His publicist has confirmed that Jerry Lee Lewis, a pioneer of rock and roll who became one of the most notorious names in popular music, passed away at the age of 87. At his residence in DeSoto County, Mississippi, he succumbed to natural causes and passed away.
In a statement, it was said that his seventh wife, Judith, was with him when he died away at his house in Desoto County, Mississippi, which is located south of Memphis. “He informed her that he embraced the afterlife and that he was not afraid,” she said of him while he was on his deathbed.
Rock ‘n’ roll became the preeminent style of popular music in the United States throughout the 1950s, thanks mainly to Jerry Lee Lewis’s high-energy performances on songs like “Great Balls of Fire.” Lewis was the son of a poor farming family from Louisiana who mortgaged their home to get him his first piano when he was born in 1935.
Lewis was born in the state of Louisiana. While attending an evangelical school to learn the piano, he was expelled for performing a boogie-woogie version of My God is Real that was considered irreverent by the school’s administration.
Instead of going back to school, he started performing live, and his first gig, when he was just 14 years old, was at the opening of a car dealership. He developed a dramatic and loud style that chimed with the energy of the embryonic rock and roll culture.
He started playing at Sun Studios in Memphis, first as a studio musician and then as a solo artist. This approach harmonized with the enthusiasm of the nascent rock and roll scene. Some of his early recordings were produced in 1956 with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins, a quartet later nicknamed the Million Dollar Quartet.
These songs were released in the following year. It was a spur-of-the-moment session: Cash and Presley happened to be visiting the studio separately while Lewis was playing piano accompaniment for Perkins.
The following year marked that Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, a barnstorming piano-driven rock and roll hit, was Lewis’s ticket to the big time. When he performed it on television on The Steve Allen Show, he brought his distinctive playing technique to the notice of people all over the country. He was immensely enthusiastic and would kick over his piano stool and play standing up, highlighting songs with cascading runs of notes.
After reaching number three on the charts, he achieved his most significant hit with the song “Great Balls of Fire,” which became one of the most iconic rock and roll songs of all time. It peaked at number two on the US charts.
During a tour of the United Kingdom in 1958, when he was at the height of his career, he became entangled in a scandal when it was revealed that he had married his cousin Myra Brown, who was only 13 years old at the time.
This would be the third of his seven marriages. The British press reacted with anger, and as a result, the remaining dates of his tour were canceled. His popularity declined due to being blacklisted by radio stations in the United States and event promoters. After that, he never again charted in the top 20 in the US.
Because of Lewis’s propensity to refer to his friends and acquaintances using the Louisiana slang term “killer,” he became known as “The Killer,” which contributed to his reputation as a wild man. After being married to Brown for 13 years, he had even more scandalous unions with his fourth and fifth wives.
Both Jaren Pate and Shawn Stephens were found dead under mysterious circumstances; Jaren Pate was found dead by drowning, and Shawn Stephens’s death was supposedly the result of domestic violence.
After the rock and roll industry began to decline, he successfully transitioned to country music. He scored a string of singles on the country charts in the United States, including his version of the classic song “Chantilly Lace.” He did this despite the controversy that surrounded him.
In 1984, after years of using prescription drugs, he survived an operation to remove a third of his stomach after a series of perforated ulcers. In 1986, he was one of the first 10 performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and others. In 1984, he survived an operation to remove a third of his stomach.
Berry was involved in yet another notorious episode of “Killer.” Lewis was upset that Berry would go on after him during their tour together, so after he performed, he lit his piano on fire and said, “Follow that, boy.” Berry did not appreciate Lewis’s actions. In the meantime, Lewis was taken into custody in 1976 after he showed up inebriated at Elvis Presley’s home in Memphis, Graceland, with a loaded revolver on the dashboard of his automobile.
Two of Lewis’s six children passed away at an early age: Steve Allen Lewis passed away at the age of three after drowning in a swimming pool, and Jerry Lee Lewis Jr., who had played drums for his father, passed away at the age of 19 in a car accident. Judith, Ronnie Guy, Phoebe Allen, Lori Lee, and Jerry Lee III, are among the people who have continued after his passing.
Lewis has released 40 studio albums, the most recent of which was 2014’s Rock & Roll Time. His previous album, Mean Old Man, was released in 2010 and charted in the top 30 in the United States. It featured collaborations with renowned musicians such as Mick Jagger, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, and Eric Clapton.
On social media, people are paying tributes to Jerry Lee Lewis, including Elton John, who tweeted: “Without Jerry Lee Lewis, I wouldn’t have become who I am today. He was a game-changer and an exciting performer and destroyed the piano. A magnificent singer as well. “Thank you for being such a pioneering inspiration and all the good times we had to play rock and roll.”
Ringo Starr has also expressed his condolences via Twitter, writing, “God bless Jerry lee Lewis. Peace and love to all of his family.” He was considered “one of the pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll” and “a renegade until the end” by Gene Simmons.