play the guitar with the local minister teaching him!

Known for his extremely hard-working work ethic, he enlisted into the U.S. Army at only 18 years old in 1943. Not much is known about his military career, but we do know that he was released from the military when he finished his basic army training as the military found out he knew how to drive a tractor.