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It’s Been a Pretty Wild Life for Lisa Marie Presley: A Look Back at the Highs, the Lows, the Controversies and More

What is it like to be the only child of Elvis Presley? From the outside looking in, one perception is that it would represent a life of ease and luxury. On the other, it would seem that there would be enormous pressure trying to live up to a music and pop culture legend. In the case of daughter Lisa Marie Presley, the latter was certainly the situation for much of her life, oftentimes resulting in rebellious or short-sighted behavior.

Born to Elvis and then-wife Priscilla Presley nine months to the day after their wedding, Lisa Marie arrived on February 1, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. While on a personal level the marriage and birth was a joyous time for Elvis, he was also having a hard time dealing with the low ebb of his career. He was becoming increasingly dismissed by others despite all he had accomplished, his movies were being savaged by the critics, and the box office and soundtrack sales were dropping to new lows. Something needed to be done but, as noted by authors Connie Kirchberg and Marc Hendricks in their biography Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon and the American Dream, “by then, the damage had been done. Elvis was viewed as a joke by serious music lovers and a has-been to all but his most loyal fans.”

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This was the environment in which Lisa Marie arrived, with tensions and pressures already rising between her parents. As noted in Elvis: My Dad, Lisa Marie biographer David Adler and Ernest Andrews write, “[Priscilla] loved Elvis completely and intended to spend the rest of her life with him, but neither of them had planned to have a child right away. What would this mean for their life together? At Graceland, before she was pregnant, life had been an around-the-clock party. The kitchen was always open, with cooks on hand 24-hours a day to provide down-home favorites. Elvis would spend money lavishly on whatever whim pleased him. They did what they wanted, whether that meant staying up till 6 a.m., taking off to Vegas at a moment’s notice or racing around on go-carts. Were these carefree days gone for good?”

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