Lisa Marie Presley, singer, humanitarian and only child of Elvis Presley and actress Priscilla Presley, has died aged 54.
The news of Presley’s death was confirmed by her mother. “It is with a heavy heart that I have to share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla said in a statement to People. “She was the most passionate strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers. At this time there will be no further comment.”
Earlier in the day, Lisa Marie was allegedly found unconscious in her bedroom by a housekeeper. She was taken to a nearby hospital in full cardiac arrest and was later put on life support with a temporary pacemaker in an attempt to save her.
Born Feb. 1, 1968, Lisa Marie came into this world during a time of turmoil for her famous father. Elvis had become one of the biggest stars in the world throughout the late 50s and early 60s, releasing a laundry list of popular songs and starring in a number of Hollywood films. The rocker was undoubtedly an icon of the time, but his popularity waned towards the end of the 60s. The same year that Lisa Marie was born, Elvis would make a monumental career comeback due to his strength TV special.
While the king was able to revive his career, he was unable to save his marriage to Priscilla. The couple divorced in 1972, with young Lisa Marie moving her mother to Los Angeles, although she still routinely visited her father at Graceland in Tennessee.
“[Elvis] wanted to sleep all day so me and my friends pretty much ran Graceland. And I knew nobody was going to tell me what to do because they were going to get fired,” Lisa Marie recalled decades later during an appearance on The talk. “I was really terrified to be honest. He and I spent a lot of time together upstairs; the top part of Graceland is basically his room and my room. That’s when I got to be with him. He had set up a little chair in my room and a TV.”
When Elvis died in 1977, nine-year-old Lisa Marie became joint heir to his estate with her grandfather, Vernon Presley, and her great-grandmother, Minnie Mae Hood Presley. By 1980, she would be Elvis’ sole beneficiary, although she did not fully inherit her father’s estate until her 25th birthday.
Lisa Marie’s first marriage was in 1988 to musician Danny Keough. It lasted until May 1994, and just 20 days later, Presley remarried. Her second husband, Michael Jackson, was the biggest pop star in the world at the time, but was in the middle of a child abuse scandal at the time of their wedding. Many in the media described the wedding as a stunt to distract from the serious allegations against Jackson, but Presley always insisted that the two were in love. “Our relationship was not a sham,” Presley wrote later, insisting that she “wanted to save” Jackson from his addiction. The couple divorced in 1996.
Another celebrity marriage would follow for Presley, who married an actor Nicholas Cage in 2002. They divorced two years later. Her fourth and last husband was guitarist Michael Lockwood, whom Presley was married to from 2006 to 2021.
Professionally, Presley pursued his own musical career. The singer’s debut album, To whom it May concern, was released in 2003 and reached gold status. Two follow-ups, What now (2005) and Storm & Grace (2012) failed to match the commercial heights of the debut. Presley collaborated with a wide range of artists throughout his career, including Pat BenatarPink, Six guns‘ Steve JonesT-Bone Burnett and Splitting pumpkins‘ Billy Corgan.
Presley was also an active philanthropist, regularly contributing to a wide variety of causes. Through the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, of which she served as chairman, Presley helped homeless families obtain housing and child care, funded music and art in schools, and granted the wishes of terminally ill children. The state of Tennessee, the City of Memphis and the City of New Orleans are among those who honored Presley for her charitable work in the region.
Most recently, Lisa Marie found herself back in the limelight thanks to Baz Luhrmann’s sensational biopic, Elvis. In another post Instagram, she called the film “nothing short of spectacular,” adding that star Austin Butler “channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully.” Presley’s last public outing took place on Jan. 10 when she attended the Golden Globe Awards to show her support for Elvis, which was nominated in three categories. Butler thanked Lisa Marie during his speech after taking home Best Actor.
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