Rock ‘n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis has died at his home DeSoto County, Mississippi, at the age of 87, his publicist confirmed. A cause for the singer’s death has yet to be disclosed.
“Judith, his seventh wife, was by his side when he passed away at his home in DeSoto County, Mississippi, south of Memphis,” a statement from Lewis’ representative Zach Farnum said, according to Variety magazine. “He [Jerry] told her, in his final days, that he welcomed the hereafter, and that he was not afraid.”
The music pioneer is probably best known for his massive hits “Great Balls Of Fire” in 1957 and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” that same year.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 28, 2022
Lewis was an inaugural inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the 2022, Variety noted.
The rock legend was the last of pioneers whose music crossed genres with a list that included such giants as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Little Richard, the Associated Press noted. Just like the “Jail House Rock” legend, with Lewis’s rock-a-billy sound he ended up recording for Sun Records label in Memphis, Tennessee.
Just as his career started exploding, his personal life became the focus of reports and essentially derailed his career after news surfaced that he had married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown, while he was still married to his previous wife, the AP noted. It happened while he was on a 37-day tour through England in 1958. The news drew tons of criticism, and, while he continued to record and perform, the controversy followed him.
He is survived by his wife Judith, his children Jerry Lee Lewis III, Ronnie Lewis, Phoebe Lewis, and Lori Lancaster, sister Linda Gail Lewis, cousin Jimmy Swaggart and many grandchildren, nieces and nephews, Variety noted.
This story is developing. Check back for more updates…