On January 12, after suffering cardiac arrest, Lisa Marie Presley passed away in Los Angeles. The news of her passing at the relatively young age of 54 shocked the nation.
Today, we take a look back at the life of Lisa Marie Presley, the only daughter of Priscilla and Elvis Presley.
In 1959, 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu met the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll while he was serving in the Army overseas in Germany. She was instantly smitten, People magazine reported. By 1963, she had decided to move to America to be with him. In 1967, she and the famed singer tied the knot in a Las Vegas ceremony, much to the chagrin of single females across the world.
It wasn’t long after that the couple welcomed their one and only child, a daughter named Lisa Marie Presley on February 1, 1968. She was just as adored by fans as the singer was, with looks that favored her father.
Her parents’ relationship was strained, however. After reports of Elvis’ alleged infidelities surfaced, Priscilla admitted to having an affair of her own and told the singer she was leaving him, the outlet noted.
The couple separated in 1972 with their divorce being finalized in 1973. After they divorced, Lisa Marie lived with her mom in Los Angeles, but would frequently visit Graceland, where Elvis lived in Memphis, Tennessee. The pair would co-parent Lisa Marie for the next few years until Elvis’ death in 1977.
In 1978, Priscilla spoke to People magazine about the two sharing custody of Lisa and said “It was like we were never divorced.”
“We would say ‘Mommy said this’ and ‘Daddy said that,’” she added. “That helped Lisa to feel stable.”
At the very young age of 9, Lisa Marie lost her father. She would now have to deal with the challenges of growing up in the public eye, in the shadow of her legendary father.
At age 17, Lisa dropped out of high school in her junior year. She then entered Scientology’s Celebrity Center rehab facility because she had been abusing illegal drugs, Biography.com noted.
It was there Lisa met the first of four men she would eventually marry, singer-songwriter Danny Keough.
Sadly, none of her marriages would go the distance, some ending in high-profile divorces, People magazine noted.
She married Keough in 1988 and the two would welcome a daughter, Riley, in 1989 and son Benjamin in 1992. In 1994, they divorced and two years later she married singer Michael Jackson. They would also divorce due to “irreconcilable differences.”
In November 1998, Presley got engaged to musician John Oszajca, but broke things off when she met actor Nicolas Cage. The two celebrities tied the knot in August 2002, but called things off just months later.
While Priscilla pursued a career in acting, Lisa would follow in her late father’s footsteps and became a singer.
She released several rock albums, but was determined to make her own path, while still paying tribute to the man who changed Rock ‘n’ Roll forever. Her debut album dropped in 2003 titled “To Whom It May Concern” and it became certified gold.
“It’s my own thing,” she said of her career in a 2003 interview with The New York Times. “I’m just trying to be an artist. I’m not trying to be Elvis Presley’s child. And I’m not trying to run from it either.”
She cut a second album called “Now What” in 2005, and a third in 2012 called “Storm & Grace.”
Lisa also made it a point to be active in charity work over the years. In 1984, she founded a non-profit, the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, which funds a living space for unhoused families called Presley Place in New Orleans, and supports The Dream Factory, an organization similar to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, in honor of her father’s community service and generosity, The Guardian noted.
Presley got married for a fourth time in 2006, to guitarist and music producer Michael Lockwood. In 2008, the couple welcomed twin girls, Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood and Finley Aaron Love Lockwood.
After 10 years of marriage, though, she filed for divorce in 2016, with it becoming official in 2021.
Lisa also had her own battle with addiction to prescription drugs. In a foreword to a 2019 book about the opioid crisis in America called “The United States of Opioids: A Prescription for Liberating a Nation in Pain” by Harry Nelson, Presley said she started taking “pain medication after the birth of the twins in 2008. She said it led to “a difficult path to overcome this dependence, and to put my life back together.”
Facing a point-blank question about her problem posed to her on NBC’s “Today” show in 2018.
“I’m not perfect,” she said. “My father wasn’t perfect, no one’s perfect. It’s what you do with it after you learn and then you try to help others with it.”
Lisa knew all too well about loss. After losing her dad when she was 9, she lost her only son, Benjamin Keough, in 2020 to suicide. He was just 27. Lisa spoke about her grief last August.
“Grief is something you will have to carry with you for the rest of your life,” Lisa shared. “You do not ‘get over it,’ you do not ‘move on,’ period.”
In June 2022, Lisa Marie joined Priscilla and her daughter, Riley Keough, on the red carpet at Graceland for the premiere of the new “Elvis” biopic.
On the eve of what would have been Lisa Marie’s father’s 88th birthday, January 8, 2023, she visited Graceland once again, where she and pal David Kessler sat at his graveside and meditated about her dad and her son, People magazine noted.
“‘We sat there mostly in silence by Ben’s grave. She showed me where she’d be buried someday, right across from her father’s grave,’ Kessler — an author and grief expert Lisa Marie befriended after Benjamin’s death by suicide at 27 in 2020- shared.”
“I said, ‘Not for a long time,’ and she was like, ‘Nope, I got a lot to do still.’ She was very excited about what was coming up. She had such a challenging first and second act of life, and she was about to take on this third act that was so much about helping people.”
Two days later, Lisa Marie celebrated her father’s legacy by attending the 2023 Golden Globes in support of the “Elvis” biopic, where actor Austin Butler scored the Best Actor award for his portrayal of her father in Baz Luhrmann’s film.
Five days later, her 54 years on this earth would come to an end after she went into cardiac arrest at her California home. She was rushed to the hospital. Later that night, Priscilla announced the “devastating” death of Lisa Marie.
A public memorial service is planned for January 22 at 9:00 am on the front lawn at Graceland.
Presley will be buried at Graceland next to her late son, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020, according to a family spokesperson. Elvis, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, is also buried at Graceland, along with his parents and grandmother, People magazine noted.
Following her death, the property will go to Lisa Marie’s three daughters: Riley, Harper, and Finley.
“The mansion is in a trust that will go to the benefit of her [Presley’s] children,” a spokesperson for Graceland told WMC.