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Presley died Thursday at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center after an episode of cardiac arrest earlier in the day at her home in Calabasas, California, her mother, actress Priscilla Presley, announced in a statement.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” she said. “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.”
According to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, deputies and fire department personnel arrived on the scene before transporting Lisa Marie to the hospital.
In his acceptance speech, Butler said: “I also want to thank our incredible producers and Warner Bros. and the Presley family. Thank you, guys. Thank you for opening your hearts, your memories, your home to me. Lisa Marie and Priscilla, I love you forever.”
Earlier, she called his turn “nothing short of spectacular. Absolutely exquisite. Austin Butler channeled and embodied my father’s heart & soul beautifully.”
Presley’s edgy first album, Capitol Records’ To Whom It May Concern, produced by Glen Ballard, debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 album chart in 2003, featured the singles “Lights Out” and “Sinking In” and was quickly certified gold. She wrote or co-wrote all 11 songs on the LP.
She followed two years later with Now What — which included “Idiot,” a kiss-off song to a former lover, and a cover of Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” — and 2012’s Storm & Grace, a roots rock effort produced by T Bone Burnett. The first single from that was the swampy “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.”
Presley toured in support of those albums, with The Hollywood Reporter praising a 2013 concert performance at City Winery in New York that “revealed an endearing warmth and vulnerability.”
Along the way, she recorded duets featuring her late father’s vocals for singles including “In the Ghetto,” “I Love You Because” and “Where No One Stands Alone.”
As a singer, she told The Associated Press in 2005, “First I had to overcome a pre-speculated idea of me. I had to sort of burst through that and introduce myself, and that was the first hurdle, and then now to sing in front of everybody … and then [there was] the second one [as] I’m the offspring of — you know, who I’m the offspring of. I had a few hurdles to get through, no doubt about it. But the scales never tipped in the other direction too much.”
She was born in Memphis on Feb. 1, 1968, as the only child of Elvis and Priscilla, who were wed May 1, 1967, at the Aladdin in Las Vegas. After her parents divorced when she was 4, she moved to Los Angeles to live with her mom, though she regularly visited her dad in her birthplace.
She wrote and sang about that on “Lights Out”: “I was crying every time I’d leave you / Then I didn’t want to see you. / I still keep my watch two hours behind.”
She was 9 when Elvis died at age 42 on Aug. 16, 1977.
Presley became joint heir to his estate with her grandfather, Vernon Presley, and great-grandmother, Minnie Mae Hood Presley. After their deaths in 1979 and 1980, respectively, she became the only surviving beneficiary, and she inherited Elvis’ estate upon turning 25.
In 2004, she sold 85 percent of the holdings for a reported $100 million to SFX Entertainment founder Robert F.X. Sillerman but retained her dad’s Graceland estate on 13 acres in Memphis.
She supervised the launch of a deeply personal exhibit at Graceland, “Elvis… Through His Daughter’s Eyes,” in 2012.
Presley was married to musician Danny Keough from 1988 to 1994, to Jackson from 1994 to 1996, to actor Nicolas Cage from 2002 to 2004, and to guitarist and music producer Michael Lockwood from 2006 to 2021. All her marriages ended in divorce; she had been separated from Lockwood for about five years before the official end of their marriage. (She and Keough remained close, however.)
In a 2003 interview with Rolling Stone, Presley said that she was still married to Keough and just friends with Jackson when accusations of child abuse began swirling around the pop star.
“I got into this whole, ‘I’m going to save you’ thing,” she said. “I thought all that stuff he was doing — philanthropy and the children thing and all this stuff — was awesome, and maybe we could save the world together. … OK. Hello. I was delusionary. I got some romantic idea in my head that I could save him and we could save the world.”
“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 a month later. “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.”
She will be laid to rest next to her son at Graceland, with a public memorial service set for 9 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22 on the front lawn (please visit the Graceland website for more information). The family encourages those who wish to send something to do so in the form of a donation to The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation.
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