Jerry Lee Lewis, the influential and controversial rock’n’ roll pioneer, has died aged 87. His publicist announced that he died of natural causes at his home in DeSoto County, Mississippi, surrounded by his seventh wife, Judith. Lewis had a long and illustrious career in music, but was also marred by scandal.
In 1957, he married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown. The marriage caused an uproar and ended up getting Lewis banned from performing on several television shows. However, he continued to find success with hits like “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Breathless.”
In later years, Lewis continued to perform despite declining health. In 2017, he was inducted into the Piano Hall of Fame.
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Lewis is survived by his wife Judith Ann Coghlan Lewis, whom he married in 2012; his children Phoebe, Jerry Lee Jr., Steve Allen, and Lafayette; and his sister Linda Gail Lewis.
Jerry Lee Lewis Legacy of Controversy and Success
Jerry Lee Lewis’s life was full of controversy and success. From being banned from television for marrying his 13-year-old cousin to being inducted into the Piano Hall of Fame, Lewis led a life that was always full of drama.
His music also reflected this turmoil; hits like “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” mirrored the chaos of his personal life.
In later years, as his health began to decline, Jerry Lee Lewis continued to perform whenever he could.
He spoke about how music had always been a source of solace for him, even in the darkest times. In 2017, shortly before his death, he said in an interview: “I am just happy that I am still here…I love music more than anything.”
Jerry Lee Lewis was a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer whose influence is still felt today. His songs shaped a generation and continues to inspire musicians today. Though his life was fraught with controversy, Jerry Lee Lewis will be remembered as one of the greats of rock ‘n’ roll.