Axl Rose paid tribute to the late Lisa Marie Presley with a heartfelt speech and moving performance during A Celebration of the Life of Lisa Marie Presley, held at the iconic Graceland mansion on Sunday (Jan. 22) in Memphis, Tennessee.
During the late singer/songwriter’s public memorial service at Graceland, the Guns N’ Roses frontman made a rare speaking appearance to deliver an emotional speech, remembering his close friend.
“With Lisa’s passing, I knew if I was invited I needed to come to these ceremonies,” Rose began. “I hadn’t planned on speaking, and when I was put on the spot, I really didn’t know what to say. I was tongue-tied and nervous, and I didn’t really know what I said. But I, as I’m sure many of you, are still in shock, as I feel I will continue to be for quite some time.”
Watch Axl Rose’s Tribute Performance & Heartfelt Speech At The 1:01:37 Mark In The Below Video
Rose went to detail how “fiercely protective” Lisa Marie was of her father Elvis Presley’s legacy.
He explained, “She was extremely proud, as proud as anyone could be, of her father and his many accomplishments and place in music. She was also very proud of the Elvis movie and how she felt it portrayed her father, and the care that was put into the film by those involved — [director Baz Luhrmann’s] vision and direction, and Austin Butler’s dedication to the role of her father.”
“I never in a million years imagined being here, singing under these circumstances,” Rose added.
Immediately after his speech, Rose honored Lisa Marie with a performance of Guns N’ Roses hit, “November Rain.” While playing a grand piano, Rose delivered a solo rendition of the chart-topping rock hit.
“‘Cause nothing lasts forever / And we both know hearts can change / And it’s hard to hold a candle / In the cold November rain,” Rose sings on the tune’s chorus.
Hundreds of family, friends and fans gathered on the Graceland property to pay their respects to the late “Lights Out” singer. Those in attendance included her mother, Priscilla Presley, her surviving children, 33-year-old daughter, Riley Keough, and 14-year-old twins, Finley and Harper Lockwood.
In addition, several of her famous friends also attended to honor her, including Rose, Alanis Morissette, Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, as well as the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, and Elvis actor, Austin Butler.
She was remembered by her family and friends with music and memories during the public memorial service on the Graceland property.
Lisa Marie was laid to rest next to her late son, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020, in Meditation Garden at Elvis’ iconic Graceland mansion. Elvis, known as “The King Of Rock ‘n Roll,” as well as his parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley, are also buried in the Meditation Garden.
Lisa Marie Presley died unexpectedly at the age of 54 years old on Thursday, January 12 after reportedly suffering “full cardiac arrest” at her Calabasas, California home.
While her official cause of death has yet to be revealed, TMZ reported that Lisa Marie’s housekeeper found her unresponsive in her bedroom, where ex-husband, Danny Keough, who lived with Lisa Marie Presley, administered CPR until paramedics arrived.
PEOPLE reported that the 54-year-old mother of four was not breathing when paramedics arrived to her home, so they performed CPR and noted that she had “signs of life” and sent her to a local hospital for “immediate medical care.” She was then transported to a local hospital, where she was placed into a medically induced coma, and was listed in critical condition on life support in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
View this post on Instagram
She later passed away at the hospital with her mother and daughter by her side.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla previously shared in a statement to PEOPLE, confirming the death of Lisa Marie. “She was the most passionate strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers. At this time there will be no further comment.”
Lisa Marie Presley is the only child of Elvis and Priscilla. She followed in her father’s footsteps as a singer and songwriter. She has released three albums, including To Whom It May Concern (2003), Now What (2005), as well as Storm & Grace (2012).
Presley also released several singles that didn’t appear on a project, including posthumous duets with her father.
The singer/songwriter was married to Danny Keough (1988-1994), Michael Jackson (1994-1996), Nicolas Cage (2002-2004), and Michael Lockwood (2006-2021). Presley shared two children with Keough, a late son named Benjamin (died in 2020) and a daughter named Riley, as well as twins, Finley and Harper, with ex-husband Lockwood.
View this post on Instagram
Lisa Marie made her Grand Ole Opry debut in 2012 in support of her Storm & Grace album. In a 2012 interview with Billboard, she shared her excitement over being accepted in Music City.
“I have been so blown away at the reception. It’s been so warm and incredible coming here. I feel really at ease,” she said. “To be in a place that appreciates singer-songwriters is an incredible experience. That doesn’t happen so much in Los Angeles. It’s been overwhelming. I feel very honored and lucky.”
View this post on Instagram
She has also embarked on several headlining tours, including the S.O.B. Tour (2003-2004), Now What Tour (2005-2006) and the Storm & Grace Tour (2014).