Alanis Morissette, Billy Corgan and Axl Rose were among those who paid tribute to Lisa Maria Presley at a public memorial service for the late singer yesterday (January 22).
The memorial service was held on the front lawn of the Presley family’s Graceland home museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Lisa Maria Presley, Elvis’ only daughter and sole heir to his fortune, died at the age of 54 on January 12 of cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas.
It was previously announced that Presley would be buried at the Graceland site next to his son Benjamin Keough, who died aged 27 in 2020. Graceland Gardens is also the resting place of Elvis, his parents Vernon and Gladys and grandmother his Minnie May.
Rose began her eulogy with a eulogy for her late friend. “I know Lisa loved her family very much and was fiercely protective of her father and his legacy,” the Guns N’ Roses member said. “I never imagined in a million years that I would be singing here under these circumstances.” Rose then performed a solo piano version of Guns N’ roses 1991 song “November Rain”.
Axel Rose sings ‘November Rain’ at Lisa Presley’s memorial pic.twitter.com/io9RGnEMDg
— ؘ (@axlrosedaily) January 22, 2023
Earlier this month, Rose paid tribute to her friend in a statement after her death, saying “her passing, just like her son or her father as a child, doesn’t seem real.”
Corgan performed “To Sheila,” taken from The Smashing Pumpkins’ 1998 album Adore. “It’s going to be grief and on more levels than I can list,” Corgan, who collaborated with Presley on The Savior, wrote on Instagram from 2003, shortly after Presley’s death. “I really can’t find the words to express how sad it is.”
Morissette was accompanied by a pianist on a tribute performance of “Rest,” a single she released in honor of Mental Health Action Day and first debuted at Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington’s 2017 memorial.
The song was “written specifically for those of us who struggle with depression and anxiety, isolation, suicidal thoughts and the deep despair that mental illness can plunge us into,” Morissette explained.
Along with these performances, Presley’s memorial service included musical performances by the Tennessee Mass Choir and the Blackwood Brothers, the latter of whom were friends with Elvis before his death.
Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla, led the eulogy at the service by reading a letter written by Lisa Marie’s oldest daughter, Riley Keough. “I have no idea how to describe my mother in words. The truth is that they are too many,” the letter said. “Mom was my icon, my role model. Even now I cannot convey all there is to understand and learn about her.”
Priscilla then read a poem by Keough called “Old Soul” in which Lisa Maria is described as “frail but strong” and touches on her “survivor’s guilt” after Benjamin’s death. “A broken heart was the cause of her death. Now she is at home where she always was… The old soul is always with me.”
Keough’s husband, Ben Smith-Peterson, continued the tribute with another letter. “I am eternally grateful to have spent 33 years with you,” Keo wrote. “I am sure that I have chosen the best mother in this world for me and I have known this since I remember you and I remember everything.”
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and talent manager Jerry Schilling also attended the ceremony. Earlier this month, John Travolta, Pink, Garbage, Diane Warren and Bette Midler were among those who paid tribute to Lisa Marie. Austin Butler, who played Elvis in the biopic of the same name, described her as a “bright light” and remembered her “for her warmth, love and sincerity.”