The Perfect Song to Remember Lisa Marie Presley

The Perfect Song to Remember Lisa Marie Presley

Updated: 17 days, 18 hours, 33 minutes, 2 seconds ago

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This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by editor Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.

This week:

Prince Harry and the art of oversharing.

Remembering Lisa Marie.

The greatest speech…ever?

The Beastiest show…ever?

Your weekly cry.

Lights Out in Memphis

We talk a lot about the MTV generation, but we ignore the VH1 generation.

We’re the geriatric millennials (gross) whose parents thought MTV was “too rude.” We are the ones who still play The Corrs’ “Breathless” on loop. Who can recreate every moment of Céline Dion’s “That’s the Way It Is” music video. Who think that life is grand, as long as Rob Thomas is still making music.

It’s the VH1 generation that is attached to Lisa Marie Presley’s music career.

It’s gut-wrenching that Presley, the daughter of the King, died this week after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest. As an entertainment writer and editor, my mind shot in so many different directions: Her father! Michael Jackson! Nicolas Cage! Just trying to be her own entity!

I remember when she came out with her single, “Lights Out,” in 2003. There had to have been big record label muscle for it to make it onto the VH1 portion of my “scarfing down a Pop Tart before driving to school” morning ritual.

I know it’s the era of nepo babies, but there was something about the song’s success that didn’t seem “gifted” to her in that way. It engaged in our fascination with her father, and worked through what it’s like to come from her background and be expected to be famous, regardless of your talent or ambition.

Watching the music video is a strange experience. She looks so much like her father, and her vocal stylings are gruff and guttural like his—yet also uniquely hers. Throughout the song, she reckons with her legacy. “Someone turned the lights out there in Memphis,” she sings, directly engaging with her family history. “That’s where my family are buried and gone,” goes another line. As the song ends, she sings, “Little son of a bitch from Memphis.”

It all just felt so…cool. A lot of times, when children of rock stars dip their toe in performance, music or otherwise, it’s so cringey. But there was an art to what Lisa Marie was doing. A point. And, it was good.