MEMPHIS, Tennessee. – Fans who visited Graceland afterwards the death of Lisa Marie Presley were saddened by the loss of Elvis Presley’s only child, one of the last living touchstones of an icon whose influence and significance still resonates more than 45 years after he himself died suddenly.
Lisa Marie Presley, 54, died Thursday hours after her death hospitalized for emergency medical care.
Lisa Marie, a singer-songwriter herself, did not live in Memphis, where she was born. But she did trips to the city to celebrate father’s birthday and a tribute to his death, which stunned the world when he was found dead in his Graceland home at the age of 42 on August 16, 1977. She was in Memphis just last Sunday, her father’s 88th birthday.
Angela Ferraro was among those who stopped by Graceland Thursday night, where the trees on the lawn were decorated with green and red lights. On a cold and windy evening, fans took pictures and left flowers at the front gate.
Ferrara and her fiance drove 25 minutes from Olive Branch, Mississippi, to pay their respects. Ferraro said she is a fan of Elvis and Lisa Marie’s music — the couple listened to Lisa Marie’s “Lights Out” on the way north to Graceland.
“Elvis died young and so did she. And her son, his death was also very tragic, said 32-year-old Ferrara. – It is difficult and destructive.
Lisa Marie became the sole heir to Elvis Presley’s foundation, which – together with Elvis Presley Enterprises — managed Graceland and other assets until it sold its controlling stake in 2005. She retained ownership of the mansion itself, the 13 acres surrounding it, and the items inside the house. Her son is buried there along with his father and other members of the Presley family.
A representative of Elvis Presley Enterprises told the Associated Press that the mansion is in a trust that will benefit her children — she is survived by three daughters, including actor Riley Keough. A spokesman did not provide details about the funeral or burial.
Lisa Marie was 9 years old when her father died. She was living in Graceland at the time and remembered him kissing her goodnight just hours before he died. When she saw him the next day, he was lying face down in the bathroom.
“I had this feeling,” she told Rolling Stone in 2003. – He was sick. All I know is that I had this (feeling) and it happened. I was obsessed with death at a very early age.’
Lisa Marie visited Graceland in 2012 to attend the opening of a new exhibit, Elvis Through the Eyes of His Daughter, a personal portrait that included her baby shoes — her birth exactly nine months after Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s wedding made international news — as well as her the first player and a small white fur.
In an interview with the AP during the layover, she smiled as she recalled the time she spent with her father. She said one of her favorite items was the key used to operate the golf cart because it helped her remember when she was alone with her father, driving around the neighborhood.
“It was my life,” she said. “I wore it everywhere. It was never far from me or not on my person when I was a child. I haven’t seen him in 35 years.”
Kristen Sainato and her husband were driving to Memphis from Cleveland when she learned of Lisa Marie’s death Thursday. She wore a black jacket with the well-known TCB zipper (short for “do business instantly,” a motto Elvis lived by) on the back as she described meeting Lisa Marie at her father’s birthday party. Sainato placed a bouquet of flowers at the front gate of Graceland, where one of the two planes is named after Lisa Marie.
– This is for Lisa, – she said.
She said Lisa Marie Presley was one of the last connections she had with her famous father.
“Everyone is shocked by this. why? Why did this have to happen?” Said Sainato, wiping tears from her eyes as she stood in front of the stone wall that bounds the house-turned-museum. “She deserved a long, happy life.”
Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, copied or distributed without permission.