Lisa Marie Presley, Singer and Elvis’ Only Child, Dead at 54

    Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, has died. The singer was rushed to the hospital on Thursday morning after collapsing to the floor from cardiac arrest. “It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla Presley said in a statement. “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.” Presley was 54.

    Lisa Marie Presley was born on February 1, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee to Elvis and Priscilla Presley. When her father died in 1977, Lisa Marie became joint heir to his estate alongside her grandfather, Vernon Presley, and her great-grandmother, Minnie Mae Hood Presley. At the age of 25, Presley was the sole surviving heir of the estate, but sold 85% of it to businessman Robert F.X. Sillerman of SFX Entertainment in 2004.

    It wasn’t until later in life that Presley followed her father’s path into music, embracing his legacy by performing duets with old recordings of his songs ‘In the Ghetto’, ‘Where No One Stands Alone’, and ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’. In 2003, she released her debut album, To Whom It May Concern, which reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and featured a co-write with Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan on the B-Side ‘Savior’. Now What, released in 2005, peaked at No. 9 and featured a guest appearance from Pink on ‘Shine’, while her third and final album, 2012’s Storm & Grace, was produced by T Bone Burnett.

    In addition to her musical career, Presley was known for her humanitarian efforts. She oversaw the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, which was founded in 1984 to honor the singer’s memory, and was involved in charities such as Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network and the Dream Factory. In a 2011 proclamation received from the city of Memphis, Presley was described as “a humanitarian and philanthropist who continues to focus her efforts on the hometown she knows and loves, Memphis. Through her efforts and time she has improved homelessness, literacy, and raised funds for local charities and organizations. She raises awareness for Memphis and continues to set an example of what one person can do when they put their mind to it.”

    Presley was married four times: to Michael Lockwood, Nicolas Cage, Michael Jackson, and Danny Keough. Last year, she opened up about the loss of her son, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020, writing in an essay for People: “If you know someone who lost a loved one, regardless of how long it’s been, please call them to see how they are doing. Go visit them. They will really really appreciate it, more than you know.” In addition to her late son, Presley had three other children, actress Riley Keough, Finley Aaron Love Lockwood, and Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood.

    Presley attended the 2023 Golden Globe Awards on Tuesday night with her mother, Priscilla Presley, to support Baz Luhrmann’s new biopic Elvis. “I do want to take a moment to let you know that I’ve seen Baz Luhrmann’s movie Elvis twice now,” she tweeted in praise of the film last May. “Let me tell you that it is nothing short of spectacular. Absolutely exquisite. Austin Butler channelled and embodied my father’s heart & soul beautifully.”

    Billy Corgan paid tribute to Lisa Marie Presley on social media: “There is heartbreak and then there is sorrow. This would be sorrow and on more levels than I can count,” the Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan said late Thursday on Instagram, where he also shared a photograph of himself with Ms. Presley. “I truly cannot find the words to express how sad this truly is.”

    Pink also honoured the singer in an Instagram post, writing: “Oh, this one hurts my heart. Lisa Marie, you were one of a kind. Funny as shit, smart as a whip, sensitive, talented, witty, mean, loving, generous, judgmental but always right, loyal, and you adored your children. My heart breaks for you and your beautiful family and your children. The world lost a rare gem today. May your soul rest in peace, friend. 💔.”

    Presley’s family said in a separate statement that they were “shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Lisa Marie. They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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