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Monday, January 30, 2023

Elvis fans in The Villages mourn passing of Lisa Marie Presley

Tony Violanti
Tony Violanti

The impact of Lisa Marie Presley’s death Thursday night was felt in The Villages.
“I am so heartbroken by this news,” said Stephanie Russo, of the “Elvis Remembered Club” here. “She was a beautiful and humble person, and like her Dad in so many ways.”

Lisa Marie — Elvis’ only child — died at 54 Thursday evening after being rushed to a Los Angeles hospital earlier in the day.
L.A. County paramedics were sent to a home for a woman in “full cardiac arrest,” according to the Associated Press, which added: “paramedics performed CPR.” She showed signs of life and was taken to a hospital where she died.

Lisa Marie Presley
Lisa Marie Presley

“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla Presley said in a statement on Thursday. “She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known.”  
Lisa Marie Presley dealt with tragedy for much of her life, including the death of her son; substance abuse, and four broken marriages. But, as with her father, music played a big part in her life.
“She wanted to make it on her own in music,” Stephanie Russo said.

Stephanie Russo of The Villages Elvis Remembered Club marked the Kings birthday Sunday with tribute artist Steve Orlando Greer and was shocked at Lisa Maries death
Stephanie Russo of The Villages Elvis Remembered Club marked the Kings birthday Sunday with tribute artist Steve Orlando Greer and was shocked at Lisa Marie’s death.


Lisa Marie released three albums, but never attained huge commercial success. She was probably best known for her marriage to Michael Jackson, from 1994 to ’96. She was also briefly married to actor Nicolas Cage.
There were two other marriages, including one to musician Danny Keough.  They had two children: actress Riley Keough and a son named Benjamin. He died by suicide at 27 in 2020.
“She loved her children and was devastated by the loss of her son,” Russo said. “She did so much for charity and did so much for her father’s fans.”
Lisa Marie had twin daughters from her marriage to Michael Lockwood that ended in divorce in 2021.
Four years ago Lisa Marie wrote a forward to a book on opioids abuse and revealed her own battle with an addiction to “opioids and painkillers.”
 When asked about addiction she replied:
“I’m not perfect. My father wasn’t perfect, no one’s perfect. It’s what you do with it after you learn and then you try to help others with it.”
 Lisa Marie was always special to Elvis, who died at 42 in 1977, when she was 9. The singer named his private jet after her, calling it “the Lisa Marie.” She owned Graceland and her father’s artifacts, and 15 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises, the New York Times reported.
Lisa Marie co-produced a gospel album a few years ago to honor Elvis’ deep affection for gospel music. She sang on one of the gospel numbers with a soundtrack of her father.

Lisa Marie was on national television Tuesday night at the Golden Globes Awards. Austin Butler earned the acting award for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in director Baz Luhrmann’s film biography, “Elvis.”

Local Villages Elvis fans enjoyed the film.
“I’m here because of Elvis and I love his music,” Villager Melissa Flores said. “Elvis was so exciting and …this movie is the same way.”
Villager Angie Rice said Butler was “special, so good-looking and like Elvis dominates the stage.”
Lisa Marie also loved Butler’s performance as her father. “I was mind-blown, truly,” she stated after seeing the film. “I actually had to take, like, five days to process it because it was so spot on and authentic.”
Last Sunday would have been Elvis’ 88th birthday and Lisa Marie was reportedly at Graceland to mark the occasion with his fans.   

Dealing with the tragedies in her life, Lisa Marie was forced to cope with grief.
“Grief does not stop or go away….” she once said. “Grief is something you will have to carry with you for the rest of your life.”
Now, Lisa Marie Presley’s life has ended tragically soon.
John Travolta stated online: “Lisa, baby girl, I’m so sorry. I’ll miss you but I know I’ll see you again.”
“Lisa Marie was a friend of mine,” singer Melissa Etheridge tweeted. “She was kind and fun and living a strange life as best she could. I am thinking of her family that has endured so much loss and sending all, so much love. She was a special talent all her own.”
LeAnn Rimes hoped Lisa “is at peace in her Dad’s arms. My heart goes out to her family.”
Villager Stephanie Russo and her club members share that sense of loss.   
“She will truly be missed,” Russo said. “The Elvis Remembered Fan Club sends its condolences and prayers to Lisa Marie’s family.”

“When I heard that Lisa Marie died, I thought. “Oh my God, it’s so sad– she’s been through so much tragedy” said local singer and Villages resident Donna Francis.

“I remember when Lisa Marie  was born and how happy and excited Elvis was. The fans were happy for him.”
Francis performs with her husband Tim in the band Forever Young, They play a free show on Jan 27 at 1:30 p.m. in Laurel Manor and Elvis songs will be on the setlist,
“We always sing Elvis songs,” Donna Francis said. “His music is so special, and so is Lisa Marie — both will always be a part of his legacy.”

Tony Violanti covers arts and music for Villages-News.com. He was inducted into the Buffalo NY Music Hall of Fame as a music journalist.

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