Lisa Presley dead at 54

Lisa Presley dead at 54

holly bohannon

As the only daughter of the late Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley, singer Lisa Marie Presley spent her life in the spotlight from the start.  And the public interest in her life — from her marriages to her private tragedies — never waned until, much like her father, she was taken too soon.  Lisa Marie Presley died Thursday after suffering an apparent cardiac arrest. Days before her hospitalization, Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley attended the Golden Globe Awards in support of the Baz Luhrmann film “Elvis,” starring actor Austin Butler, who picked up an award for his portrayal of the King.

“Priscilla Presley and the Presley family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Lisa Marie,” said a statement from the family provided to CNN. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

Tributes to Lisa Marie Presley poured in as news of her passing spread.

“This is devastating news. Lisa had the greatest laugh of anyone I ever met. She lit up every room, and I am heartbroken,” Nicholas Cage said in a statement provided by his manager Mike Nilon. “I find some solace believing she is reunited with her son Benjamin.”

Actor John Travolta wrote that he’d miss his friend “but I know I’ll see you again.”

“My love and heart goes out to Riley, Priscilla, Harper and Finley,” he wrote on Instagram.

Actress Leah Remini said she was “heartbroken over the passing of Lisa Marie Presley,” adding “Lisa did not have an easy life, as some might think.”

“May she be at peace, resting with her son and father now,” she wrote on Twitter.

Childhood in the spotlight

Born at the height of Elvis’s fame in 1968, Lisa Marie Presley was seen as the princess to the man celebrated as “the King of rock ‘n’ roll.” Elvis and Priscilla Presley separated in 1972 when their daughter was four years old, and she was only nine when her father died in 1977. He was 42. Soon, she began acting out and experimenting with drugs, resulting in her mother sending her to a series of private schools, including a boarding school in Ojai. Lisa Marie Presley noted to the Los Angeles Times in 2003 that as a child, she “was kind of a loner, a melancholy and strange child.”

“I had a real self-destructive mode for a while,” she told the publication. “I never really fit into school. I didn’t really have any direction.”

Her own mark in music

She was also the eventual sole heir to Elvis’s estate, as well as his sprawling Memphis, Tennessee mansion – Graceland. Her father’s mighty and ever-looming legacy didn’t, however, steer her away from her desire to pursue a career in music in her own right. Lisa Marie Presley launched her career in 2003 with a debut studio album, “To Whom It May Concern,” which reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and was certified gold that summer. She wrote almost all the lyrics on the album and co-wrote every melody. At the time, Lisa Marie Presley told Larry King that she had to “park” feelings of pressure and comparison to her legendary singer dad.

“If I had been thinking about that, worrying about that, which I kind of had for a long time I would have never done what was sort of innately in my heart, in my soul,” she said. “So I had to stop being worried about that, it was too intimidating otherwise.”

Also around the same time, Lisa Marie Presley reflected on whether her famous name was a hindrance or a help, telling Playboy that she didn’t “ask tabloids to chase me around every week.”

But, she added, she “would never take back any part of who I am or where I came from.”

“I would never want to be part of anything else,” she said. “I’m honored and proud of my family and my dad.”

That first record was followed by two additional albums, 2005’s “Now What” and “Storm & Grace” in 2012.

Tragedy of losing a child

In 2020, Lisa Marie Presley’s son Benjamin Keough died by suicide at the age of 27. Last July, she marked the second anniversary of Keough’s death on instagram, sharing a photo of their matching foot tattoos. Last September, she wrote an essay for National Grief Awareness Day, in which she opened up about the loss of her son.

“My and my three daughters’ lives as we knew it were completely detonated and destroyed by his death. We live in this every. Single. Day,” she wrote. “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. You do not ‘get over it,’ you do not ‘move on,’ period.”

Presley also said in the essay that she found comfort in the company of people who have faced similar tragedy, adding that her daughters help keep her grounded.

“I keep going for my girls,” she wrote. “I keep going because my son made it very clear in his final moments that taking care of his little sisters and looking out for them were on the forefront of his concerns and his mind. He absolutely adored them and they him.”

More tributes pour in for Lisa Marie Presley

Tributes are pouring in for Lisa Marie Presley across social media following her death on Thursday. In an Instagram post, Rita Wilson said she and her husband, Tom Hanks, had recently spent time with the Presley family during the “Elvis” movie promotional tour.

“Our hearts are broken with sudden and shocking passing of Lisa Marie Presley tonight,” Wilson said. “Lisa 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.”

Actress Jennifer Tilly said on Twitter she had visited Graceland — Elvis Presley’s famed home and estate — just yesterday, where a guide told her group that Lisa Marie “would have dinners in the dining room, and once she had a party for her friends in the plane named after her.”

“RIP sweet soul,” Tilly said.

Actress Octavia Spencer tweeted that “we’ve lost another bright star in Lisa Marie Presley.”

Actress Mia Farrow shared images of Lisa Marie, including several with her father Elvis. “Just so very sad,” she tweeted. “There are burdens few can see or understand.”

And TV host Andy Cohen said in a tweet that he was “so sad” following news of Lisa Marie’s death.

TJ Jackson tweeted Presley “was always so sweet to my brothers and me.”

“Thinking of and praying for Lisa Marie Presley, her three daughters, and her mom.” — Leah Remini.

“Lisa Marie Presley… how heartbreaking. i hope she is at peace in her dad’s arms. my heart goes out to her family. too much grief in just a couple of years.”— Leann Rimes Cibrian.

“My deepest thoughts & condolences go out to the family / friends on the loss of.”— Bret Michaels.

Source: CNN