Singer-songwriter and only child of Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, passed away on Thursday at the age of 54. She was hospitalized for a medical emergency before her death, which was confirmed by her mother, Priscilla Presley. In a statement, Priscilla said, “It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us. She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known.” Lisa Marie shared her father’s brooding charisma, and followed in his footsteps by releasing her own rock albums in the 2000s, and performing with artists such as Pat Benatar and Richard Hawley.
Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, collaborated musically with her father by singing on recordings such as “In the Ghetto” and “Don’t Cry Daddy.” She has stated that her father’s influence has been a constant in her life. Her birth, nine months after her parents’ wedding, was widely reported and her connection to her famous father has been a prominent aspect of her life. Recently, she attended award shows and red carpets for the release of the film “Elvis” and celebrated her father’s birthday at Graceland, the mansion where he lived and passed away.
After her parents separated in 1973, Lisa Marie Presley lived with her mother, an actor known for her roles in “Dallas” and the “Naked Gun” movies, in California. She had fond memories of visiting her father, Elvis Presley, at Graceland and remembered him always being fully dressed and ready to be seen. Tragically, Elvis died when Lisa Marie was just 9 years old. She was staying at Graceland at the time and recalls kissing him goodnight hours before he collapsed and passed away. Lisa Marie’s later life was marked by struggles with drugs and high-profile marriages, including to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.
In 1994, Jackson and Presley tied the knot in the Dominican Republic, but the union dissolved two years later due to several uncomfortable public events, such as Jackson’s sudden kiss at the MTV Video Music Awards and a joint interview with Diane Sawyer where Presley defended her husband against accusations of child se*ual abuse. Her second celebrity marriage to Cage also ended prematurely, with Cage filing for divorce four months after their wedding in 2002. Reflecting on her experiences, Presley stated in 2012, “I had to learn through trial and error, but now I can see that the situation and the people around me were not healthy. It was a learning process, just in a very public way.”
Lisa Marie Presley was actively involved in various charitable causes, including anti-poverty initiatives through the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation and disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. She received recognition for her efforts from both New Orleans and Memphis, Tennessee. She had four children; two with her first husband Danny Keough and twin daughters with her second husband Michael Lockwood. Her divorce from Lockwood was contentious and ongoing at the time of her death, with the couple’s twin daughters placed in protective custody in 2017. Despite eventually receiving joint custody, the couple continued to disagree over child support.
In 2020, the suicide of Benjamin Keough at the age of 27 deeply affected his mother, Lisa Marie Presley. In an essay written last August, she shared her ongoing grief and how it has consumed her life since her son’s death. Presley mentioned that she has had to deal with death, grief, and loss since she was 9 years old, but losing her son was different and unbearable. She also stated that her son was the sweetest and most incredible person she had ever known, and that his resemblance to her father, Elvis Presley, added to her concern and worry for him. The essay ended with her expressing that the loss of her son is unimaginable and unbearable for her.
After the death of Elvis Presley, his daughter Lisa Marie became the sole heir of the Elvis Presley Trust. The trust, along with Elvis Presley Enterprises, managed assets such as Graceland and other properties until Lisa Marie sold her majority interest in 2005. She did however, retain ownership of Graceland Mansion and the surrounding 13 acres, as well as items inside the home. Graceland is also the final resting place of her son and other members of the Presley family. Lisa Marie was previously a member of the Church of Scientology but later parted ways with the organization. She and her mother Priscilla Presley still visit Graceland during significant fan celebrations, such as the anniversary of Elvis’s death and birthday, and one of the planes on the property is named after her.
In 2005, the AP reported that after the release of her first album “To Whom It May Concern” in 2003, some fans attended her performances out of curiosity due to her famous family. She stated that her initial challenge was overcoming the pre-existing perceptions of her and introducing herself as a singer-songwriter. Additionally, she mentioned that the fact that she is the offspring of a famous individual added extra hurdles to her career but that overall, the challenges never outweighed the positive aspects of her career.