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celebrity | Elvis Presley’s Broken Empire

Everything for her little princess. Lisa Marie was the only daughter of the king and the only heir to a legend that is still worth millions. By enchanting the planet, his father built a kingdom. His mother turned into a business empire, from souvenir keychains to the famous Graceland turned tourist spot. The guardian of the temple, but the prodigal daughter, Lisa Marie ended up giving up a large part of her inheritance. His death on January 12 at the age of 54 submerged a corpse success story in the succession storm… Before an agreement the family lawyer announced recently. History and turbulence in a fortune more fragile than the rock that gave birth to it

Today, the blues city is heartbroken. Memphis, Tennessee, January 22, 2023: Lisa Marie is buried with a son and a father who left too soon, like her. Graceland, the home of the king, the last place for old broken souls…

Thousands of admirers lined the road to accompany the clan at the end of the farewell. Three generations seem to be united on the yellow lawn, at the foot of the neocolonial facade. There is Lisa Marie’s daughter Riley, 33, and twins, Harper and Finley, 14, her half-brother Navarone Garibaldi, her ex-husband Michael Lockwood and her mother, Priscilla, who fights back tears as she reads a poem she wrote. his grandchildren. The demonstration of family unity will last four days.

Priscilla disputes the “validity” of the will written before the death of Lisa Marie’s son Benjamin who committed suicide in 2020. A late amendment excludes him from the management of the estate. Priscilla is surprised by a typo in her child’s name and tells the magazine Online game Rolling Stone “The document was never given to us during Lisa Marie’s lifetime. If it was his will, why didn’t he say it earlier? Then it is not authenticated and my daughter’s own signature seems inconsistent. Maybe imitate. »

The poor language was unleashed: the two women appeared together at the Golden Globes, two days before Lisa Marie’s death, but they did not speak to each other, they say, for years. Isn’t the will modification from 2016, when the mother was taking a stand against her daughter, when she divorced Lockwood and fought for custody of the twins? They even say that the guitarist, who was not invited to the funeral of his ex-wife, would have embedded himself there with the help of his ex-mother-in-law. He will also go to court to become the legal guardian of his daughters and defend their interests. Rumors abound: Riley, who would put the locks on the doors at Graceland, is the wall of silence. Is there a dynasty involved at all levels?


Rock and tigress, at 40, Lisa-Marie is pregnant with her twins.

A million rain

Lisa Marie was close to ruin, but left behind a legacy that turned heads: the legendary Memphis property and 15% of Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE), the company that owns the operating rights to the Elvis brand. By-products, images, operation of the museum and the hotel of Graceland… It’s all up to him: 15% of all this is the promise of an annual income of probably six zero. Graceland alone, with its 2,000 visitors per day, would bring in $10 million annually…

Forty-six years after his death, the king remains a money machine, especially since Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, a global hit, is driving the counters crazy. The American scoop and gossip site TMZ even stated that Lisa Marie had 4 million dollars in debt at the end of her life, including 2.5 in taxes, she would also have taken life insurance for 35 million dollars. The icing on the cake is that everyone is claiming their share as it threatens to melt.


Lisa Marie and Austin Butler, who plays Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, at the Golden Globes ceremony. Two days later, on January 10, he was found dead.

Who knows what can happen to the faces that the new Presleymania is pulsating on their account? The fortunes that made Presley’s heart beat for decades resembled an electrocardiogram.

In the beginning, there is Elvis. Famous idols: more than 800 songs and hundreds of millions of records sold. But for the god of rock and the hip of the devil, the alchemist who transmutes the hysteria of admirers into gold, there is no question of hoarding. He puts into practice songs that twist the crowd, Easy come, easy go : immediately earned, immediately spent.

He, the kid from Tupelo and poverty, born in debt – Vernon, the father, does not have enough to pay the 15 dollars to the obstetrician –, let his fingers burn more easily with money than with his rope. guitar Willing to charter his Convair 880 for a peanut butter sandwich in Denver – $16,000 in gas – or take his daughter to the snow in Utah for 20 minutes. Because her childhood was marked by poverty, her only little treasure, Lisa Marie, will have everything she dreams of. Covered in diamonds, they gave him an amusement park of his own. When he died in 1977, the king left him “only” 5 million dollars. And a mountain of bills.


    Lisa Marie and her mother, Priscilla, then actress in the series Dallas. After Elvis’ death, he joined him in Los Angeles.


    Lisa Marie and her son Benjamin Keough in Las Vegas in 2015.


    Riley Keough, Lisa Marie’s oldest daughter, in 2018.


    2008. With her fourth and final husband, guitarist Michael Lockwood, and twin daughters Harper and Finley.


Priscilla’s Empire

Lisa Marie was 9 years old when she became her father’s sole heir. Under conditions. The will is formal: he will inherit only when he turns 25 and only if he is single. The singer is in Suspicious spirit, suspicious spirit, took his precautions. Vernon, Lisa Marie’s grandfather, is designated to manage the inheritance. When he died, two years later, the burden fell to Priscilla.

The actress who takes for a frivolous child shows that she has the stature of a businesswoman. Graceland is saddled with debt and costs $480,000 to maintain. To wipe the slate clean, he can not count on the singer’s royalties: the rights to the earliest hits were sold by Elvis and his manager, Colonel Parker. Priscilla could sell Graceland, but she chooses to bring her last chips. He knows the evocative power of these four syllables: Elvis Presley.

With half a million, he transformed the property into an attraction where 350 employees entered the memorial service.

The mausoleum museum was opened in 1982 and 38 days later the investment paid off. Graceland is the second most visited private residence in the United States, behind the White House. We no longer speak of a journey, but of a pilgrimage, and worship comes at a great price.

In the shop, among the soaps and t-shirts, the 1 dollar bill and the image of Elvis sell for 4 dollars. Priscilla understood that the nostalgia business has a bright future ahead of it. So why waste a crumb? In 1983, the EPE company, which he leads, pulled off a masterstroke by passing a new law in Tennessee: the guarantee that the commercial rights of the name and image of a star are transferred to the heirs. Since then, companies that want to exploit objects bearing the royal mark must pay an advance on the receipts.

It didn’t take Priscilla 10 years to build an empire. He still has to protect him from Desiree, Deborah – a young actress crossing over the set of the series. Dallas in which Priscilla plays a role – and in six other anonymous people who seek to be recognized as the natural children of the king.


Elvis’ home in Memphis: Graceland.

Woe to Lisa Marie

In 1993, when Lisa Marie was old enough to receive it, she was the sole heir to a fortune estimated at 100 million dollars. Then he noticed that his mother did an “amazing job” – after nonetheless asking a journalist friend to investigate the exact amount of the jackpot. In the dawn of the 2000s, Lisa Marie could check during an auction of objects that belonged to her father that the fever had not subsided.

Religion turned fetish: $1,000 for a TV receipt, $1,500 for an unopened package of mineral water bottles. Refreshing. In Graceland, nothing is lost, everything is green again. The memory of the king invites recycling: the smallest trash becomes a collector’s item. Lisa Marie is very rich, but her father didn’t just send her heirlooms worth millions.

From Elvis, you could say he got an irresistible drive, a wicked appetite for opiates and, above all, an inability to handle money. His lifestyle is chaotic, his debts are abysmal and his surroundings, not necessarily benevolent.

poor advice, he ended up selling, in 2005, 85% of the shares in EPE, the family business is still valued at 100 million dollars. Three months before his death, he reported only $95,000 left in his accounts.

In June, Priscilla and Riley, an actress like her grandmother, would reach an agreement. Riley would be the sole trustee of an inheritance distributed as follows: 1/9 to Navarone Garibaldi, Lisa Marie’s half-brother, and the balance to be shared between the three sisters. A few days later, Priscilla appeared on Instagram with her three daughters… for the preceding since January. Proof that the time for chaos is over?

According to his lawyer, Presley is united, “together and excited for the future”. It is necessary: ​​a study on Forbes dating back to 2020 shows that the magic is fading. The income generated by the singer would have fallen by 30% in 10 years. But Priscilla remained calm. It doesn’t even need AI to believe in Elvis’ new life. Traces of his presence can be found even in the desert of the metaverse, the virtual world and heralds the future of the Internet. He himself co-created the animated series Agent Elvison Netflix, and will soon be the subject of a biopic directed by Sofia Coppola.

Elvis at all costs… Or how to perpetuate this motto that the king of rock hit with a flash: “Take care of business”. Take care of business, and fast.

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