Lisa Marie Presley, Daughter of Elvis and Priscilla, Dead at 54
Entertainment | The Weekly Ledger News | Taniesa L. Sullivan
LOS ANGELS, Ca. - Priscilla Presley confirmed her daughter's death on Thursday evening.
Lisa Marie Presley, singer-songwriter and daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, died at the age of 54. Just two days after the Golden Globes appearance.
"It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us," Priscilla confirmed in a statement Thursday evening.
"She was the most passionate strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers. At this time there will be no further comment."
On Thursday morning, Presley was rushed to the hospital for a cardiac arrest.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed that paramedics responded to the 5900 block of Normandy Drive in Calabasas to treat a woman in her 50s who was not breathing. Once on-site, they began CPR and, upon noting the patient had "signs of life," the first responders transferred the woman to a local hospital for "immediate medical care."
Born in Memphis, Tennessee on Feb. 1, 1968, exactly nine months after Elvis and Priscilla's wedding, Lisa Marie was briefly raised in the area before moving to Los Angeles at age 4 with her mother following her parents' 1973 divorce.
Elvis died in August 1977, making 9-year-old Lisa Marie the joint heir to his estate alongside grandfather Vernon Presley and great-grandmother Minnie Mae Hood Presley. Following their respective deaths in 1979 and 1980, she became the sole heir and also inherited her father's Graceland residence.
"He'd always wake me up to sing in the middle of the night, get on the table and sing," Lisa Marie recalled of her time with Elvis on Good Morning America in 2009. "I remember him as my dad, but he was a very exciting dad."
In October 1988, Lisa Marie married Danny Keough, a Chicago-based musician, with whom she welcomed two children: daughter Riley in 1989 and son Benjamin in 1992. After five and a half years of marriage, the couple divorced in May 1994.
Less than a month later, she married singer Michael Jackson, whom she first met at one of her late father's Las Vegas concerts when she was 7 and the King of Pop was still a member of the Jackson Five. "I am very much in love with Michael, I dedicate my life to being his wife. I understand and support him," read a statement from Lisa Marie at the time. "We both look forward to raising a family."
Two years later, Lisa Marie and Jackson ended their relationship.
"The one thing that correlates with Michael and with my father on this subject is that they had the luxury of creating whatever reality around them they wanted to create," she told Oprah Winfrey during a 2016 interview, according to HuffPost. "They could have the kinds of people who were going to go with their program or not go with their program. If they weren't, then they could be disposed of."
In 2000, Lisa Marie got engaged to Hawaiian-born musician John Oszajca, though the relationship ended when she met actor Nicolas Cage at a birthday party for Johnny Ramone in 2000 when he was estranged from Patricia Arquette.
Two years later, Lisa Marie and Cage wed during a secret ceremony in Hawaii on the 25th anniversary of Elvis' death. However, less than four months after their wedding, the pair announced they were splitting.
"I'm sad about this, but we shouldn't have been married in the first place," Lisa Marie said in a statement issued by her publicist, Paul Bloch.
Her fourth marriage came in 2006 to Michael Lockwood, with whom Lisa Marie welcomed twin daughters, Harper and Finley, two years later. Lisa Marie then filed for divorce in June 2016. [The divorce was finalized in 2021.] Ever since their separation, the two have been embroiled in an ongoing custody battle over their children.
Speaking to Healthy Living in 2014, Lisa Marie described herself as "ferociously protective" of her kids. "I just smother them in love," she shared. "They are my priority. That's what I do. That's what I care most about. I keep them close to me and make sure they are happy and healthy."
In 2020, Lisa Marie's son Benjamin died by suicide on July 12, which would've been his 28th birthday. "My beautiful beautiful angel, I worshipped the ground you walked on, on this earth and now in Heaven," she wrote on Instagram shortly after his death. "My heart and soul went with you. The depth of the pain is suffocating and bottomless without you every moment of every day."
She has been open about her grief in the years since, posting tributes on Benjamin's birthday and penning an emotional essay for PEOPLE in 2022 about the loss.
"It's a real choice to keep going, one that I have to make every single day and one that is constantly challenging, to say the least ... But I keep going for my girls," she wrote in honor of National Grief Awareness Day. "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 was at the forefront of his concerns and his mind. He absolutely adored them and they him."
As a recording artist, Lisa Marie released three albums: 2003's To Whom It May Concern, which went on to become gold-certified for over 500,000 units sold in the United States, as well as 2005's So What and 2012's Storm andy Grace.
Lisa Marie was also a dedicated philanthropist, as she long oversaw the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, which benefits homeless families and offers rent-free housing, daycare for children, and other services to families in need. She also worked with Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network to provide relief to those affected by Hurricane Katrina, as well as the Dream Factory to benefit children with life-threatening illnesses or disabilities.