As announced by Priscilla Presley, her mother, the singer-songwriter and only child of Elvis Presley, and ex-wife of Michael Jackson, died Jan. 12, at age 54, after being hospitalized earlier in the day.
Parent album To Whom It May Concern launched at its No. 5 best on the Billboard 200 in April 2003.
“There is some searing depth to rock ‘n’ roll’s most famous princess, and she has some estimable chops both as singer and songwriter,” Billboard praised in a review of the album a week before it entered the Billboard 200. “Musically, this is sultry, surly mainstream rock with a cutting, contemporary edge. ‘Lights Out’ is a real powerhouse. As a singer, Presley is alternatingly snarling, exposed and defiant. Lyrically, she’s even better – raw, wounded and often pissed off. This project stands on its own.”
Presley followed with Now What, which debuted at its No. 9 Billboard 200 high in April 2005, while the album’s “Dirty Laundry” reached No. 36 on Adult Contemporary. The single updated Don Henley’s critique of a callous media that hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983 (a cover choice that Billboard’s review of Presley’s version referred to as “telling”).
Both albums were released on Capitol Records. In June 2012, Presley’s Storm & Grace, on XIX/Republic Records, hit No. 45 on the Billboard 200, as well as No. 21 on the Top Rock Albums chart.
Presley’s album sales stand at 836,000, while her songs have drawn 9.5 million official streams (audio and video combined) in the U.S. through Jan. 5, according to Luminate.
Also among Presley’s chart history, she charted two virtual duets with her father: “In the Ghetto,” a reworking of The King’s No. 3-peaking 1969 Hot 100 hit, rose to No. 69 on Digital Song Sales, and “Where No One Stands Alone” reached No. 22 on Christian Digital Song Sales.
DeeDee Kearney, founder/CEO of marketing agency The Moxi Group and formerly Capitol northeast regional promotion manager, shared on Facebook Jan. 12 that she was “incredibly saddened” by the news of Presley’s death. “I worked with her in 2003. We drove to many radio stations together, had lovely dinners, visited five cities and had lots of wonderful talks. Her security guards were next-level, and she dealt with crazy fans in every city we visited. She was kind [and] humble.
“One night, while getting off stage at [Boston’s] Paradise [Rock Club], she came right over to me (me!) and asked if her performance was good. I’ll never forget that moment. I just adored her.”