Along with Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis was one of the greats of rock and roll. He survived them all, but now the world is mourning Lewis, too.
Mourning for a rock and roll icon. After the death of Jerry Lee Lewis, who gained worldwide fame with songs like “Great Balls of Fire” or “Whole Lotta Shaking’ Goin’ On,” music greats like Elton John, Ringo Starr. and Ronnie Wood gave the artist the nickname “The Killer”.
Lewis died on Friday at his home in Mississippi at the age of 87. By his side was his seventh wife, Judith Coughlan Lewis, his management said in a statement. “Without Jerry Lee Lewis, I wouldn’t be who I am today,” wrote Elton John (75) on Twitter for a joint picture of the two musicians. “He was groundbreaking and exciting, and he smashed the piano.” In addition, he was a brilliant singer, the British pop star paid tribute to the deceased.
“What a man,” Rolling Stones rocker Ronnie Wood (75) wrote on Twitter. May the “murderer” rest in peace. Gene Simmons (73) of the hard rock band Kiss praised him as a “rebel to the end”. Former Beatle Ringo Starr (82) wished Lewis’ relatives “Peace and Love”.
For Hollywood star Dennis Quaid (68), Lewis was an “American icon” and “the greatest pianist in the world.” People will still be listening to his hit songs 500 years from now. “I will miss him,” the actor wrote on Instagram for a picture of the two together with a white grand piano. Lewis’ eventful life was filmed in 1986’s Big Balls of Fire starring Quaid.
Rock and roll, glory and seven marriages
Along with Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Lewis was considered one of the kings of rock and roll. Born in Louisiana in 1935, the musician was one of the first to be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame. At the age of 16, Lewis entered into the first of seven marriages. In total, he had six children, two of whom died long before him. His tumultuous personal life led to a career break when, at age 22, he married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown. This caused a storm of indignation in the UK, and Lewis was forced to cancel his tour there.
Lewis, who has also released country hits such as “Another Place Another Time” and “Would You Take Another Chance on Me,” was recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Due to the flu, the musician had to stay away from the ceremony to be held in Nashville on October 16, according to his Instagram page. One of his closest friends, Kris Kristofferson, accepted the award on his behalf.
The 86-year-old singer and actor gave them to her at his bedside last week. The joint picture shows Lewis lying in bed with lots of medication on the bedside table. The musician, who suffered a stroke in 2019, has been battling health problems for years.