Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis Presley’s only child, died at the age of 54.
“I must share the heartbreaking news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla Presley said in a statement to The Associated Press. “She was the most passionate, powerful, and loving woman I’d ever met.”
A subsequent statement issued by Priscilla and the Presley family to USA TODAY expressed shock at “the tragic death of their beloved Lisa Marie. They are deeply grateful for everyone’s love, support, and prayers, and ask for privacy during this difficult time.”
Presley had begun the week in a celebratory mood, first celebrating what would have been her father’s 88th birthday with fans at Elvis’ Memphis home, Graceland, and later applauding with her mother Priscilla as Austin Butler received a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic “Elvis.”
However, she suffered apparent cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas, just north of Los Angeles, on Thursday and was taken to a local hospital, according to TMZ, which was the first to report the news. She died a few hours later.
Although Presley was famous from the moment she was born and a singer in her own right, releasing three albums, her surprise marriage to embattled pop superstar Michael Jackson and, later, Elvis aficionado and actor Nicolas Cage catapulted her into the pop culture vortex.
Both of her marriages were short-lived, but her longer marriages produced four children, including her son, Benjamin Keough, who committed suicide in 2020 and was laid to rest at Graceland.
Mostly, Presley became known as the keeper of Elvis’ legacy and the inheritor of his estate, with her hooded eyes and smouldering looks that were unmistakably reminiscent of Elvis.
Presley was at Graceland just days before her death, helping fans celebrate what would have been her father’s 88th birthday.
“It’s been a long time. I was missing you, “On Sunday, she told the assembled crowd. “I keep telling you that you are the only people who can get me out of my house. I’m not joking.”
Butler thanked her from the Golden Globes stage two nights ago for her dedication to honouring her father.
“Thank you for opening your hearts, memories, and home to me,” he said in his acceptance speech to the Presleys. “I love you forever, Lisa Marie and Priscilla.”
Lisa Marie Presley grew up in the shadow of her father’s celebrity, with her name even emblazoned on her father’s jet, until her parents divorced in 1973. She seemed destined for a life in the spotlight, thanks to both her father’s likeness in appearance and a notable singing voice.
Despite being the only child of a global icon, Presley seemed to wonder what all the fuss was about at times.
A blue record player that played her first 45s, her footprints on a hospital birth record, and a recreation of Presley’s nursery were among the more touching personal effects. “Everything is so personal and subjective,” she said. “But everything worked out fine.”