Lisa Marie Presley’s net worth was a negative balance of $-16 million when she died in 2023. The female vocalist’s account was red due to all the debts she racked up from her ostentatious lifestyle.
Lisa Maria was no different from her late dad, Elvis Presley, who also lived a lavish lifestyle. However, thanks to the shrewd business acumen of Lisa Maria’s mother, Priscilla Presley, who turned the Elvis Presley Estate (EPE) into a money-making venture, Lisa inherited up to $100 million when she turned 25 in 1993. However, the fact that she is a true daughter of her father came to the fore when she received her inheritance and squandered it within a few years, leaving a mountain of debt at her demise.
How much Was Lisa Marie Presley worth at the Time of her Death?
At the time of Lisa Marie Presley’s death, her net worth was $-16 million. After she died on the 12th of January 2023, the American celebrity left several things behind, including a rock-and-roll legacy and, more importantly, a rocky financial path besieged with truckloads of losses and lawsuits over money.
Because of the negative net worth she had at death, Lisa Maria couldn’t make any of the Forbes lists for high earners despite having inherited an astounding fortune from her legendary musician father, Elvis Presley.
How much is Elvis Presley’s Estate Worth?
At the time of Elvis Presley’s demise, the total worth of his estate was pegged at $5 million or thereabout, which, when converted to today’s dollar, would be around $25.4 million.
By the time Lisa Marie Presley came into her inheritance in 1993, her mother, Priscilla, who did a great job as a trustee, had wisely invested the money and built it up to $100 million. She was able to achieve this by turning Graceland into a successful tourist attraction, and the proceeds averaged $15 million annually from 1982, when it opened its doors to the public.
To date, Graceland remains the biggest money spinner among all the properties and investments that Elvis Presley left behind, and in recent times, it is said to generate a huge sum for the city of Memphis every year. A recent estimation pegged its annual revenue at $150 million, but this is yet to be confirmed.
What Were Lisa Marie Presley’s Income Sources?
The major income sources for Lisa Marie Presley during her younger years were the legacies left by her legendary musician father. However, when she came into her own as a musician, she recorded tremendous success in her music career, which raked in a fortune.
Lisa Marie was a Great Success in her Music Career
Lisa Marie started making waves in her music career in 2003 when she dropped her debut album entitled To Whom It May Concern. The album, which hit the music stand on the 8th of April, reached #5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Two months later, in June, it was certified gold. The singer’s debut album’s success meant loads of income, and that marked the beginning of greater things to come in her music career.
It is important to note that all the lyrics in the album were written by Lisa Maria, with the exception of “The Road Between,” which she co-wrote with Gus Black. In a bid to promote her debut album, Presley staged a concert in the UK, which raked in additional funds. Following this, her single “Lights Out” charted on Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 at #18, and on the UK chart, it attained #16.
On the 5th of April 2005, Lisa Marie Presley’s second album, Now What, was released. Following its release, it wasted no time in charting on Billboard 200 albums at #9. Lisa Maria co-wrote 10 of the tracks with other songwriters and did covers of the Ramones’ track “Here Today and Gone Tomorrow.” Her first single was a cover of Don Henley’s song “Dirty Laundry” (it went on to hit # 36 on the Billboard 100 AC singles chart).
Between 2005 and 2012, when she dropped her third studio album, Lisa Maria released many singles and did major collaborations with some of the A-listers in the music industry. During this period, she raised a lot of funds that were channeled towards charitable courses in the United States.
We must not forget to mention the single “In the Ghetto,” which she dropped in August 2007. The original version of the track was done by Elvis in 1969, but the new one featured Lisa Maria in a duet with her iconic dad. The video attained #1 on the iTunes sales, and on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 singles chart, it reached #16. This particular single generated a lot of proceeds that went into the New Orleans-based Presley Place Transitional Housing Campus.
Lisa Maria’s third and last album, Storm & Grace, dropped on the 15th of May 2012, and it was the production credit of Grammy and Oscar award-winning producer T Bone Burnett. Since then, a compilation of Elvis’ gospel songs has been produced, and it featured duets between father and daughter.
Graceland Generated a lot of Funds as a Tourist Attraction Center
As mentioned earlier, Graceland was another money spinner for Lisa Maria after it became a tourist attraction center in 1982.
Though Elvis Presley was a veritable cash cow during his lifetime, he was known for lavish spending habits that ate up most of his fortune. We are yet to mention his shortsighted deal-making practices that left his finances messed up after he was gone.
However, his ex-wife and Lisa Maria’s mother, Priscilla, went on to found what she dubbed Elvis Presley Enterprises, which turned the family mansion into a thriving tourist attraction that later became a money spinner.
Though the lockdown orchestrated by the COVID-19 pandemic made the business suffer many losses, it bounced back after things returned to normal. A document obtained in November 2022 revealed that Lisa Maria was earning $4,361 monthly remuneration from Graceland as staff at that time. It didn’t reveal what she was earning before the advent of the coronavirus, and many have reasoned that it would be much bigger. However, in 2022, she made $104k monthly from Elvis Enterprises.
All these were after Elvis’ estate was sold to CKX (the American entertainment company that owns the American Idol TV show). The deal left Lisa with a paltry 15 percent stake in her father’s estate; thus, she could only receive 15 percent of the total income from the business.
“Elvis Through His Daughter’s Eyes” Exhibit
In February 2012, three decades after Graceland became a tourist attraction center, Lisa Maria decided to boost its income generation powers by launching a side exhibit called “Elvis Through His Daughter’s Eyes.”
This particular exhibit formed part of the Graceland VIP Tour featuring a total of 200 precious items assembled by Lisa Maria Presley and the staff members of Graceland Archives.
It is a kind of personal exhibit that examines Lisa Maria’s childhood experience and growing up under the watch of a famous father. The items on display include family mementos, toys, home movies, and more.
Aircraft Lisa Marie Exhibit
Another special exhibit at Graceland is the aircraft dubbed “The Lisa Marie.” This particular plane was procured by Elvis Presley in November 1975. It is a converted Convair 880 jet, which he spent over $1 million refurbishing; the aircraft served as the music superstar’s main transport on tours.
In addition to “The Lisa Marie,” another of Elvis’ aircraft, Hound Dog II, is also on display at Graceland, and together, they generate a lot of income for the tourist attraction center.
The Details of Lisa Maria’s Inheritance From Elvis
After Elvis Presley died in 1977, the legendary musician made huge provisions for his only child, Lisa Maria, in his last will and testament.
Lisa Maria, who was then nine, was named as the beneficiary of her father’s fortune, including Graceland and the other parts of the singer’s estate. Though Elvis was one hell of a profligate spender, he still managed to leave some funds, up to $5 million, for his only child.
However, some sources claimed the total money was reduced to $1 million after Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ longtime manager, bilked him. The source also claimed that various estate taxes, debts, and fees contributed to the reduction of the initial $5 million left to Lisa Maria.
Because Lisa Maria was still a minor when she lost her dad, the role of executor was given to her mother, Priscilla, who did a good job of turning the musician’s estate into a money-making venture, and by the time Lisa Maria came into her inheritance in 1990, the money was said to be in excess of $100 million which value is more than double if converted into today’s rate.
It is important to note that Priscilla Presley was not the original trustee; it was Elis’ dad, Vernon Presley, who was appointed executor and trustee when the iconic rock musician died on the 16th of August 1977. The trust was to benefit Vernon, Minnie Mae Presley (Elvis’ grandmother), and Lisa Marie. After Vernon Presley’s demise in 1979, Priscilla was named as a trustee and executor in addition to Joseph Hanks (the Presleys’ accountant) and the Memphis-based National Bank of Commerce.
Eventually, Minnie Mae Presley died in 1980, and her demise made Lisa Maria Presley the sole surviving beneficiary of the trust.
In addition to Elvis’ estate, Lisa Maria also got her father’s costume cars, awards, and several other prized possessions.
Who has Ownership of the Royalties to Elvis’ Music?
The Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) owns the royalties on sales of his recordings made after 1973, while RCA owns all artist’s royalties for everything Elvis recorded up to 1973. This is why.
It happened that Col. Tom Parker, who was managing the singer’s affairs in 1973, convinced him to sell off his entire catalog up to that year for $5.4 million. This decision was made in a bid to pay off a huge gambling debt that accrued from Elvis’ ostentatious lifestyle of staking huge amounts at the gambling table.
As a result, Lisa Marie does not own the artist’s royalties on sales of recordings made before March 1973. However, the Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) does own his artist’s royalties on sales of recordings made after that date, which still earns them a hefty sum.
Who inherits Lisa Marie Presley’s Estate?
After the death of Lisa Maria, her remaining 15% stake in Graceland was expected to be inherited by her three children. In a 2016 amendment made by the late female singer, she named her older kids as trustees to the estate while she removed Priscilla.
However, Priscilla didn’t take it lightly as she went to court to challenge the amendment. Eventually, Lisa Maria’s son, Benjamin, committed suicide in 2020, which left Riley Keough (Lisa’s oldest daughter) as the estate’s sole trustee.
After Priscilla filed a lawsuit challenging the amendment her daughter made to her last will and testament, the family reached a settlement agreement on the 16th of May, 2023, but decided to keep the details away from the prying eyes of the media and the general public.
Lisa Maria’s three surviving daughters are Riley Keough and the twins Harper and Finley Lockwood, who are the beneficiaries of her will. A short while after Lisa’s demise, it came to the fore that she had three different insurance policies set up for her daughters. The policies were expected to pay the three girls $35 million in total.
How Did Marie Presley End up in Debt?
How Did Marie Presley End up in Debt?
According to Marie Presley, her then-manager, Barry Siegel, dwindled the 100 million she received as inheritance in 1993 to $14,000 by 2016. She made this known in a 2018 lawsuit she filed against Barry Siegel for the mismanagement of her finances.
The same lawsuit also revealed that Lisa Maria racked up credit card debt up to the tune of $500,000. The female singer’s odyssey to financial ruin reportedly started in 2005 and kept deteriorating till everything fizzled out. An accumulation of the money she lavished was said to be more than $100 million, though this was never confirmed.
Again, during her 2021 divorce from her musician husband, Michael Lockwood, Lisa Maria claimed to be in debt up to the tune of $16 million. The root of her financial woes was later traced to a 2005 deal she made to sell an 85 percent stake in the Elvis Presley Estate (EPE); the buyer was the entertainment company CKX, also known as the owner of the “American Idol” TV show.
Following the execution of the deal, Lisa Maria Presley was paid $50 million in addition to stock in CKX. She also got to keep a 15% interest in EPE, including the title to Graceland. As fate would have it, Apollo Global Management bought CKX for $509 million.
All the money that Lisa received from the deal was later squandered between her and Siegel, whom she claimed put his financial interest before her own. According to the female musician, Siegel purchased a $9 million English home leveraging the trust’s fund, yet he put that stake at high risk when he couldn’t pay a $6.7 million balloon payment.
Filing a counter-lawsuit against Lisa Maria Presley, Siegel claimed that it was her own missteps that caused her financial issues. According to the litigation, Elvis’ daughter had squandered her inheritance two times in the past, and it was all due to her spendthrift ways.