Lisa Marie Presley will be laid to rest following a memorial service which comes just over a week after her sudden death.
The singer and actor died at the age of 54 on Thursday, 12 January, hours after being “rushed” to hospital. Days before her death, Lisa Marie had visited Graceland to celebrate her father’s birthday on 8 January.
Upon the rock legend’s death, when she was only nine years old, Lisa Marie became the joint heir to his estate, with her grandfather, Vernon Presley, and her great-grandmother, Minnie Mae Hood Presley. In 1993, when she turned 25 she took full control of the estate and formed The Elvis Presley Trust, to continue its successful management.
Last year, Lisa Marie wrote an essay, published by US publication People, about “the horrific reality” of her grief following her son’s death by suicide. “I’ve dealt with death, grief and loss since the age of nine years old. I’ve had more than anyone’s fair share of it in my lifetime and somehow, I’ve made it this far,” she wrote in August.
A public memorial for Lisa Marie will take place at Graceland on Sunday (22 January). In a statement posted on the website, the singer’s family thanked fans for the “outpouring of love” following her death.
Here is all you need to know:
When and where is the Graceland memorial service?
The public memorial takes place on Sunday (22 January) and will start at 9am local time - 2pm GMT. A post on the Graceland website explains: “Lisa Marie’s memorial service will take place on the front lawn of Graceland. Fans will gather on the north lawn of Graceland Mansion, adjacent to the seated area on the center lawn that will be reserved for Lisa Marie’s family and friends.
“Access to the north lawn will be standing room only, on a first come, first served basis as space allows. Riley, Harper, Finley, and Priscilla Presley are grateful for the support, well-wishes, and outpouring of love honoring their beloved Lisa Marie.
“A public memorial service for Lisa Marie Presley has been arranged for Sunday, January 22 at 9:00 am on the front lawn at Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.” Following the service, there will be a procession to view Lisa’s final resting place in Meditation Garden.
Members of the public are invited to attend the event, but are being encouraged to donate to The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation in lieu of flowers. The foundation offers support to various charitable organisations, especially focusing on arts, education, and children’s programmes in the Memphis/Whitehaven area.
What happened at the funeral?
Jason Clark and The Tennessee Mass Choir opened the proceedings with a powerful rendition of Amazing Grace. Filmmaker Joel Weinshanker had said Lisa Marie Presley requested for her funeral to “not be sad” and that they will try to honour her wish in the coming proceedings.
This was followed by Pastor Dwayne Hunt delivering a prayer, saying: “While her light has gone out, she leaves this light to her children and her mother so that they can rise above the darkness of this grief. Let them be strengthened by the presence of the many who have gathered today to share their sorrow. Even in this time of pain, we are grateful for the beautiful gift that was Lisa Marie.
“Her passion, her strength, her brilliance and her tenaciousness. And let the memories share today and the word spoken today bring joy to our hearts. May we all experience your peace in our pain, your healing in our hurt, your light in our darkness, in the name of this place where we stand in Graceland reminds us to be thankful for grace that gives us strength even in our weakness.
“So, let immeasurable love abound in this place and make her peace abide in our hearts, Amen.”
The former Mayor of Memphis has recalled the “hard times” the city faced when Lisa Marie Presley was born in 1968 but how important her birth was at the time. During his speech, A C Wharton said before Beyonce and Jay Z had their daughter Blue Ivy and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had their son Archie, Elvis and Priscilla had their daughter Lisa Marie.
As the only daughter of the King of Rock and Roll, he described her as “the conduit to the throne” and “the keeper of the flame”. Wharton added: “I don’t know much about Hollywood, I can’t speak for New York or any other city where Lisa may have spent time, but I can tell you that Lisa Marie was this city’s precious jewel.”
Billy Corgan then performed To Sheila by The Smashing Pumpkins.
The Duchess of York delivered a tribute to her “sissie” Lisa Marie Presley where she offered her support to the late singer’s children. Sarah Ferguson said: “Sissie, this is for you with affection. My late mother-in-law used to say ‘That nothing can be said, can begin to take away the anguish and the pain of these moments because grief is the price we pay for love’, and how right she was.
“Today we talk about Lisa Marie. We look at Priscilla, as a mother to Lisa Marie. We look to Lisa Marie and say you lost a son. Mothers losing children, there are no words for it. So, today we talk about action and action is the way we can go forward, we can light the flame, so for Riley, Harper and Finley, and for the entire family, we march forward in support of you, all of us are with you and we will help you as best we can. If you just put out your hand, we will be there.”
She was followed by singer Alanis Morissette performing an emotional rendition of her song Rest.
US talent manager Jerry Schilling, who worked with both Elvis and Lisa Marie Presley, recalled key moments from the late singer’s life during her memorial. He opened with a memory of holding Lisa Marie when she was a baby in 1968 and later hiring her as a teenager in his office before becoming her first manager.
Referring to Lisa Marie by his affectionate nickname of Memphis, he closed by saying: “I was in the hospital with her father when Priscilla was giving birth, I was at the hospital with her mother when she left us. Memphis, I will always love you.”
Priscilla Presley thanked everyone for coming to honour her daughter Lisa Marie at the memorial service. She also read out a poem written by her granddaughter, which said: “I have no idea how to put my mother into words, the truth is there are too many.
“Lisa Marie Presley was an icon, a role model, a superhero to many people all over the world. But Mama was my icon, my role model, my superhero, and much more ways than one.”
A poem by Lisa’s daughter Riley was also read out, which said: “I hope I can love my daughter that way you loved me. The way you love my brother and my sisters. Thank you for giving me strength, my heart, my empathy, my courage, my sense of humour.
“My manners, my temper, my wildness, my tenacity. I’m a product of your heart. My sisters are a product of your heart. My brother is a product of your heart. We are you. You are us My eternal love. I hope you finally know how loved you were here. Thank you for trying so hard for us. If I didn’t tell you every day, thank you.”
Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose also spoke about his friend Lisa Marie Presley before performing the band’s song November Rain. He was followed by Pastor Dwayne Hunt who delivered a prayer in which he said the singer will be buried alongside her son Benjamin and near to her father Elvis.
He ended the message by saying: “Goodbye until tomorrow.” The Blackwood Brothers Quartet then performed the gospel song How Great Thou Art followed by Sweet, Sweet Spirit.
Between the two, one of the singers recalled that his father had sung as part of the quartet for Elvis’s funeral and that him performing today for Lisa Marie felt like a “full circle” moment.
Where will Lisa Marie Presley be buried?
The family have announced that Lisa Marie will be laid to rest in the Meditation Garden in Graceland. She will be buried next to her next to her son, Benjamin Keough, who died in 2020. Elvis and other members of the Presley family are also buried at Graceland.
How to watch the memorial service?
If you are unable to attend the service in Memphis, the ceremony will be available to watch online via Graceland’s own livestream page. It will begin at 9am Eastern Time - 2pm GMT.