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Everything Lisa Marie Presley Said About Overcoming Difficult Times — from Marriages to Losing Her Son

Everything Lisa Marie Presley Said About Overcoming Difficult Times — from Marriages to Losing Her Son

From the death of her father when she was just 9 years old to the joy she felt raising her children, Lisa Marie Presley's life in the spotlight was a series of ups and downs.

The singer, who had lived her life in the limelight since she was born to Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley in 1968, had been married four times and had weathered devastating setbacks such as the death of her son Benjamin Keough in 2020 and a secret battle with opioid and painkiller addiction.

On Thursday evening, her mother Priscilla confirmed to PEOPLE that she had died after being rushed to the hospital for a possible cardiac arrest earlier in the day.

"It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us," Priscilla said in a statement.

"She was the most passionate strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers."

RELATED: Lisa Marie Presley, Daughter of Elvis and Priscilla, Dead at 54: 'The Most Strong and Loving Woman'

Revisit the major moments of Lisa Marie Presley's life here.

She lost her dad Elvis at a young age

Newlyweds Elvis and Priscilla Presley, who met while Elvis was in the Army, prepare to board their private jet following their wedding at the Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Newlyweds Elvis and Priscilla Presley, who met while Elvis was in the Army, prepare to board their private jet following their wedding at the Aladdin Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Getty Priscilla Presley, Elvis Presley

Presley was just 9 years old when her father, The King, died on Aug. 16, 1977. Upon his death, she became the joint heir to his estate alongside her grandfather Vernon Presley and great-grandmother Minnie Mae Hood Presley. When they died in 1979 and 1980, respectively, Presley became the sole heir, and also inherited her dad's Graceland residence.

In the 2005 memoir Elvis - By the Presleys, which she wrote with her mom, Presley recalled fond memories of growing up on the property and said it was "amazing" and "filled with energy and excitement."

"If [Elvis] was in a good mood, it was going to be a great day. We'd ride horses or ride around in golf carts. The thing about my father is that he never hid anything. If he was crabby, you knew it," she wrote. "His temper could give Darth Vader a run for his money. But if he was happy, everyone was happy. He'd never bore you."

She also recalled the last time she saw him alive, writing that around 4 a.m. on the day he died, he found her awake and told her to go to bed.

"I said, 'OK,' and I think he kissed me goodnight and I ran off," she wrote.

On the 25th anniversary of Elvis' death, Presley paid tribute to her dad with a recording in which she said, "I wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten. You made me. I love you. You're still lovely. You were lovely then," according to a 2002 PEOPLE article.

American rock legend Elvis Presley with His Daughter Lisa-Marie. (Photo by Frank Carroll/Sygma via Getty Images)
American rock legend Elvis Presley with His Daughter Lisa-Marie. (Photo by Frank Carroll/Sygma via Getty Images)

Frank Carroll/Sygma Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley

Her first marriage to Danny Keough

Presley married her first husband, musician Danny Keough, in 1988. The pair welcomed daughter Riley one year later and son Benjamin in 1992 before calling it quits in May 1994.

Despite their split, Presley told PEOPLE in 2005 that she and Keough were still close.

"We are like brother and sister, so it is not weird at all," she said. "Ultimately this is a good message to send out to people: You don't have to put your crap on your kids even if you are not together. You can still be civilized. I knew at the age that I had the kids with him that Danny was someone I could be connected with for the rest of my life. I knew he would be a good father."

Lisa Marie Presley and Danny Keough during Performance of "10 Inch Men" at Club Lingerie in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Lisa Marie Presley and Danny Keough during Performance of "10 Inch Men" at Club Lingerie in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Lisa Marie Presley and Danny Keough

Her second marriage to Michael Jackson

Less than a month after ending her marriage to Keough, Presley married Michael Jackson, whom she'd first met as a child at one of Elvis's concerts in Las Vegas.

"I am very much in love with Michael, I dedicate my life to being his wife. I understand and support him," she said in a statement at the time. "We both look forward to raising a family."

Though they ended their relationship two years later, Presley reflected on the similarities between Jackson and her father in a 2016 interview with Oprah Winfrey, saying they both "had the luxury of creating whatever reality around them they wanted to create."

"They could have the kinds of people who were going to go with their program or not go with their program," she said. "If they weren't, then they could be disposed of."

RELATED: Lisa Marie Presley Hospitalized After Suspected Cardiac Arrest

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson pose at the "Chateau de Versailles" on September 5, 1994 in Versailles, France.(Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Sygma via Getty Images)
Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson pose at the "Chateau de Versailles" on September 5, 1994 in Versailles, France.(Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Sygma via Getty Images)

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson

Her marriage to Nicolas Cage

After meeting at Johnny Ramone's birthday party in 2000, Presley and Cage quickly became inseparable and married in August 2002 in a secret ceremony in Hawaii on the 25th anniversary of Elvis's death.

Alas, the couple parted ways less than four months later.

"I'm so sad about this, but we shouldn't have been married in the first place," she said in a statement at the time.

Lisa Marie Presley and Nicolas Cage (Photo by L. Busacca/WireImage)
Lisa Marie Presley and Nicolas Cage (Photo by L. Busacca/WireImage)

L. Busacca/WireImage Lisa Marie Presley and Nicolas Cage

Her marriage to Michael Lockwood

Presley first started dating musician Lockwood in 2003, and the couple married three years later. They went on to divorce in 2016 after welcoming twin daughters Harper and Finley, 14.

Their split was a messy one as the two duked it out in court for custody of their girls; reports at the time said Lockwood blocked the children from traveling to Memphis for Elvis' 85th birthday celebration, and divorce documents claimed Presley was over $16 million in debt.

Lisa Marie Presley and her kids
Lisa Marie Presley and her kids

Lisa Marie Presley Instagram

Finding joy in music and motherhood

A singer like her father, Presley has released three albums, most recently Storm & Grace in 2012. She made her Grand Ole Opry debut in 2012.

She also looked to her children for joy, and told Healthy Living in 2014 that she was "ferociously protective" over her kids.

"I just smother them in love," she shared. "They are my priority. That's what I do. That's what I care most about. I keep them close to me and make sure they are happy and healthy."

The feeling is mutual. In December, daughter Riley told PEOPLE that mom was "certainly an inspiration to me," and described her as "a very strong, smart woman."

"I was raised by somebody who did their own thing and didn't really care what other people thought. She was definitely inspirational to me," she said.

Dealing with addiction issues

LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 5: Lisa Marie Presley at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards at in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 5: Lisa Marie Presley at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards at in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

In the foreword of Harry Nelson's book The United States of Opioids: A Prescription for Liberating a Nation in Pain, Presley revealed that she had been addicted to opioids and painkillers after being prescribed them while recovering from the birth of her twins in 2008.

"As I write this, I think of my four children, who gave me the purpose to heal," she wrote after considering "the countless parents who have lost children to opioids and other drugs."

She struggled with the loss of her son

Presley's only son, Benjamin Keough, died by suicide in 2020 at age 27.

In honor of National Grief Awareness Day in August, Presley wrote an essay for PEOPLE in the hopes that sharing her thoughts could help break stigmas in talking about the "potentially triggering" subject

Lisa Marie Presley Says She Was 'Destroyed' by Son Benjamin’s Death but Keeps 'Going for My Girls'
Lisa Marie Presley Says She Was 'Destroyed' by Son Benjamin’s Death but Keeps 'Going for My Girls'

Joseph Llanes Lisa Marie Presley and Benjamin Keough

"Death is part of life whether we like it or not — and so is grieving. There is so much to learn and understand on the subject, but here's what I know so far: One is that grief does not stop or go away in any sense, a year, or years after the loss," she wrote, in part. "Grief is something you will have to carry with you for the rest of your life, in spite of what certain people or our culture wants us to believe. You do not "get over it," you do not "move on," period."

She also wrote that grief is "incredibly lonely," and that she struggled daily with guilt. To ease the pain, she said she attends support groups with other bereaved parents.

"Obviously, no parent chooses this road, and thankfully not all parents will have to become a victim to it — and I do mean VICTIM here. I used to hate that word. Now I know why. I've dealt with death, grief and loss since the age of 9 years old. I've had more than anyone's fair share of it in my lifetime and somehow, I've made it this far. But this one, the death of my beautiful, beautiful son? The sweetest and most incredible being that I have ever had the privilege of knowing, who made me feel so honored every single day to be his mother?"

Presley wrote it was "a real choice to keep going" after losing Benjamin, but she pushed through for her daughters.

"I keep going because my son made it very clear in his final moments that taking care of his little sisters and looking out for them were on the forefront of his concerns and his mind. He absolutely adored them and they him," she wrote.