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Elvis' Austin Butler Pays Tribute To Lisa Marie Presley

On January 12, 2023, the music world was stunned by the news that Lisa Marie Presley — the daughter of Priscilla and the late Elvis — had died at the age of 54. The devastating news arrived shortly after word got out that she'd been hospitalized due to a medical emergency. "Priscilla Presley and the Presley family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Lisa Marie. They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time," the Presley family said in a statement to CNN following Lisa Marie's death.

Though an accomplished singer and songwriter in her own right, Lisa Marie Presley recently found herself in the news cycle for a very different reason. Courtesy of director Baz Luhrmann, the story of her father Elvis was brought to the silver screen in the appropriately-titled 2022 biopic, "Elvis." Throughout the film's production, the Presley family was consulted to ensure that Elvis' story was brought to life in an honorable fashion and that the actor responsible for bringing "The King of Rock n' Roll" to the cinema, Austin Butler, did so in both an accurate (even though the film at large got some things wrong about the true story) and respectful manner.

During his work on "Elvis," Butler grew incredibly close with the Presleys, hence why he delivered a heartfelt, emotional statement on Lisa Marie Presley's death.

Butler will forever cherish his interactions with Lisa Marie Presley

The day after news of Lisa Marie Presley's death came to light, Austin Butler released a statement to Variety. "My heart is completely shattered for Riley, Finley, Harper and Priscilla at the tragic and unexpected loss of Lisa Marie," he said, going on to express gratitude for the time he got to spend with her while working on "Elvis." He concluded, "Her warmth, her love and her authenticity will always be remembered." 

Just two days before her death, Presley was able to witness Butler grace the Golden Globes stage and accept the award for Best Actor in a Drama for portraying her father. In his emotional acceptance speech, Butler thanked Elvis' daughter and wife, saying, "I also want to thank our incredible producers ... and the Presley family. Thank you, guys. Thank you for opening your hearts, your memories, your home to me... Lisa Marie, Priscilla [Presley], I love you forever." 

Lisa Marie shared the same affection for Butler. Following the release of "Elvis," the Presley member candidly shared how impactful Butler's performance was. "He put everything he had, his heart, his soul, everything he had into researching, reading, watching, learning," Presley told ABC (via EW). "He honored him in every way possible." In an Instagram post shared prior to the film's release, Presley gushed about her father's biopic, saying the film managed to capture Elvis both "accurately and respectfully."  

Elvis director Baz Luhrmann and more pay tribute to Lisa Marie Presley

As one could imagine, Austin Butler wasn't the only one involved with "Elvis" to come forward and pay tribute to Lisa Marie Presley, with director Baz Luhrmann and Tom Hanks — the actor behind Colonel Tom Parker — doing the same.

In an Instagram post, Luhrmann shared a photo of Butler and Lisa Marie with a caption expressing how great it was to have her on the "Elvis" set. "I know her fans everywhere join me in sharing prayers of love and support with her mother, Priscilla, and her wonderful daughters Riley, Finley and Harper. Lisa Marie, we will miss your warmth, your smile, your love," he wrote. Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson also used Instagram to honor Lisa Marie, where they paid tribute to her as a mother, a musical talent, and a creative collaborator, in addition to sending their best to the entire Presley family.

In more ways than one, Lisa Marie Presley left a lasting impact on her friends, family, and "Elvis" colleagues. She will indeed be sorely missed.