Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis Presley’s only child with Priscilla Presley, died on January 12 at the age of 54. “It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla, 77, confirmed in a statement. “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.”
Days prior to her hospitalization, Lisa Marie attended the 2023 Golden Globes with her mother. They were present when Austin Butler took home an acting award for playing Elvis in the Baz Luhrmann biopic of the same name. Lisa Marie is survived by three of her children, which came from two of her four marriages. Her only son, Benjamin, died in 2020. Last year, Lisa Marie opened up about the “horrific reality” of grief’s “unrelenting grips” in an essay for People.
Lisa Marie’s three daughters will inherit Graceland, a spokesman for the Memphis, Tennessee, estate has confirmed to TODAY in January. Lisa Marie inherited the mansion when her father died when she was 9. Graceland will also be the site for a memorial to Lisa Marie. “Riley, Harper, Finley, and Priscilla are grateful for the support, well-wishes, and outpouring of love honoring their beloved Lisa Marie,” a family spokesman said while announcing news of the memorial. Below, learn more about what Lisa Marie said about motherhood, her approach to parenting and her four children.
Riley Keough, 33, is Lisa Marie’s oldest child, and first from her marriage to musician Danny Keough. Lisa Marie, in her lifetime, was also married to Michael Jackson, Nicolas Cage and musician Michael Lockwood, with whom she shares twins.
Riley is an accomplished actor who will star in the upcoming series “Daisy Jones and the Six,” a role that involves singing. Despite being born into a show business family and following their path, Keough said she wasn’t raised in the spotlight.
Speaking to Nylon Magazine in 2016, for her breakout role in “The Girlfriend Experience,” Riley spoke about her mom’s parenting style.
“She was like, ‘I don’t want you growing up like another Hollywood celebrity daughter.’ She was so not about that life, you know? She didn’t really put attention on it. It was there. We’d get photographed doing stuff, but I didn’t see a tabloid until I was 15.”
“I didn’t want her to have that shadow where she felt competition and intimidated by anything,” Lisa Marie said, per People. ‘I wanted (my children) to be able to do what they wanted to do.” When it came to co-parenting with ex-husband Danny, Lisa Marie said the two stayed “civilized” in an interview with People in 2005. “Ultimately this is a good message to send out to people: You don’t have to put your crap on your kids even if you are not together. You can still be civilized. I knew at the age that I had the kids with him that Danny was someone I could be connected with for the rest of my life. I knew he would be a good father,” she said.
Riley is married to stuntman Ben Smith-Petersen, whom she met while filming “Mad Max: Fury Road,” per Vogue.
Two years after the death of her brother, Riley shared a photo of them standing together at her 2015 wedding. “Not an hour goes by where I don’t think of you and miss you. It’s been two years today since you left and I still can’t believe you’re not here. You are so loved my Ben Ben,” Riley wrote in the caption.
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Benjamin Keough was Lisa Marie and Danny Keough’s younger child. In 2020, 27-year-old Benjamin died from an apparent suicide. “(Lisa Marie Presley) is completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated but trying to stay strong for her 11 year old twins and her oldest daughter Riley,” her spokesperson told TODAY in a statement at the time. “She adored that boy. He was the love of her life.”
The year prior to her son’s death, Lisa Marie posted a photo of her with her four children. “Mama Lion with cubs,” she captioned the black-and-white family photo.
In the comments, Instagram users noticed the resemblance between Benjamin and his grandfather, Elvis Presley. His mother did, too: Lisa Marie told CMT in 2012 that their resemblance caused a fuss at the Opry.
“He was at the Opry and was the quiet storm behind the stage!” she said. “Everybody turned around and looked when he was over there. Everybody was grabbing him for a photo because it is just uncanny. Sometimes I am overwhelmed when I look at him.”
After his death, Lisa Marie continually wrote tributes to her late son and shared her raw experiences with grief.
“My beautiful beautiful angel, I worshipped the ground you walked on, on this earth and now in Heaven,” she wrote on her Instagram the year he died. “My heart and soul went with you.”
In 2022, the same year she wrote an essay about the “unrelenting” nature of grief for People, Lisa Marie shared a connection she had with her son: their tattoos.
“Several years ago, on Mother’s Day, my son and I got these matching tattoos on our feet,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
“It’s a Celtic eternity knot,” she went on to explain. “Symbolizing that we will be connected eternally. We carefully picked it to represent our eternal love and bond.”
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Harper and Finley Lockwood
In October 2008, Lisa Marie and her ex-husband, guitarist Michael Lockwood, welcomed twin daughters, Harper and Finley. While they were married, Lisa Marie described Lockwood to Oprah Winfrey as “the most understanding person (she’s) ever met.”
Harper and Finley are 14 years old now.
In the wake of her son’s death, Lisa Marie wrote, in an essay for People, it was a “real choice to keep going.” Her motivation to continue on, she wrote, was her daughters.
“But I keep going for my girls. 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.”
In a 2020 tribute to her son on Instagram, Lisa Marie wrote a message to her son about the work she felt she still had to do for her family.
“Please wait for me my love, and hold my hand while I stay to continue to protect and raise your little sisters and to be here for Riley,” she wrote. Follow us on our website The Current Online for more updates.