The “Jailhouse Rock” crooner, who rose to fame in 1950s, died in August 1977 at the age of 42. His only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, had been the one to discover his passing before calling his ex-girlfriend Linda Thompson. The former model recalled via Instagram in August 2022 that Lisa Marie, then 9, had told her: “My daddy’s dead!”
“I think it gets locked in forever and nothing can change it,” Lisa Marie, whom Elvis shared with ex-wife Priscilla Presley, told Variety in August 2017 of her father’s legacy. “And then, on the other side, I’m going through what I’ve dealt with, and I know what he’s gone through, and the older I get, the more I can relate to the obstacles that he had and the trepidations that he had. I can relate to them more, way more. I understand more as I get older. He was quite young [when he passed away]. So I can’t say I knew a whole lot at 42, or that I know a whole lot now. But what I know is that I don’t know everything.”
Both the “Storm & Grace” songstress and Priscilla — who was married to the King of Rock N’ Roll between 1967 and 1973 — have continued to honor his memory through the years. In August 2018, Lisa Marie released a cover of Elvis’ “Where No One Stands Alone” and used her dad’s archival audio as background vocals.
“I just felt really emotional. It’s never pleasant to sing and cry,” she said during an interview on the U.K.’s Lorraine at the time. “I had to keep my composure, but I felt very connected to him and to the song. I felt very connected to him and to the song.”
She added at the time: “I just felt like a hand came down to me [while I was recording] because I read [the lyrics] and thought, ‘I know his struggles.’ I had the same struggles the last few years, it was like the perfect thing.”
Both Elvis and Lisa Marie had struggled with addiction during their musical careers. “[I used] cocaine, sedatives, pot and drinking — all at the same time. I just couldn’t be sober,” she recalled Paper Magazine in 2003. “I don’t know how I lived through it.”
“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla said in a statement to People at the time. “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.”
Lisa Marie is survived by Priscilla and her daughters Riley Keough, whom she shared with ex-husband Danny Keough, and twins Harper and Finley, whom she coparented with former spouse Michael Lockwood. The late songwriter and Danny also shared son Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020.
Scroll below for the Presley family’s most heartbreaking tragedies: