As Elvis’ only child, Lisa Marie Presley has always been of interest to the King’s fans. But after going through a difficult period, she retreated from the spotlight. Now, though, the 50-year-old has spoken out for the first time in years – and what she had to say came as a big surprise.
Lisa Marie was born in February 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, exactly nine months after her parents, Elvis and Priscilla Presley, were married. Yet although Elvis and Priscilla had been together for almost a decade before their wedding, their relationship fell apart just a few short years later.
They had both been unfaithful, you see, and they eventually separated in 1972 when Elvis learned of Priscilla’s affair with her karate teacher. And following the divorce, their daughter lived with her mom. And we all know what happened next: in 1977 the iconic singer passed away unexpectedly.
Elvis had of course been the king of rock‘n’roll and a major heartthrob. And he still remains the most successful solo artist of all time. But in 1977 he was both overweight and struggling with drug abuse.
In a 2003 interview with ABS News, in fact, Lisa Marie recalled how Elvis would “stumble to [her] doorway, and he’d start to fall, and [she] had to go catch him.” She had been just nine years old when the King had passed away at the age of 42 from a heart attack. And then in 1993 Lisa Marie became the sole heir of her father’s $100 million estate.
Yet although Lisa Marie was still very young at the time of Elvis’ death, they had bonded over their shared love of music. She told Rolling Stone that, for instance, he would catch her singing and get her to perform. “He’d put me up on the coffee table in front of everybody and make me sing,” Lisa Marie recalled.
And in the same interview, Lisa Marie revealed that she had been a big fan of Elvis’ records even as a child. “I was always excited if I was on tour with him,” she said. “When he’d come on, I would just lose it.”
Lisa Marie eventually followed in her father’s footsteps, too, and her first album, To Whom It May Concern, made the top five in the U.S. charts after it was released in 2003. She went on to record the albums Now What and Storm & Grace in 2005 and 2012, respectively. But then she took a break.
On the personal side, Lisa Marie has been married four times, firstly to Danny Keough from 1988 to 1994. The couple had a couple of children together before their break-up: actress Riley, 29, and son Benjamin, four years her junior. Then less than three weeks after Lisa Marie’s divorce from Keough, she married Michael Jackson, although the pair had separated within two years. And Elvis’ daughter was also married to Nicolas Cage for just 108 days in 2002.
Lisa Marie’s fourth husband was Michael Lockwood, whom she wed in 2006. They share nine-year-old twin daughters Harper and Finley. But when the couple split in 2016 following a decade of marriage, things quickly turned ugly with Lisa Marie accusing him of possessing child pornography. She has also been embroiled in a legal battle with her ex business manager.
However, after going a long time without speaking to the media, in August 2018 Lisa Marie agreed to do her first interview in almost half a decade. She subsequently invited the Today show to her father’s famous Graceland estate. There, Lisa Marie opened up about everything she had been up to – and shared some major news.
In the interview, Lisa Marie discussed her recovery after battling drug addiction. “I am proud. I’ve come a long way,” she told Jenna Bush Hager. “I have a therapist, and she was like, ‘You’re a miracle, you really are.’ She’s like, ‘I don’t know how you’re still alive.’”
And although Lisa Marie had previously confessed to experimenting with drugs as a teenager, the 50-year-old said it has only been over the past few years that she has suffered from an addiction. “I was not happy. And by the way, the struggle and addiction for me started when I was 45 years old. It wasn’t like it was happening all my life,” she explained.
But staying connected to her father, who had some of the same demons, helped Lisa Marie through her addiction troubles. When asked what she would say to Elvis if he were here today, she replied, “I think I already said, ‘Help me, God help me.’ I would want to know he’s there. It would be pretty much, ‘I could use your help right around now.’”
Lisa Marie added that she wants to be honest about what she’s going through in the hope that her experiences can help people in similar situations. “I’m not perfect, my father wasn’t perfect, no one’s perfect,” she told Today. “It’s what you do with it after you learn and then you try to help others with it.”
And that wasn’t the only important matter that Lisa Marie discussed. She also spoke about the experience of producing an album of her father’s gospel songs titled Where No One Walks Alone. The record features Elvis singing on 14 tracks that have been remixed with new instruments and backing vocals.
The album’s title track was created as a duet between Elvis and his daughter, in fact. And Lisa Marie’s co-producer Joel Weinshanker subsequently revealed that she couldn’t stop crying – along with everyone else in the studio – while recording it. “I was overwhelmed when I was singing it,” she admitted.
“Because I was reading the lyrics, and I was like, ‘Oh my God. I don’t know why this is happening right now. But I’m going to go with it,’” Lisa Marie explained. And following the album’s release, Elvis fans were nothing but supportive.
“No judgment here. She’s been through so much… so glad she has never given up!” a YouTube user wrote beneath a video of the Today interview. Another agreed, “Glad she turned to gospel music at this time in her life. Elvis loved gospel, and he sang it like a servant not a king.”
In fact, Bush Hager later revealed that Lisa Marie’s connection to her father and kids got her through the darkest days. “[Elvis] said the most important thing was being a dad, and she said [Lisa Marie had] never heard that,” the interviewer explained. The comment apparently made Lisa Marie tearful – and it seems that she feels the same way about her own children. “She said that they’re the reason she’s alive,” Bush Hager added.