Lisa Marie Presley, a singer-songwriter and the only child of Elvis Presley, died Thursday after a medical emergency and brief hospitalisation. She was 54.
“Priscilla Presley and the Presley family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Lisa Marie,” Sam Mast, a representative for her mother, Priscilla Presley, said in a statement. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”
Earlier in the day, Priscilla Presley said in a statement that her daughter had been receiving medical attention but did not share more information.
The daughter of one of the most celebrated artists in history, Lisa Marie Presley followed the career path of her father. She released three albums in which she set out to distinguish her rock sound while also paying homage to the man who forever changed the American soundscape by blending blues, gospel, pop and country.
The enormous legacy of her father was a constant presence throughout her life. On Tuesday, she was again celebrating him at the Golden Globes, telling Extra TV that Austin Butler, who won the lead acting award for drama for his performance in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis, had perfectly captured the essence of her father.
“I was mind-blown, truly,” said Presley, who was nine when her father died in 1977. “I actually had to take, like, five days to process it because it was so spot on and authentic.”
In a statement on Twitter on Thursday night, the Golden Globe Awards said: “We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Lisa Marie Presley. She was an extremely talented singer/songwriter and a very welcome presence at the Golden Globes this past Tuesday. May you rest in peace.”
On Sunday, Presley was at Graceland, the Elvis estate in Memphis, Tennessee, to commemorate what would have been her father’s 88th birthday, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis reported.
The father and daughter were extremely close, with Elvis once flying her out to Idaho after she said she had never seen snow. Her father named his 1958 Convair 880 private jet The Lisa Marie.
Lisa Marie Presley owned Graceland and her father’s artefacts. She also owned 15 per cent of Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Her music career, however, never exploded as it had for her father. But his influence was evident in her songs and some lyrics. In her debut album from 2003, To Whom It May Concern, she sings in the bluesy, melancholic song Lights Out that “someone turned the lights out there in Memphis. That’s where my family’s buried and gone.”
In 2018, she co-produced an album celebrating Elvis’s love of gospel music and sang along with a recording of him on one of the songs. “I got moved by it as I was singing,” she said in an interview.
Her last name always enshrined her as a celebrity, and her star-studded relationships only deepened that perception.
From 1994 to 1996, she was married to Michael Jackson. Together, the pair – one the daughter of the king of rock’n’roll, the other regarded as the king of pop – attracted the glare of cameras and bountiful attention. In 2002, she married actor Nicolas Cage, but the couple separated within a four-month period that same year.
Before Jackson, she married musician Danny Keough, in 1988. They separated after six years and had two children together, including actor Riley Keough and Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide at age 27 in 2020. In recent years, she was married to Michael Lockwood, with whom she had twin daughters, Finley Lockwood and Harper Lockwood. They divorced in 2021.
Celebrities on Thursday paid tribute to Presley online. “We’ve lost another bright star,” Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer wrote on Twitter.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement earlier Thursday that it had responded to a call about a woman in Calabasas, California, who was “not breathing” but did not further specify the person’s condition.
“Upon the deputies’ arrival, paramedics were performing CPR and assessing the patient’s status,” authorities said. “They determined the patient had signs of life and immediately transported her to a local hospital for further medical care.” The announcement of Presley’s death came within hours.
In a foreword of a book, The United States of Opioids: A Prescription for Liberating a Nation in Pain, Presley wrote about her own struggle with addiction.
In a 2022 People Magazine essay, Presley said that her life had been struck with death, grief and loss since her childhood, writing that the death of Benjamin Keough had been a devastating blow to her and her three daughters.
“Grief does not stop or go away in any sense, a year, or years after the loss,” she said. “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.” – This article originally appeared in The New York Times.