Singer Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, died last night (Thursday night US, Friday morning Australian time) after a medical emergency and brief hospitalisation. Lisa Marie was only 54.
A statement was sent out to media which read: “Priscilla Presley and the Presley family are 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.”
Earlier Friday morning (Australian time), Priscilla Presley said her daughter had been receiving medical attention but she did not share further information.
It is believed Lisa Marie died of sudden cardiac arrest and was found “unresponsive” in the bedroom of her Calabasas home by her housekeeper.
Her former husband Danny Keough, with whom she had been living at the time, performed CPR until paramedics arrived. On the way to the hospital, medics managed to get her heart going again, but she died a few hours later.
As the daughter of one of the most celebrated – possibly the most celebrated – artists in history, Lisa Marie herself had delved into a career in music. She released three albums that spanned the genres of rock, pop, gospel, country and blues.
Cream magazine featured Lisa Marie on the cover of its July 2003 issue featuring a full interview with the artist, covering talk about her father, personal struggles, the private versus the public, and the constant comparisons of her music with that of Elvis.
Lisa Marie’s life proved quite a chequered one, despite her attempts in avoiding the limelight. In October 1988 she wed musician Danny Keough and had three children with him. They divorced in May 1994 but remained friends throughout her life.
Oddly enough, in the same month her divorce from Keough became official, she married eccentric pop star Michael Jackson – a unity that lasted just two years. In 2002, she wed actor Nicolas Cage, another marriage that lasted only two years. She then wed musician Michael Lockwood but they divorced in 2016.
That’s a lot of divorces for one woman to take. And it wasn’t the only burden Lisa Marie carried with her throughout her life.
When her father died in 1977, nine-year-old Lisa Marie instantly became joint heir to Elvis’ estate along with her grandfather Vernon Presley and great-grandmother Minnie Mae Presley.
Following the deaths of Vernon in 1979 and Minnie Mae in 1980, she became the sole heir and inherited Graceland. In 1993, on her 25th birthday, she inherited the estate, which had increased to an estimated $100 million.
But fame and riches were sadly balanced out by tragedy.
Two-and-a-half years ago, Lisa Marie had to cope with the suicide of her son Benjamin Keough – who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, aged only 27.
Only last Sunday, Lisa Marie was at Graceland, Elvis’ estate in Memphis, to commemorate what would have been her father’s 88th birthday, so her sudden passing has indeed surprised many. At the time of her death, Lisa Marie still owned Graceland and most of her father’s artifacts, along with 15 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Lisa Marie is survived by three daughters: Riley Keough, 33, and twins Harper and Finley Lockwood, 14.
Tributes continue to flow through social media.