January 31, 2023

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Lisa Marie Presley Memorial: Axl Rose, Billy Corgan and more perform

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Friends and family of Lisa Marie Presley gathered at Elvis Presley’s Graceland home in Memphis, Tennessee on Sunday to remember and honor her life and legacy. Axl Rose, Billy Corgan and Alanis Morissette paid their respects with musical tributes, while others shared their memories with speeches dedicated to the only child king of rock ‘n’ roll.

Corgan took the stage with an acoustic guitar as the first performer of the service, delivering a stripped-down rendition of the Smashing Pumpkins’ 1998 ballad “To Rock”. (Corgan didn’t speak at the ceremony but, after news of Lisa Marie’s death, shared her thoughts on social media, writing, “There’s heartbreak and then there’s sadness. It’s going to be sadness and on more levels than I can count.”)

Billy Corgan performs on stage at the public memorial for Lisa Marie Presley on January 22, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, followed with a heartfelt speech dedicated to her “Sissy,” a pet Ferguson said the two often used for each other. The crowd of attendees included “Elvis” star Austin Butler, Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie’s daughter Riley Keough.

“Sadness is the price we pay for love,” Ferguson said before adding, “For Riley, Harper and Finley. [Lisa Marie’s twin girls] And the whole family, we’re going to support you.”

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York speaks at the public memorial for Lisa Marie Presley on January 22, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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Priscilla read a poem called “Old Soul” and a note written by her granddaughter about the loss of her mother. “’I don’t know how to put words to my mother. In truth, there are many. Lisa Marie Presley was an icon, a role model, a superhero to many people around the world, but Mama was my icon, my role model, my superhero — in more ways than one,” the letter read.

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – JANUARY 22: Priscilla Presley speaks at the public memorial for Lisa Marie Presley at Graceland on January 22, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. Presley, 54, the only child of American singer Elvis Presley, died on January 12, 2023 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ABA)
Getty Images for ABA

Rose gave a short speech before giving a nearly six-minute performance of the Guns N’ Roses song “November Rain.” He noted how Lisa Marie was “fiercely protective of her father, his legacy and both her love for him and his love for her,” adding that she was also very proud of the “Elvis” film “and how she felt it He was portrayed by the father and was kept in the film by those involved in the care, mr. [Baz] Luhrmann’s vision and direction and Austin Butler’s dedication to the role.”

Axel Rose speaks at the public memorial for Lisa Marie Presley on January 22, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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The final musical tribute came from Morissette, who performed her song “Rest” with a pianist.

Alanis Morissette performs on stage at the public memorial for Lisa Marie Presley on January 22, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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Presley died on January 12 of a heart attack at his home in California, just two days after attending the Golden Globes with his mother Priscilla. After paramedics performed CPR, he was rushed to the hospital. His final resting place is at Graceland, next to his son Ben.

A view of Lisa Marie Presley’s grave on January 22, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. Presley, 54, the only child of American singer Elvis Presley, died on January 12, 2023 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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Mourners pay their respects at Lisa Marie Presley’s memorial on January 22, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
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