A representative for ‘Great Balls Of Fire’ singer Jerry Lee Lewis has confirmed that he is alive and well after false reports of his death emerged.
On Wednesday (October 26), TMZ published a story claiming that Lewis had died at his home in Memphis, following a period of illness. Earlier this month, Lewis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame but was too ill with the flu to attend the ceremony, with Kris Kristofferson accepting the honour in Lewis’ place.
A representative for the singer has since confirmed to Page Six that Lewis is “alive” and that TMZ had “reported erroneously off a bullshit anonymous tip” when breaking the news about his supposed passing. TMZ themselves have since updated their own story.
“Jerry Lee Lewis is not dead… as we previously reported. We’re told the rock ‘n’ roll legend is alive, living in Memphis,” TMZ‘s story now reads. “Earlier today we were told by someone claiming to be Lewis’ rep that he had passed. That turned out not to be the case. TMZ regrets the error.”
In his acceptance speech for his Country Music Hall of Fame induction, Lewis said it was with “heartfelt sadness and disappointment that I write to you today from my sick bed, rather than be able to share my thoughts in person”, adding that he “tried everything I could to build up the strength” to attend.
“I am honored to be going into that Hall of Fame rotunda with some of my heroes – Hank Williams Sr., Jimmie Rodgers and the like – not to mention so many amazing friends who have been so good to me through the years,” Lewis concluded.
“Thank you all for your support and love and for electing me into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and most of all, thanks to God for allowing me to experience this honor while I am still here.”
Lewis, who rose to prominence in the late 1950s with ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On’, ‘Great Balls Of Fire’, ‘Breathless’ and ‘High School Confidential’, was hospitalised in Memphis after suffering a stroke in 2019. While he was forced to cancel some planned appearances, he made a full recovery.