‘Elvis’ star Austin Butler pays tribute to “bright light” Lisa Marie Presley

"Her warmth, her love and her authenticity will always be remembered"

Austin Butler, who played Elvis Presley in last year’s biopic about the famed singer’s life, has paid tribute to his daughter Lisa Marie.

Lisa Marie Presley died on Thursday (January 12) at the age of 54 following a reported cardiac arrest. Her last public appearance was at the 2023 Golden Globes only two days before alongside her mother Priscilla, where Butler won the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama. He later paid tribute to the pair in his acceptance speech, who gave director Baz Luhrmann their blessing to make the film.

Presley had thoroughly praised the film and had said she believed Butler’s performance as Elvis was worthy of an Oscar.

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Now, Butler has publicly responded to the news of her death in a statement. “My heart is completely shattered for Riley, Finley, Harper and Priscilla at the tragic and unexpected loss of Lisa Marie,” the actor said, acknowledging Presley’s mother and three surviving children.

“I am eternally grateful for the time I was lucky enough to be near her bright light and will forever cherish the quiet moments we shared. Her warmth, her love and her authenticity will always be remembered.”

Austin Butler
Austin Butler CREDIT: Matt Winkelmeyer/FilmMagic

Butler is one of a host of stars to pay tribute to Presley, including Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, Pink, the Jackson family, Bette Midler, Corey Feldman, Octavia Spencer, John Travolta and Mia Farrow, following her death. Nicolas Cage, to whom Presley was briefly married, also paid his respects to her.

Michael Jackson‘s estate also paid their respects, offering her family “their deepest sympathies”. Jackson and Presley were married for 18 months and she also appeared in the music video for his song ‘You Are Not Alone’.

Lisa Marie Presley was the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, and the sole heir to her father’s estate, which she assumed in 1980. Presley retained ownership of Elvis’ home in Memphis, Tennessee, including her father’s Graceland mansion and its surrounding 13 acres. In 2004, she sold 85 per cent of all trademark rights to Elvis’ name to music promoter Robert F. X. Sillerman.

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She was also a musician in her own right, releasing three studio albums between 2003 and 2012. Her first two albums – ‘To Whom It May Concern’ (2003) and ‘Now What’ (2004) – both hit the top 10 of the Billboard 200 album charts.

A family representative has since confirmed that Presley will be buried at Graceland next to her son Ben Keogh, who took his own life in 2020 aged 27.

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