Riley Keough paid tribute to her late mother Lisa Marie Presley after her death at the age of 54, via her husband Ben Smith-Peterson. The eldest daughter of the Now What singer, 33, wrote a letter on behalf of herself, late brother Benjamin and twin sisters Harper and Finley, 14, at the Graceland memorial, when Ben read for the audience.
“I’m going to read something Riley wrote. A letter to my mama — thank you for being my mother in this life. I am eternally grateful to have spent 33 years with you. I’m certain I chose the best mother for me in this world and I knew that as far back as I remember you and I remember everything,” Ben read of his wife Riley’s words. The pair wed in 2015 in an intimate Napa Valley affair when Riley was 25 years old.
“I remember you giving me baths as a baby and I remember you driving me in my car seat listening to Aretha Franklin. I remember the way you would cuddle me at night, and the way you smelled. I remember you taking me for ice cream after school in Florida. I remember you singing me and my brother lullabies at night. I remember how you would lay with us until we fell asleep,” she also wrote in the emotional letter.
“I remember how it felt to be loved by the most loving mother I’ve ever known. I remember how safe it felt to be in your arms. I remember that feeling as a child and two weeks ago on your couch. Thank you for showing me that love is the most important things in this life. I hope I can love my daughter the way you loved me,” she also penned, making the first public reference to the child she welcomed with husband Ben and seemingly seen with as she arrived in Memphis on Jan. 21.
“The way you loved my brother and sisters, thank you for giving me heart, strength, empathy, and courage, my sense of humor, my manners, my temper, my tenacity. I’m a product of your heart. My brother is a product of your heart, my sisters are a product of your heart. We are you, you are us…I hope you finally know how loved you were here. Thank you for trying so hard for us. If I didn’t tell you every day, thank you.”
Ahead of the service, Riley had yet to speak publicly about the death — breaking her silence on social media two days earlier with a sweet throwback photo of her and her mom. In the childhood snap, a young Riley can be seen holding a bouquet of flowers as she looks up at her smiling mother, who beamed back down at her first-born child. The Daisy Jones & the Six star simply captioned the photo with a heart emoji.
Riley was present at the hospital shortly after her mother was admitted to following “full cardiac arrest” at her Calabasas area home. Lisa was initially found by Riley’s father, her ex-husband Danny Keough, who administered CPR. After a second heart attack in hospital, Lisa Marie sadly passed away at West Hills Medical Center in Los Angeles, California on Jan. 12.
Lisa’s passing was confirmed by her mother, and Riley’s grandmother, Priscilla Presley, that same day. “It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla said to AP on Jan. 12, just hours after Lisa was taken to hospital. “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. At this time there will be no further comment.”
In a recent interview, Riley reflected on how her mother inspired her while she filmed her new Prime Video series Daisy Jones & The Six.”My mother is certainly an inspiration to me,” she said to PEOPLE magazine in Dec. 2022. “I was raised by somebody who did their own thing and didn’t really care what other people thought. She was definitely inspirational to me,” she also said of her mother, with whom she shared a close bond.