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Fans, celebs gather at Graceland to mourn Lisa Marie Presley

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Lisa Marie Presley, a singer, songwriter and the daughter of Elvis Presley, was remembered during a funeral service Sunday as a loving mother and an “old soul” who endured tragedy but persevered as a dedicated protector of her father’s legacy as a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and pop icon.

More than a thousand people gathered on the front lawn of Graceland on a gray, chilly Memphis morning to mourn the death and remember the life of Lisa Marie Presley, who died Jan, 12 after she was taken to a hospital in California.

Some mourners held flowers as they waited for the service to begin under the tall trees on the lawn of Graceland, the home in Memphis where Lisa Marie lived as a child with her father. The mansion, which Lisa Marie Presley owned, has been turned into a museum and tourist attraction that hundreds of thousands of fans visit each year to celebrate the life and music of Elvis, who died in 1977 at age 42.

The property in south Memphis was a place of sadness and somber memories on Sunday. The service began with the singing of “Amazing Grace” by Jason Clark & The Tennessee Mass Choir.  “We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the love, compassion and support you have shown our family during this difficult time,” said a message from the Presley family written on the program for the service. “We will always be grateful.”

Among those who spoke during the service were Lisa Marie’s mother, actor Priscilla Presley; Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York; Jerry Schilling, a close friend of Elvis; and former Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, who called Lisa Marie’s parents Memphis’ royal couple and a “conduit to the throne, the keeper of the flame.”

In a soft voice, Priscilla Presley read a poem from one of Lisa Marie’s three daughters, Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood, entitled “The Old Soul,” in which she calls her mother “an icon, a role model, a superhero to many people all over the world.”

Music punctuated the service. Billy Corgan, lead singer of The Smashing Pumpkins, played acoustic guitar and sang “To Sheila;” Alanis Morissette sang “Rest;” Axl Rose, of Guns N’ Roses, played piano and sang “November Rain;” and The Blackwood Brothers Quartet performed two songs.

After the service, mourners walked through Graceland’s Meditation Garden, where she was laid to rest in an above-ground grave next to her son Benjamin Keough, who died in 2020, and alongside her grandparents and great grandmother.

Source: AP – All contents copyright 2023 Associated Press.  All rights reserved.

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