Family members and celebrity associates including singer Axl Rose, Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson and singer Alanis Morissette paid tribute to Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley at a public memorial service at Graceland. Many friends and fans also came to the commemoration event at the Elvis estate in Memphis, Tennessee on Sunday. “Thank you all for being here,” said Lisa Marie Presley’s mother, Priscilla Presley. “Our hearts are broken Lisa and we love you all,” she said.
Pictures from the funeral service:
Grandma for the first time
The speech by Lisa-Marie’s son-in-law Ben Smith-Petersen, who read a letter from his wife Riley Keough, was also touching. It confirmed that Elvis’ granddaughter would become a mother to a daughter in late 2022. Tragically, Lisa-Marie Presley was only able to enjoy her grandmother role briefly.
Stars sang for the deceased
After the memorial service, guests moved to Lisa Marie Presley’s grave, which is located on the grounds of Graceland near the grave of her father, rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley. The Graceland estate is now a museum and a place of pilgrimage for fans. Instead of flowers, the family wanted donations to the Presley Foundation, which aims to support select charities. Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis Presley’s only child, died on January 12 at the age of 54 after a medical emergency. Details on the cause of death were not initially available.
The memorial service featured numerous musical performances, including Morissette singing the song “Rest” and Rose of Guns N’ Roses performing “November Rain.” “Like probably many of you, I’m still in shock and will be for a while,” Rose said. “I feel like I should be texting her right now.”
“Sadness is the price we have to pay for love”
Numerous other companions – all dressed in black and many in tears – also remembered Lisa Marie Presley. “We used to call each other Sissy,” said Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson, quoting her late ex-mother-in-law the Queen: “Grief is the price we pay for love.” Addressing Presley’s children, “Fergie said, “We’ll continue the journey with you, if you stretch out your hand, we’ll be there.”
For Presley’s daughter, Riley Keough, her husband, Ben Smith-Petersen, read a text she had written. “Thank you for being my mother in this life,” it said. “I remember how it felt to be loved by the most loving mother I have ever known. Thank you for showing me that love is the most important feeling on earth. I am a product of yours Heart, my sisters are a product of your heart and my brother is a product of your heart. If I haven’t told you every day: thank you!”
Music executive Jerry Schilling, who worked for her father, said he only called Lisa Marie Presley “Memphis.” “I was in the hospital with her father when she was born and I was in the hospital with her mother when she left us,” said Schilling. “Memphis, I will always love you.”
Priscilla and Elvis Presley’s turbulent marriage
The love story of Lisa Marie Presley’s parents made headlines around the world: Priscilla’s stepfather was stationed in Germany, where the fateful first encounter of the then 14-year-old with the “Love Me Tender” star took place in 1959. Priscilla had to come of age and finish school before they were married in Las Vegas in May 1967. Nine months later, daughter Lisa Marie was born. The turbulent marriage lasted six years. After the divorce in 1973, neither of them remarried.
Lisa Marie Presley was nine years old when her famous father died in 1977 at the age of 42. She has pursued a singing career herself and has released three studio albums, most recently Storm & Grace in 2012.
An eventful private life
But Presley made more headlines with her private life. She was divorced four times and had four children: 14-year-old twin daughters from her fourth marriage to Michael Lockwood and daughter Riley from her first marriage to musician Danny Keough. Son Benjamin Keough took his own life in 2020 at the age of 27 and is also buried in Graceland.