Scotsman Obituaries: Lisa Marie Presley

Lisa Marie Presley, singer-songwriter. Born: 1 February 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. Died: 12 January 2023 in Los Angeles, California, aged 54

Lisa Marie Presley was famous from the moment she was born. The daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley lived her life in the spotlight, and her dramatic highs and tragic lows were well documented in the press.

Despite the pressures of being the only child of one of the most celebrated and beloved musicians of all time, she managed to forge a successful career as a singer-songwriter. But her life was not an easy one and she suffered addiction and divorce.

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Presley was born nine months after her parents’ wedding. When they divorced six years later she lived with her mother in Los Angeles but would frequently travel back to her father’s Graceland mansion. She was nine when her father died in 1977 aged just 42.

Lisa Marie Presley performing in Florida in 2005 (Picture: Alamy/PA)Lisa Marie Presley performing in Florida in 2005 (Picture: Alamy/PA)
Lisa Marie Presley performing in Florida in 2005 (Picture: Alamy/PA)

On her 25th birthday in 1993 she inherited the estate which contemporary reports estimated to be worth some $100 million.

Presley explored the pressures of life in the media glare in her own music, and released three albums – To Whom It May Concern (2003), Now What (2005) and Storm & Grace (2012).

On the 30th anniversary of her father’s death in August 2007 she duetted with him by adding her own vocals to his 1969 single In The Ghetto. In a later interview she said that after hearing their voices together she “lost it”.

Like her father, Presley struggled with addiction. She entered rehab in 2016 for opioid and painkiller use, which developed following the birth of her twin daughters, Harper and Finley, with her fourth husband.

Presley was married four times, first to musician Danny Keough, then singer Michael Jackson, Hollywood star Nicolas Cage and music producer Michael Lockwood.

Her most famous marriage was to Jackson, between 1994 and 1996, which brought together the so-called King of Pop with the daughter of The King. Their most high-profile moment came at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards (MVAs) where they made a surprise joint appearance on-stage to introduce the show. After declaring of their romance that “Nobody thought this would last,” Jackson passionately kissed her in front of the screaming audience.

Her marriage to Cage also attracted media attention. The union lasted less than four months but the divorce wasn’t finalised until two years later in 2004

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Presley had been mostly absent from social media since her eldest son, Benjamin Keough, took his own life in 2020. Last year, she wrote an essay for National Grief Awareness Day published by US magazine People.

“I’ve dealt with death, grief and loss since the age of nine years old,” she said. “I’ve had more than anyone’s fair share of it in my lifetime and somehow, I’ve made it this far.”

Nicolas Cage said: “Lisa had the greatest laugh of anyone I ever met. She lit up every room, and I am heartbroken. I find some solace believing she is reunited with her son Benjamin.”

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were among the famous faces sending their condolences to the family of Presley, along with singers Marie Osmond and Pink, actor John Travolta and songwriter Diane Warren.

Presley died last Thursday shortly after being “rushed” to hospital. Last Tuesday she had attended the Golden Globe awards, where Austin Butler won Best Actor for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, which starred Hanks as the legend’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

Rita Wilson wrote: “Our hearts are broken with the sudden and shocking passing of Lisa Marie Presley tonight. Tom and I had spent some time with the family during the Elvis movie promotional tour. Lisa Marie was so honest and direct, vulnerable, in a state of anticipation about the movie.

“She spoke so eloquently about her father, what the movie meant to her, that it was a celebration of her dad.”

Travolta said his “heart goes out” to Presley’s family following the news, writing: “Lisa baby girl, I’m so sorry. I’ll miss you but I know I’ll see you again. My love and heart goes out to Riley, Priscilla, Harper and Finley.”

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Pop singer Marie Osmond wrote on Twitter: “It was a great joy when Lisa Marie came to Vegas! My heart aches for Priscilla and Lisa Marie’s children this evening. While death stings for those of us who are left behind, I’m sure the reunion with her son and dad is glorious. My prayers are with her loved ones.”

US rock star Pink said on Instagram: “Oh, this one hurts my heart. Lisa Marie, you were one of a kind. Funny as s***, 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.”

Songwriter Diane Warren wrote: “Oh no. This is such horrible news. The entire world is sending love and prayers to Priscilla and Lisa Marie’s children right now. May it give you [strength].”

Shortly after the announcement, American singer Nancy Sinatra wrote: “Every now and then I find myself wishing very hard that there is a hereafter and tonight is one of those times.

“Otherwise the nothingness, the emptiness are too hard to bear.”

Sinatra’s father Frank and Elvis Presley sang together multiple times and also featured in a 1960 television special, titled Welcome Home Elvis.


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