Lisa Marie Presley, only daughter of Elvis Presley, has died aged 54.
“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 to The Associated Press. “She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known.”
A statement sent to USA TODAY on behalf of Priscilla and the Presley family expressed shock at “the tragic death of their beloved Lisa Marie. They are deeply grateful for everyone’s support, love and prayers, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time. »
Presley had started the week in a festive mood, first celebrating what would have been his father’s 88th birthday with fans at Elvis’ home in Memphis, Graceland, then tearfully cheering alongside his mother as Austin Butler received a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic ‘Elvis’.
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But on Thursday, she suffered an apparent cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas, just north of Los Angeles, and was taken to a local hospital, according to TMZ, which was first to report the news. She died a few hours later.
Although Presley was famous from birth and a singer in her own right, releasing three albums, she really jumped into the pop culture vortex with her surprise marriage to beleaguered pop superstar Michael Jackson and later music aficionado. ‘Elvis and actor Nicolas Cage. .
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Both of those marriages were short-lived, though longer-lasting unions brought four children, including her son, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020 and is buried in Graceland.
Above all, Presley, with her hooded eyes and smoldering gazes that were clearly reminiscent of Elvis, became widely known as the guardian of his legacy and the heiress to his estate.
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Lisa Marie Presley recently celebrated Elvis’ 88th birthday with fans at Graceland
Four days before his death, Presley was at Graceland to help fans celebrate what would have been his father’s 88th birthday.
“It’s been a long time. I’ve missed you,” she told the crowd on Sunday. “I keep saying you’re the only people who can get me out of my house. I’m not kidding.”
Two nights ago, Butler thanked her from the Golden Globes stage for her dedication to honoring her father.
“Thank you for opening your hearts, your memories, your home to me,” he told the Presleys in his acceptance speech. “Lisa Marie, Priscilla, I love you forever.”
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Lisa Marie Presley grew up in the shadow of her father’s fame – her name even gracing her jet – until her parents divorced in 1973. She seemed destined to lead a life in the public eye, thanks to looks that mirrored those of his father and a remarkable singing voice to match.
Despite being the only child of a global icon, Presley sometimes seemed to wonder what the fuss was all about.
“I thought it was a fun notion, but I didn’t really see how other people would find it interesting,” she told USA TODAY in 2012, discussing a new Graceland exhibit called “Elvis. .. through the eyes of his daughter”.
Among the most touching personal effects were a blue record player playing its first 45 rpm, his footprints stamped on a hospital birth certificate and a recreation of Presley’s nursery. “It’s all so personal and subjective,” she said. “But it went well.”
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Her shocking marriage to Michael Jackson
She made waves in pop culture in 1994 when she divorced musician Danny Keough, the father of her children Riley and Benjamin, and married Jackson. Less than two years later, they divorced, although Presley remained a strong advocate for years of the child abuse charges against the star.
She married Cage in 2002, but it only lasted a few months before they separated. In 2006, she married guitarist Michael Lockwood; they divorced in 2021 and have twin daughters together, Finley and Harper, 11.
If Presley found solace amid the storm of being Elvis’ only child, it was overseas in Kent, a bucolic English suburb southeast of London that cost him a lot of time and heart about ten years ago.
Speaking to USA TODAY in 2012 ahead of the release of her ‘Storm & Grace’ album, Presley said she was eager to get back to her non-celebrity life in England.
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“I love it there,” she said. “I garden, I take long walks, I cook. I have really lovely neighbors – we often meet at the local pub. Not that we can follow them there. It’s so much fun, though, it is where you see everyone from the village.”
In that same interview, Presley opened up about feeling emotionally and fiscally robbed by her closest confidants.
“I was slowly starting to self-destruct, and I had no idea where it came from,” Presley told USA TODAY, and suggested the damage was both personal and professional. “I received bad advice. I was isolated without any grip on reality. They took my soul, my money, my everything.”
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Presley’s demons also included drug addiction. In 2019, she detailed her opioid addiction in a preface to the book “The United States of Opioids: A Prescription to Free a Nation in Pain.”
Noting that she felt “grateful to be alive”, Presley said the painkillers prescribed after the birth of her twins eventually led to real addiction.
“It’s been a hard road to overcome this addiction and to rebuild my life,” she wrote. “Even in the last few years, I’ve seen too many people I love struggle with addiction and die tragically from this epidemic. It’s time for us to say goodbye to the shame of addiction. We need to stop blaming ourselves and to judge us and the people around us . . . It starts with sharing our stories.”
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Presley would be forced to face a different kind of pain in 2020, when her 27-year-old son died by suicide. Last fall, in honor of National Grief Awareness Day, Presley wrote an essay for People about the pain his family has gone through since the death of his son.
“My life and that of my three daughters as we knew it was completely detonated and destroyed by his death. We live in this every. Alone. day,” she wrote. “Grief is something you will have to carry with you for the rest of your life, despite what some people or our culture would have us believe. You don’t ‘move on’, you don’t ‘move on’. “, period. ”
In the end, Presley might well have found the peace she sought throughout her life if she had only been able to spend more time in the place she truly called home.
“I love Graceland,” she told USA TODAY in 2012. “My heart will always be there.”
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