How Did Lisa Marie Presley Die: The Life as Daughter to the King

lisa marie presley
Lisa Marie Presley at the Los Angeles premiere of "Mad Max: Fury Road" held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Los Angeles, USA on May 7, 2015. Image from Shutterstock.

Last updated on September 13th, 2023 at 03:55 pm

She’s the daughter of a rock ‘n roll legend and an aspiring actress who became an established singer/songwriter in her own right. Lisa Marie Presley had a full life in her short life that only got to last a little over half a century.

From chart-topping albums to philanthropy to marriages, there are so many questions to answer about our favorite famous baby girl. Who is Lisa Marie? How did Lisa Marie Presley Die?

Find out the answers to these questions and more below.

What was Lisa Marie Presley’s Cause of Death?

lisa marie presley
Elvis Presley and Priscilla with Lisa Marie, February 1968. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Lisa Marie Presley died of a sudden cardiac arrest, although an official cause of death was not determined following the initial autopsy exam.

Her last public appearance was at the Golden Globe Awards just a few days earlier, at which she watched Austin Butler win the Best Actor in a Leading Role Award for his portrayal of her late father.

When Did Lisa Marie Presley Die?

Lisa Marie Presley died on January 12, 2023.

How Old Was Lisa Marie Presley When She Died?

Lisa Marie Presley was only 54 when she suddenly passed away.

Lisa Marie Presley Funeral

At Graceland, a public memorial service was held in honor of the beloved star on January 22, 2023. Hundreds attended, with more than 1.5 million reportedly watching the service via live stream.

Those in attendance included her mother, Priscilla Presley; her surviving children; Axl Rose, lead singer of Guns’ N’ Roses; and Baz Luhrmann and Austin Butler, director and star of the 2022 biopic Elvis.

The answer to the question, did Lisa Marie have an open casket, was unknown as plans were being made, but many believed that she would have one just like her father did.

Where Is Lisa Marie Presley Buried?

Following the funeral service, Lisa Marie was interred in the Graceland Meditation Garden. She was laid next to her late son, Benjamin, and adjacent to her father, Elvis.

That half answers the question, “Will Priscilla and Lisa Marie be buried at Graceland?”

What Were Lisa Marie Presley’s Last Words?

lisa marie presley career
LAS VEGAS – MAY 20: Lisa Marie Presley arrives at the 2012 Billboard Awards at MGM Garden Arena on May 20, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV. Image from Shutterstock.

While it’s unknown what Lisa Marie Presley may have said in the hours and days following, we do know that Lisa Marie’s last public comments were about Austin Butler’s Golden Globe win for Best Actor.

She answered the interviewer’s question about Butler’s performance of her famous father saying he “absolutely” deserved the honor. “Even the throat, he’d make these noises sometimes, and he got all of it. He absolutely nailed it,” she said.

Who Gets Graceland After Lisa?

Following Lisa Marie Presley’s shocking and untimely death, there have been questions about who will inherit Graceland.

After Lisa Marie’s death, a Graceland representative confirmed to People magazine that her daughters, Riley Keough and Harper and Finley Lockwood, inherited Graceland and her trust.

Who lives at Graceland now? It’s unknown if anyone actually lives at Graceland, but with Presley’s inheritance given to her three daughters, Graceland will remain in the famous family.

Lisa Marie Presley Early Life

lisa marie presley
USA. Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley. Cira 1973. Image from Shutterstock.

Lisa Marie Presley was Elvis Presley’s and Priscilla Presley’s only child, born on February 1, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Related: Priscilla Presley: Her Crazy Life as Wife to the King

She was only four years old when Elvis and Priscilla split up and primarily lived with her mother in Los Angeles after the divorce.

How Old Was Lisa Marie When Elvis Died?

Lisa Marie didn’t get much time with her father. The singer/songwriter was only 9 years old when Elvis died of a heart attack on August 16, 1977.

Related: The Life and Music of Elvis Presley

How Much Did Lisa Marie Presley Inherit?

Because of Lisa Marie Presley’s young age when the “Blue Hawaii” actor died, she was not the sole heir to his estate at the time. She instead was a joint heir along with her grandfather and great-grandmother. Lisa Marie and her great-grandmother, Minnie Mae, were beneficiaries, while his father, Vernon Elvis, was named executor and trustee of the estate, according to the “Hound Dog” singer’s will.

A few years later, following the death of her grandparents, she was appointed trustee along with the National Bank of Commerce.

When Presley turned 25 in 1983, he became the sole trustee inheriting an estate that had grown to approximately $100 million. She became even more involved with the estate in 1998 as well as with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

How much is Graceland worth today? As of 2020, Rolling Stone reported that Graceland was estimated to be worth between $400-500 million. That’s a significant jump from the $100,000 it was worth when Elvis acquired the estate in 1957.

Lisa Marie also answers the question, “Who owns Elvis Presley’s royalties,” including the “Love Me Tender” singer’s likeness rights. However, in 2004, she sold 85 percent of the Elvis Presley Enterprise assets to Robert F.X. Sillerman, a music entrepreneur, and his company CKX Inc.

The deal allowed CKX to have a 90-year lease on the Graceland mansion and publishing rights to 650 of Elvis’ songs. However, much of the royalty rights remain with RCA as the Viva Las Vegas singer’s manager, Col. Tom Parker, sold them. Those royalties included 24 Elvis movies.

Presley kept 15 percent of the ownership of Elvis Presley Enterprises until her death.

Lisa Marie Presley Career

lisa marie presley death
LISA MARIE PRESLEY at the world premiere, in Los Angeles, of Lucky Numbers. 24OCT2000. Paul Smith / Featureflash. Image from Shutterstock.

Lisa Marie Presley may be first and foremost known as the daughter of Elvis Presley and have the inheritance to prove it, but through the years, she has made a name for herself in her own right as a singer and songwriter.

She released her debut album, To Whom It May Concern, on April 8, 2003, and would subsequently go on to peak at number five on the Billboard 200 albums chart and be certified gold in June 2003, proving she is her father’s daughter.

Unlike her famous father, however, who never recorded any original music aside from a co-write credit or two, Lisa Marie was the sole writer of every track on the album except “The Road Between,” which she co-wrote with Gus Black. Lisa Marie was also a co-writer on every melody line.

Following the release of her debut album, which included a collaboration with Billy Corgan, Presley made many appearances. She performed a duet with Pat Benatar in May 2003 for a VH1 Save the Music Foundation benefit concert at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. She also released her rendition of “Silent Night” for the Sounds of the Season NBC Holiday Collection.

Presley released her second album, Now What, in April 2005. Although it did not garner as much success as her first, it still made the top 10 on the Billboard chart. Following in the footsteps of the first, she co-wrote 10 of the songs on the album.

Her third and final album, Storm & Grace, was released in May 2013. Not as successful as the first two, Presley described the album as “much more of a rootsy record, organic record, than my previous work.”

Despite its considerable dip in performance on the charts, it received some of the most positive reviews, with AllMusic describing it as “a stronger, more mature, and more effective work than one might have expected. … Presley is finally developing a musical personality that truly suits her.”

Along with her album releases, she has appeared in several music videos, including the Grammy Award-winning Best Short Form Music Video for Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” She has also released several duets with her father, created from recordings before the singer’s death, including “In the Ghetto.” The most famous release of her duets of Elvis Presley songs was her 1997 release of “Don’tCry Daddy.” The video debuted during a tribute concert marking the 20th anniversary of Elvis’ death on August 16, 1997.

Related: The 17 Best Elvis Songs of All Time: His Legacy Lives On

Lisa Marie Presley Charity Work

Lisa Marie Presley did not just focus on her own music but on helping those in need, too. Throughout her life, she was active in many causes, including Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and the Grammy Foundation’s Gold Grammy Signature Schools program.

She is also the founder of The Presley Foundation Inc., formerly the Presley Charitable Foundation.

Lisa Marie Presley Awards

lisa marie presley awards
LOS ANGELES – June 21: Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, Riley Keough honored with hand prints at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on June 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. Image from Shutterstock.

For her charitable efforts, Bill Haslam, then-governor of Tennessee, honored her with a day of recognition on June 24, 2011. She was also given a Certificate of Proclamation two days later by Mitchell J. Landrieu, then-mayor of New Orleans.

Related: 32 Interesting Facts about Elvis Presley

Lisa Marie Presley Net Worth

How much was Lisa Marie worth when she died? The answer may surprise you based on the facts we’ve already covered, but she was only worth about $16 million at the time of her death.

Before her death, Presley noted that much of her financial troubles came after trusting Barry Siegel, her former business manager, with her cash.

Lisa Marie Presley Marriages

lisa marie presley marriages
Actor NICOLAS CAGE & girlfriend LISA MARIE PRESLEY at the 16th Annual American Cinematheque Ball, in Beverly Hills, where he was honored. 28OCT2001. Paul Smith/Featureflash. Image from Shutterstock.

Lisa Marie Presley was married to four different men throughout her life.

Her first marriage to Danny Keough, a musician from Chicago, happened on October 3, 1988, at the Scientology Celebrity Centre.

The two were divorced on May 6, 1994, after Presley was granted a quickie divorce in the Dominican Republic. Twenty days later, “Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson” became one of the most popular searches online after they married on May 26, 1994.

The pair met 20 years earlier when Presley, who was only 6 years old at the time, went to the “Thriller” singer’s concert during his time with the Jackson 5. They began their friendship as adults in November 1992.

The central portion of their relationship was spent with Presley helping Jackson overcome his drug addiction, faltering health, and the child molestation accusations that came out against him. In June 1995, Presley appeared in the singer’s video for “You Are Not Alone,” directed by Wayne Isham. Unfortunately, the pair split following Presley’s filing for divorce in January 1996, citing irreconcilable differences.

Presley reportedly told Oprah in 2010 that she and Jackson had attempted to reconcile four years after the divorce, but it didn’t work.

Presley’s third marriage was to actor Nicholas Cage whom she met in the fall of 2000. Their connection was so strong that, five months after they met, Presley broke off her engagement to musician John Oszajca to whom she had been engaged since December 23, 1999, so they could be together.

Presley and Cage married on August 10, 2002, in Kamuela, Hawaii, but Cage would go on to file for divorce just three months later. The divorce was finalized in May 2004.

Lisa Marie’s final marriage was to Michael Lockwood, her guitarist, music producer, and director. They got married on January 22, 2006, in Kyoto, Japan. Following 10 years of marriage, Presley filed for divorce. The divorce was finalized on May 26, 2021.

Lisa Marie Presley Kids’ Ages

lisa marie presley kids
LOS ANGELES – June 21: Finley Lockwood, Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, Riley Keough, Harper Lockwood honored with hand prints at the TCL Chinese Theatre on June 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. Image from Shutterstock.

Lisa Marie Presley is a mom of four.

Her two oldest children were born from her first marriage to Danny Keough. Their daughter, Riley Keough, was born on May 29, 1989. The actress and model will be 34 years old in 2023.

The couple’s son, Benjamin Storm Keough, born October 21, 1992, died when he was 27 on July 12, 2020, from a ruled suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“Lisa Marie Presley Twins Today” was the big story on October 7, 2008, after Presley gave birth to fraternal twin girls – Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood and Finley Aaron Love Lockwood – conceived from her fourth and final marriage to Michael Lockwood. The twins will be 15 this year.

Who has custody of Lisa Marie’s twin daughters? After her death, the girls’ father, Michael Lockwood, was awarded full custody.

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Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.


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