Early last year the high point in Elvis Costello's musical career was being arrested for busking outside the London Hilton.
But in his spare time as a computer operator he recorded an album, My Aim Is True.
In August his album was released — and Elvis became an overnight sensation.
He caused a riot when police had to dispel a 1,700-strong crowd who couldn't get in to see him perform at a London pub. He played second on the bill to Santana at Crystal Palace and completed a successful US tour.
He is now strongly rumoured to tour Australia early next year.
His debut album reached number 11 in the British charts and did well in Australia.
The most popular single from it, "Watching The Detectives," was an international hit.
Earlier this year, the London Evening News called him "rock's most exciting new star."
"Though Elvis is about as attractive as Woody Allen with his baggy suit, short back and sides and... spectacles, be has the potential to become a star of David Bowie-Elton John proportions," the paper said.
"Lyrically and musically he is unique — a cynical, pithy realist who reflects the 70s almost as perfectly as the first Elvis did the 50s."
Elvis's second album, This Year's Model, progressed steadily up the Australian charts after its April release.
The first single from it was "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea." The latest single, released last week, is "Pump It Up."
"Watching The Detectives" is featured on the Australian version of the album, too. Elvis, from Hounslow in England, sums himself up: "I don't want to be loved, because I'm as worthless as anyone else. But I do think my songs are great."