Remembering LIsa Marie Presley

On the evening of January 12, 2023, the world was shocked and saddened to learn that Lisa Marie Presley, the only daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, had tragically died at only 54 years old. According to various news sources, she suffered a cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas, California. The paramedics noted that she had signs of life and she was immediately transferred to a local hospital where she passed away a few hours later. Her mother, Prescilla, released a statement saying, “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.”

Just two days prior, Lisa Marie and her mother were seen at the Golden Globes to witness Austin Butler win best actor in a drama motion picture award for his portrayal of the King in the new hit movie Elvis, a movie that created yet another generation of devoted fans. Lisa Marie was blown away by his performance saying that  “he put everything he had, his heart, his soul, everything he had into researching, reading, watching, learning. He honored him in every way possible.” 

Prior to the Globes, family, friends, and fans of Elvis gathered at Graceland to celebrate and mark what would have been his 88th birthday. Lisa Marie organized this annual event which featured an Elvis Presley Birthday Proclamation from the City of Memphis as well as a ceremonial cake cutting. Lisa Marie and Priscilla have dedicated their lives to honoring Elvis’s life and carrying out his legacy. 

Lisa Marie was born in Memphis,Tennessee at the height of her father’s rock and roll career in 1968. Being the only daughter of the most famous man on the planet provided her with blessings as well as adversities such as the inescapable and oftentimes harrowing interviews and press that she always handled with confidence and poise.

 In 1973, when Lisa Marie was 5 years old, Prescilla and Elvis divorced. Although she lived with her mother, she spent a lot of quality time at her father’s estate. She laughed when saying, “He would sleep all day so me and my friends pretty much had the run of Graceland. And I knew that nobody was going to tell me what to do because they would get fired. I was truly a terror to be honest.”

 The first tragedy struck in 1977 when Elvis died at a heartbreaking age of 42 years old. While the world was mourning the loss of the King of Rock and Roll, Lisa Marie, at just 9 years old, was simply a little girl mourning her dad. She soon became the sole heir of Graceland and she continued to maintain and upkeep the now museum throughout her adult life. 

In the early 2000s, Lisa Marie launched her singing career by releasing her debut album, To Whom it May Concern. She wrote all the lyrics and co-wrote every melody. Her second album, Now What, was released in 2005 and reached No. 9 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.  To commemorate the 30th anniversary of her father’s death,  Lisa Marie recorded a “duet” with Elvis’s vocals in his single “In the Ghetto.” The video, simultaneously released with the single, reached No. 1 on iTunes. Her third and final album, Storm & Grace, was released in 2012. In 2018, she was featured on the title track of the compilation “Where No One Stands Alone”, a collection of her father’s gospel songs. Lisa Marie says that, “music has always gotten me through life, particularly honest, real music. Writing for me is a therapeutic process.” 

Lisa Marie, embracing the Hollywood way, was married four times prior to her death. She first married musician Danny Keough in 1988 and they had two kids, Riley and Benjamin. Riley is now a famous and successful actress. Lisa Marie briefly married the late Michael Jackson from 1994-1996. This marriage was widely assumed to be a publicity stunt to protect Jackson because he was facing child molestation allegations. She then married actor Nicolas Cage for only three and a half months.  Her fourth and final marriage was to guitarist and producer Michael Lockwood from 2006-2021 which produced Harper and Finley Lockwood just before their separation.

 As if she couldn’t endure any more pain and heartbreak, her 27 year old son, Benjamin, who bore an uncanny resemblance to his grandfather Elvis, committed suicide in July 2020. He too struggled with alcohol and drugs. His death devastated his entire family, especially Lisa Marie who never truly recovered. She says, “grief does not stop or go away in any sense, a year, or years after the loss. Grief is something you will have to carry with you for the rest of your life, in spite of what certain people or our culture wants us to believe. You do not “get over it,” you do not “move on,” period.” She goes on to say, “I already battle with and beat myself up tirelessly and chronically, blaming myself every single day and that’s hard enough to now live with.” She never truly recovered from her son’s tragic passing.

The passing of Lisa Marie Presley is still under investigation. However, it was clear to all those watching the Golden Globes last month that she looked frail and sickly. The late singer was buried next to her son and father in the Meditation Garden of Graceland on Thursday, January 19 and she was honored with a public memorial service on January 22nd.