Lisa Marie Presley on Elvis, Michael Jackson and Her Music

Lisa Marie Presley on Elvis, Michael Jackson and Her Music


Lisa Marie Presley, who as the only child of Elvis Presley kept her famous last name in the media spotlight with four weddings and three albums of her own, died on Thursday at the age of 54.

She was married briefly to Michael Jackson, and even more briefly to Nicolas Cage. Here is some of what Presley, who owned her father’s Graceland estate in Memphis, said about navigating her birthright of celebrity and fame:

Presley, who was 9 when her father died of a heart attack at age 42, once recalled how he flew her on a private jet to Idaho so she could see snow for the first time. They spent half an hour in the powder and left to go home.

“He was so extraordinary a presence — not even as an entertainer, just as a person,” she once told The New York Times. “Yes, he sang well, and, yes, the songs were great, but that was him coming through the music. He was bigger than life.”

Presley said she was hesitant to lean on her father’s legacy when she started her own music career. But she was overruled by her record label, which made the personal “Lights Out” — “Someone turned the lights out there in Memphis. That’s where my family’s buried and gone” — her debut single in 2003.

“I just was trying not to be predictable and make reference right off the bat to my heritage,” she told The Times. “My concern was that it would go against everything I’m trying to do now, which is make my own thumbprint.”

Presley followed her first album, “To Whom It May Concern,” with “Now What” (2005) and “Storm & Grace” (2012).

Of Presley’s four marriages, it was her relationship with Jackson that enthralled the tabloids. Following a secretive ceremony in the Dominican Republic, they began their honeymoon at Trump Tower.

During the two-year marriage, Presley told the journalist Diane Sawyer that rumors the relationship was a publicity stunt were untrue. At the time, Jackson was facing allegations that he had molested a 13-year-old boy.

“How can you fake this 24 hours a day, sleeping with somebody, waking with somebody?” she said. “I’m not going to marry somebody for any reason other than the fact that I fall in love with them.”

Years after Presley and Jackson divorced in 1996, she explained to The Times the difficulties of navigating the dynamics of stardom.

“I was still relatively young, and trying to decide what would be better for me: being with someone who doesn’t have anything, and then they get trampled and have no ego because they just become ‘Mr. Presley,’ or being with someone whose situation is comparable to mine,” she said.



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