Priscilla Presley Worried About Daughter’s Future As Elvis Left Lots Of Debt After His Passing

Dec 04, 2021 by apost team

Elvis Presley is regarded as one of the most important musicians of the 20th century and is frequently dubbed "the King" for his incredible status in rock 'n' roll history. His energetic stage performances and provocative dancing skills gave him initial controversy. But, in the end, it led to long-term success, which led to a lasting musical legacy. Case and point: Elvis is recognized as the best-selling solo artist of all time by Guinness World Records. Despite so much success, the musician had some financial problems, as we’ll learn later on in this article.

Elvis' wife, Priscilla, was only married to him from 1967 until 1973. However, despite their short marriage, Priscilla dealt with a lot and also had some influence on Elvis' life and music. Elvis met Priscilla during his army career when she was just 14 years old. Their love affair led Priscilla to eventually move from Germany to join Elvis in Graceland. After many visits, Priscilla's parents let her move with Elvis to Tennessee in 1963. Less than a year after the pair got married, their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, was born.

Now, Priscilla lives on without her beloved and famous husband. Despite their separation, she was devastated by his death. After his passing, Elvis left behind a huge amount of debt that he owed to the IRS. Priscilla was named co-executor of his estate, alongside his father, and was able to find a way to turn the finances around so Lisa Marie wouldn’t inherit the debt as well. 

Keep reading to learn more about Elvis and Priscilla’s relationship and what she did to save her daughter from having to inherit $10 million in debt.

Elvis Presley (1960s), (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“I wanted to die,” said Priscilla after she learned of the death of her ex-husband, Elvis. The two had been divorced for four years, but Priscilla kept saying that he was “the love of (her) life.” In a 2016 interview, she said: "I did not divorce him because I didn't love him. He was the love of my life, but I had to find out about the world." Priscilla said this likely because she feels that her teenage years were "stolen" by her relationship with Elvis. Their divorce was finalized on Oct. 9, 1973, and Elvis died on Aug. 16, 1977.

They met in Germany during Elvis' stint in the U.S. Army, according to Priscilla, then known as Priscilla Beaulieu, and her family moved to the country because her father was transferred there by the Air Force that he served in.

While they were still married, the couple lived in Memphis, Tennessee, at the house known as "Graceland." They had one child together, Lisa Marie, whom Priscilla gave birth to when she was 23 years old. In the early parts of 1972, Priscilla left Elvis.

The singer was never the same after he and Priscilla split up. By the time he reached 42 years old, he had multiple health issues, which ended up claiming his life in 1977. Before his passing, Elvis met Ginger Alden, to whom he became engaged. Alden was the one who found Elvis lying on the bathroom floor inside his home. The autopsy showed Elvis had died from cardiac arrest "due to undetermined heartbeat," according to

Lisa Marie went on to have a child in 1989. This made Priscilla a grandmother to Riley Keough, who has gone on to become an actress.

Elvis Presley, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley (1968), (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Even though Elvis earned more than $100 million during his life, it is said he only had $5 million in his bank account at the time of his passing. To make matters worse, he owed the IRS estate tax fees totaling around $10 million.

Part of the problem was that many of the royalties for Elvis' songs were owned by the record company RCA. The rights were sold initially by the star’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, for only $5 million. Even worse, Parker put in his contract that he was to receive half of whatever Elvis made. The King was also a notorious spender, often giving away extravagant gifts, like new cars.  

When Priscilla realized the amount of debt she had inherited, she was concerned most with her daughter’s well-being. She said, "I worried about my daughter's future and Graceland and the people who had worked for us for 20 years. I couldn't comprehend them not having jobs or a place to stay."

Priscilla was made the co-executor of the entire Presley Estate, assuming the role after the death of Elvis' father, Vernon Presley, in 1979. On her official website, it states how much of an influence Priscilla has had on the estate, writing: 

"She has since brought the Presley Estate from a burgeoning entity into a phenomenally successful organization consisting of the famous Graceland Mansion, a worldwide licensing program, merchandising, music publishing and television and video projects."

By 1993, the net worth of the estate was reportedly close to $100 million. Sadly, after Lisa Marie inherited the wealth that same year, she followed in her father’s footsteps and ended up in debt anyway. 

Priscilla Presley (2018), (Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Are you an Elvis fan? What do you think of his financial troubles? Let us know, and feel free to send this on to your friends and family.

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