WEST HILLS, Calif. (AP/NEXSTAR) — Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley and a singer-songwriter dedicated to her father’s legacy, died Thursday after being hospitalized for a medical emergency. She was 54. Her death in a Los Angeles hospital was confirmed by her mother, Priscilla, a few hours after her daughter was rushed to the hospital after having a medical emergency at home.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla Presley said in a statement. “She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known.” Presley, the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, shared her father’s brooding charisma — the hooded eyes, the insolent smile, the low, sultry voice — and followed him professionally, releasing her own rock albums in the 2000s, and appearing on stage with Pat Benatar and Richard Hawley among others.
Los Angeles County paramedics were dispatched to a Calabasas home at 10:37 a.m. following a report of a woman in full cardiac arrest, according to Craig Little, a spokesperson for the county’s fire department. Property records indicate Presley was a resident at that address. Paramedics arrived about six minutes later, Little said. A subsequent statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said paramedics performed CPR and “determined the patient had signs of life” before taking her to a hospital in nearby West Hills immediately.
The city of Calabasas is nestled between the foothills of the Santa Monica and the Santa Susanna Mountains, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Presley, 54, attended the Golden Globes on Tuesday, on hand to celebrate Austin Butler’s award for playing her father in “Elvis.” She called his performance “mind-blowing” during a red carpet interview with “Entertainment Tonight.”
“I really didn’t know what to do with myself after I saw it,” she told ET of Baz Luhrmann’s movie. “I had to take, like, five days to process it because it was so incredible and so spot on and just so authentic that, yeah, I can’t even describe what it meant.” Just days before that, she was in Memphis, Tennessee, at Graceland — the mansion where Elvis lived — to celebrate her father’s birth anniversary on Jan. 8.
A representative for Lisa Marie Presley had no comment when reached by The Associated Press. Presley had recently penned an essay published in People about “the horrific reality” of her grief following her son Benjamin Keough’s death by suicide in 2020. Presley is also the mother of actor Riley Keough and twin daughters.
“I’ve dealt with death, grief and loss since the age of 9 years old. I’ve had more than anyone’s fair share of it in my lifetime and somehow, I’ve made it this far,” she wrote in August. In 2003, Presley released her debut pop-rock album “To Whom It May Concern,” which featured her first solo single “Lights Out.” The country-twinged track was co-written by Presley and acknowledged her background and connection to a major legacy.
As Presley told the New York Times at the album’s release, she was initially hesitant to release the song as her first, since she was aiming to make her own name for herself. She remarked, however, that her father’s shadow may have loomed so large that the mission might be harder to do without “clearing the air” first.
Though the album didn’t spawn any major hits, it was generally well-received and Presley followed up with two more studio albums. She even formed direct musical ties with her father, joining her voice to such Elvis recordings as “In the Ghetto” and “Don’t Cry Daddy.”
Presley’s personal life took center stage at several points during her life, most notably after a two-year marriage (1994-96) to then music megastar Michael Jackson. That relationship, given Jackson’s public persona and child molestation accusations against Jackson during their marriage, became a tabloid fascination.
In 2010, Presley opened up to Oprah Winfrey about the marriage, one year after the singer’s death. In the tearful sit-down, Presley told Oprah that Jackson’s death helped her forgive grievances she’d been holding on to. She drew comparisons — as many often did — to Michael Jackson’s life and death and that of her father. “[Michael] was always asking me about when he died, how it happened, when it happened and where. He said, ‘I feel like I’m going to end up the same way,'” Presley recalled. The interview was one of many between Winfrey and Presley. When discussing her short-lived marriage to “The King of Pop,” Presley always acknowledged that her and Jackson’s marriage was “real” and that she had loved him.
Presley was married twice more following Jackson, including to actor Nicholas Cage (2002-04). Presley was married to guitarist and music producer Michael Lockwood, who produced two of her albums, from 2006 to 2021. The two shared twin daughters. February 1 would have been Presley’s 55th birthday.
Presley’s birth, nine months exactly after her parents’ wedding, was international news. She lived with her mother, an actor known for “Dallas” and the “Naked Gun” movies, in California after her parents split up in 1973. She recalled early memories of her dad during her visits to Graceland, riding golf carts through the neighborhood and seeing his daily entrances down the stairs. “He was always fully, fully geared up. You’d never see him in his pajamas coming down the steps, ever,” she told The Associated Press in 2012. “You’d never see him in anything but ‘ready to be seen’ attire.”
Elvis Presley died in August 1977, when he was just 42, and she 9 years old. Lisa Marie was staying at Graceland at the time and would recall him kissing her goodnight hours before he would collapse and never recover. When she next saw him, the following day, he was lying face down in the bathroom.
Lisa Marie became the sole heir of the Elvis Presley Trust after her father died. Along with Elvis Presley Enterprises, the trust managed Graceland and other assets until she sold her majority interest in 2005. She retained ownership of Graceland Mansion itself, the 13 acres around it and items inside the home. Her son is buried there, along with her father and other members of the Presley family. Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley would make regular trips to Graceland during huge fan celebrations on the anniversaries of Elvis’ death and birthday. One of the two airplanes at Graceland is named the Lisa Marie.