Lisa Marie Presley, a singer and songwriter and the daughter of Elvis Presley, was remembered during a funeral service on Sunday as a devoted defender of her father’s reputation as a pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll and pop icon. She was remembered as a loving mother and an “old soul” who overcame tragedy.
On a gloomy, chilly Memphis morning, over a thousand people flocked to Graceland’s front lawn to pay their respects to Lisa Marie Presley, who passed away on January 12 after being transported to a hospital in California.
While waiting for the funeral to start, several mourners carried flowers on the lawn of Graceland, the house in Memphis where Lisa Marie and her father resided as children. To commemorate the life and music of Elvis Presley, who passed away in 1977 at 42, the mansion that Lisa Marie Presley owned has been transformed into a museum and popular tourist destination.
On Sunday, the property in south Memphis was a site of melancholy and gloomy recollections. Jason Clark and The Tennessee Mass Choir’s rendition of “Amazing Grace” signaled the start of the ceremony.
“We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the love, compassion, and support you have shown our family during this difficult time,” said a message from the Presley family written on the program for the service. “We will always be grateful.”
A C Wharton, a former mayor of Memphis, referred to Lisa Marie’s parents as Memphis’ royal couple and a “conduit to the throne, the keeper of the flame,” while Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, and Jerry Schilling, a close friend of Elvis and Lisa Presley’s former manager, also spoke during the service.
In the poem “The Old Soul,” one of Lisa Marie’s three daughters, Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood, refers to her mother as “an icon, a role model, and a superhero to many people worldwide.” Priscilla Presley read the poem softly.
“In 1968, she entered our world, born tired, fragile, yet strong. She was delicate but was filled with life,” Priscilla Presley read. “She always knew she wouldn’t be here too long. Childhood passes by with a glimpse of her green eye. She then grew a family of her own.”
After reading the poem, Priscilla Presley said: “Our heart is broken. Lisa, we all love you.”
There was music during the service. Alanis Morissette sang “Rest,” Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose played the piano and sang “November Rain,” The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan played acoustic guitar and sang “To Sheila.” The Blackwood Brothers Quartet, one of gospel music’s first groups, performed two songs.
After the funeral, mourners passed by Graceland’s Meditation Garden to visit Presley’s above-ground burial, where she was interred with her son Benjamin Keough, who passed away in 2020, and her grandparents and great-grandmother.
The pathway leading up to the cemetery and the tomb were lined with wreaths and bouquets of red, white, yellow, and pink flowers. As they passed the grave, admirers strolled, some with tears in their eyes.
From Mobile, Alabama, Jordan Clark, 25, made the trip to the service. She described the ceremony as unique and touching. Clark compared the memorial service to when Elvis died, when “people gathered from all around,” and claimed that Lisa Marie “went through a lot” in her life.
“She was born into the public, born into fame. That’s hard for some people,” Clark said. “She handled it like a champ. I think.”
When Lisa Marie’s father passed away, she was nine. She would remember him giving her one final good night kiss while she was staying at Graceland.
#breaking Graceland At Lisa Marie Presley Memorial at Graceland, Friends and Family …,Lisa Marie Presley mourned in memorial service at Graceland In a memorial service on Sunday, the singer was praised for her perseverance in a life filled with loss.,Hundreds of mourners gather
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Upon her father’s passing, she ascended to the sole heir to the Elvis Presley Trust, which, together with Elvis Presley Enterprises, oversaw the management of Graceland and other assets until she sold her majority stake in the trust in 2005. She kept ownership of the mansion, the 13 acres around it, and the possessions inside.
The property is under a trust that will benefit her children, an Elvis Presley Enterprises spokesman told The Associated Press. Riley Keough and Finley Aaron Love Lockwood are the other two girls she left behind in addition to Harper.
Actor Riley Keough did not speak during the service. Ben Smith-Petersen, her husband, read from a statement in which Keough recalled how her mother would take her out for ice cream, bring her Cracker Barrel tea sets, and leave notes in her lunchbox.
“Thank you for giving me strength, my heart, my empathy, my courage, my sense of humor, my manners, my temper, my wildness, my tenacity,” Riley Keough said. “I’m a product of your heart.”