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Lisa Marie carved her musical path as she bore Elvis’ legacy

FILE - Lisa Marie Presley performs during her Storm & Grace tour on June 20, 2012, at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago.  She was dubbed a “rock princess,” but Lisa Marie Presley staked her own musical claim as a singer-songwriter, allowing her to express herself apart, but sometimes alongside, from her iconic lineage (Photo by Barry Brecheisen / Invision / AP, File)

FILE – Lisa Marie Presley performs throughout her Storm & Grace tour on June 20, 2012, on the Backside Lounge in Chicago. She was dubbed a “rock princess,” however Lisa Marie Presley staked her personal musical declare as a singer-songwriter, permitting her to specific herself aside, however generally alongside, from her iconic lineage (Photograph by Barry Brecheisen / Invision / AP, File)

Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP

She was dubbed a “rock princess,” however Lisa Marie Presley staked her personal musical declare as a singer-songwriter, permitting her to specific herself other than — however generally alongside — her megastar father.

Presley, who died Thursday at 54, bore a heavy weight: The daughter of musical royalty, the face of the Elvis property and fodder for tabloid gossip about her marriages.

There was no query music can be a middle level of her life, beginning when she was a baby singing for her father, the King with the unmistakable voice.

“He is all the time been an enormous affect on me my entire life all the time. It is the very first thing I ever heard,” she advised The Related Press in 2012.

As the only real inheritor of Elvis’ property, her formative years was outlined by the Elvis model and her position constructing that legacy together with her mom Priscilla. That usually meant Elvis followers put their very own emotions from her about her father and his music from her onto her from her and Priscilla.

Charles Hughes, an writer and director of the Lynne & Henry Turley Memphis Middle at Rhodes Faculty in Memphis, famous that Presley confronted sexism and racism within the tabloids — and amongst some Elvis followers — all through her life, particularly surrounding her relationship to a different icon, michael jackson.

“There are only a few individuals I can consider who needed to do what she did… being the Presleys’ daughter, however being Michael Jackson’s ex-wife and being a mom and being within the public eye as lengthy and as complicatedly as she was,” stated Hughes.

She was 35 and a mom when her debut album “To Whom It Might Concern” got here out in 2003. The music was within the vein of the rock-pop sound influenced by Sheryl Crow, her sultry alto over distorted guitars and uncooked darkish lyrics that hinted at her previous relationships.

“The daring factor about her music, the daring factor about her recording profession, the daring factor about her was her willingness to talk her fact,” stated Joe Levy, editor at massive at Billboard. “The songs on these first two data are more difficult, extra daring, and extra thrilling for his or her lyrics than for his or her music.”

The album was well-received and authorized gold, regardless that she did not play publicly very a lot, and it hit No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. Her first single from her “Lights Out” reached a No. 18 peak on Billboard’s Grownup Pop Airplay. Over her profession de ella, she offered 836,000 albums, whereas her songs de ella have drawn 9.5 million official streams within the US, in keeping with Luminate.

Hughes stated he nonetheless frequently performs the “Lights Out” music video for his college students when he teaches about Elvis.

“It’s such a compelling and an advanced tackle the legacy and on her position in it. It is not about him. I imply, it’s, but it surely’s actually about her,” stated Hughes.

However doing press interviews in 2005 to advertise her second album, “Now What,” meant being subjected to an countless barrage of questions on Jackson and her third husband Nicholas Cage, quite than the music.

Writer Steve Baltin, who interviewed her a number of occasions over her profession, stated inside music circles Presley was capable of be herself and be accepted for her personal expertise. Throughout her profession, she labored with Pink, T Bone Burnett, Linda Perry, Richard Hawley, Ed Harcourt and lots of extra.

“She was very revered as a musician, and whereas everyone else noticed her as Elvis’ daughter, individuals in music liked her they usually appreciated the truth that, one, she was proficient, however two, she actually supported music,” stated Baltin.

Her third album, “Storm & Grace,” got here out in 2012, after a interval during which Presley had moved to England to work with British songwriters on what turned out to be a really American report. Extra bluesy and acoustic than her earlier data, the songs are stuffed with melancholy and heartache.

On the track “Sticks and Stones,” she addresses critics with scorching mimicry, singing “She’s ain’t identical to her daddy/oh what a disgrace/She’s acquired no expertise of her personal/it is simply her identify.”

Baltin stated Presley stopped attempting to keep away from the comparisons at that time in her profession.

“That report, specifically, was the primary time that she actually began to just accept who she was and settle for all of her roots and the way this performed into her,” stated Baltin. “So I believe it was the report that was most utterly her de ella as a result of she was n’t attempting to disclaim her previous de ella.”

Songwriter and musician Clif Magness labored with Presley for about two years making the primary report, saying she was glorious at writing “darkish and quirky” lyrics. He stated he hardly ever pried about who she impressed which songs, however he recalled her writing a track about her dad referred to as “No one Seen It.”

“It took about six months to get her to the purpose the place she will be trustworthy with herself and inventive together with her phrases and speak about her dad,” he stated. “In order that was actually particular.”

Presley’s lyrics to “Lights Out” had been written after she had come again from a go to to Graceland, stated Magness, the place her father and her grandparents are buried within the again garden, together with further area for different Presley relations. Years later, in 2020, her 27-year-old son Benjamin Keough was buried there as properly.

“I seen an area left/subsequent to them there in Memphis/within the rattling again garden,” she sings.

All roads lead again to Memphis for the Presleys and Lisa Marie will probably be interred there, too, one thing she foretold in her music many years in the past.


Comply with Kristin M. Corridor at


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