Lisa Marie Presley’s Cause of Death Revealed

Lisa Marie Presley's Cause of Death Revealed

More details are emerging about the tragic death of Elvis Presley's only child six months after her passing. 

Lisa Marie Presley died at age 54 on Jan. 12 following a medical emergency that required hospitalization, her mother Priscilla Presley previously shared. 

Now, her cause of death has been revealed as complications resulting from small bowel obstruction, according to records from the County of Los Angeles Medical-Examiner reviewed by E! News. 

Small bowel obstructions are blockages in the small intestine that can be caused by numerous factors including hernias, inflammatory disease or tumors, per the Cleveland Clinic.

In Lisa Marie's case, she suffered from "a strangulated small bowel" that was caused by "adhesions" that developed after she had bariatric surgery—a type of weight loss surgery that changes the digestive system—that was done years ago, according to an autopsy report obtained by NBC News on July 13. It stated that the medical issue is a known complication of the surgery.

Lisa Marie's cause of death has been ruled as natural.

On Jan. 12, Priscilla, 77, released a statement saying her daughter had been hospitalized and, hours later, shared news of Lisa Marie's death.

photosCelebrity Deaths: 2023's Fallen Stars

"It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us," she told People Jan. 12. "She was the most passionate strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers." 

Earlier in the day, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesperson told Entertainment Tonight that she suffered a cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas.

However, the medical examiner did not list any secondary factors and attributed her cause of death to sequelae of small bowel obstruction.

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The "Over Me" singer—born in Memphis in 1968, nine months after her parents' wedding—led a life of love and loss. Lisa Marie was just 9 years when The King of Rock and Roll died suddenly in 1977, following an apparent heart attack at age 42.

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Throughout her life in the spotlight, Lisa Marie was married four times: to Danny Keough from 1988 to 1994, to Michael Jackson from 1994 to 1996, to Nicolas Cage from 2002 to 2004 and to Michael Lockwood from 2006 to 2016.

Nicolas Cage was among those to remember the musician after her passing, sharing in a statement to E! News on Jan. 13, "Lisa had the greatest laugh of anyone I ever met. She lit up every room, and I am heartbroken."

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She is survived by her daughter Riley Keough, 34, and her 15-year-old twins Harper and Finley. Her son Benjamin Keough died by suicide in 2020 at 27 years old, another tragedy for the iconic family that was felt deeply by Lisa Marie. 

"My and my three daughters' lives as we knew it were completely detonated and destroyed by his death. We live in this every. Single. Day," she shared in a 2022 essay for People. "Nothing, absolutely NOTHING takes away the pain, but finding support can sometimes help you feel a little bit less alone."

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Before Benjamin's passing, Lisa Marie got candid about another difficult chapter of her life, sharing in the 2019 book The United States of Opioids that she became addicted to opioids and painkillers after her twins were born in 2008, per People

"As I write this, I think of my four children, who gave me the purpose to heal," she said, acknowledging "the countless parents who have lost children to opioids and other drugs."

Ultimately, when asked if the Presley name was truly both a hindrance and a help, she said she wouldn't trade it for anything. "It's only a hindrance in that I didn't ask for all the attention… I don't ask tabloids to chase me around every week," she told Playboy in 2003, the same year she released her own album. "But at the same time, I would never take back any part of who I am or where I came from. I would never want to be part of anything else."

The artist added, "I'm honored and proud of my family and my dad."

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Lisa Marie Presley was buried at the family home Graceland in Memphis, alongside her dad Elvis and her son Benjamin. 

At the funeral Jan. 22, Priscilla read a note aloud written by one of Lisa Marie's twin daughters, who have since graduated middle school. "I have no idea how to put my mother into words," the note read. "Truth is, there are too many. Lisa Marie Presley was an icon, a role model, a superhero to many people all over the world. But Mama was my icon, my role model, my superhero, in much more ways than one."

Her eldest daughter Riley also shared a letter, read out by her husband Ben Smith-Petersen. "I remember the way you would cuddle me," she wrote. "I remember you singing me and brother lullabies at night and how you'd lay with us until we fell asleep."

Riley's tribute touched on the love all the children received from Lisa Marie. "My sisters and brother are a product of your heart," she wrote. "I hope you finally know how loved you were here." 

Keep reading to see photos of Lisa Marie with her kids.

This story was updated July 13, 2023 at 5:45 p.m. PT with additional information from the autopsy obtained by NBC News.

(E! and NBC News are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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