Read about Jerry Lee Lewis net worth, death, age, wife, children, height, family, parents, salary, movies, tv shows, songs and cause of death as well as other information you need to know.
Jerry Lee Lewis was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Nicknamed the Killer, he has been described as “rock n’ roll’s first great wild man and one of the most influential pianists of the 20th century.” A pioneer of rock and roll and rockabilly music, Lewis made his first recordings in 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis. “Crazy Arms” sold 300,000 copies in the South, but it was his 1957 hit “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” that shot Lewis to fame worldwide. He followed this with the major hits “Great Balls of Fire”, “Breathless”, and “High School Confidential”. However, his rock and roll career faltered in the wake of his marriage to Myra Gale Brown, his 13-year-old cousin.
His popularity quickly eroded following the scandal and with few exceptions such as a cover of Ray Charles’s “What’d I Say”, he did not have much chart success in the early 1960s. His live performances at this time were increasingly wild and energetic. His 1964 live album Live at the Star Club, Hamburg is regarded by music journalists and fans as one of the wildest and greatest live rock albums ever. In 1968, Lewis made a transition into country music and had hits with songs such as “Another Place, Another Time”. This reignited his career, and throughout the late 1960s and 1970s he regularly topped the country-western charts; throughout his seven-decade career, Lewis has had 30 songs reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Country and Western Chart.
His No. 1 country hits included “To Make Love Sweeter for You”, “There Must Be More to Love Than This”, “Would You Take Another Chance on Me” and “Me and Bobby McGee”. Lewis’s successes continued throughout the decades and he embraced his rock and roll past with songs such as a cover of The Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace” and Mack Vickery’s “Rockin’ My Life Away”. In the 21st century, Lewis continues to tour around the world and still releases new albums. His 2006 album Last Man Standing is his bestselling release to date, with over a million copies sold worldwide. This was followed by Mean Old Man in 2010, which has received some of the best sales of Lewis’s career.
He has a dozen gold records in both rock and country. He has won four Grammy awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and two Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. Lewis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and his pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2022. In 1989, his life was chronicled in the movie Great Balls of Fire, starring Dennis Quaid.
In 2003, Rolling Stone listed his box set All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology number 242 on their list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. In 2004, they ranked him No. 24 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Lewis is the last surviving member of Sun Records’ Million Dollar Quartet and the album Class of ’55, which also included Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Elvis Presley. Music critic Robert Christgau has said of Lewis: “His drive, his timing, his offhand vocal power, his unmistakable boogie-plus piano, and his absolute confidence in the face of the void make Jerry Lee the quintessential rock and roller.”
|Jerry Lee Lewis
|Singer, Songwriter, Pianist
Jerry Lee Lewis was born on September 29, 1935, until his death on October 28, 2022,at the age of 87 years. Lewis is the son of Elmo Kidd Lewis Sr. and Mary “Mamie” Herron Lewis in Ferriday, Louisiana. He grew up in an impoverished farming family in eastern Louisiana. In his youth, he began playing the piano with two of his cousins, Mickey Gilley (later a popular country music singer) and Jimmy Swaggart (later a popular televangelist). His parents mortgaged their farm to buy him a piano. Lewis was influenced by a piano-playing older cousin, Carl McVoy (who later recorded with Bill Black’s Combo), the radio, and the sounds from Haney’s Big House, a black juke joint across the tracks.
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Lewis made his first public performance of his career on November 19, 1949, playing with a country and western band at a car dealership in Ferriday. The hit of his set was a cover of R&B artist Sticks McGhee’s “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee”. On the live album By Request, More of the Greatest Live Show on Earth, Lewis is heard naming Moon Mullican as an artist who inspired him. His mother enrolled him at the Southwest Bible Institute in Waxahachie, Texas, so that he could sing evangelical songs exclusively. When Lewis daringly played a boogie-woogie rendition of “My God Is Real” at a church assembly, it ended his association with the school the same night.
Pearry Green, then president of the student body, related how during a talent show Lewis played some “worldly” music. The next morning, the dean of the school called Lewis and Green into his office to expel them. After that incident, he went home and started playing at clubs in and around Ferriday and Natchez, Mississippi, becoming part of the burgeoning new rock and roll sound and cutting his first demo recording in 1952 for Cosimo Matassa in New Orleans. Around 1955, he traveled to Nashville, where he played in clubs and attempted to build interest, but was turned down by the Grand Ole Opry, as he was already at the Louisiana Hayride country stage and radio show in Shreveport.
Jerry Lee Lewis’s marriage life: first to the seventh wife
Jerry Lee Lewis has been married seven times, including bigamous marriages and a marriage with his underage cousin. He had six children during his marriage. In 1962, his son Steve Allen Lewis drowned in a swimming pool accident at age three, and in 1973, Jerry Lee Lewis Jr. died at the age of 19 when he overturned the Jeep he was driving. When he was 16, he married Dorothy Barton, the daughter of a preacher. Their union lasted for 20 months, from February 1952 to October 1953. His second marriage in September 1953, to Jane Mitchum, was of dubious validity because it occurred 23 days before his divorce from Barton was final. After four years, Lewis filed for divorce in October 1957. The couple had two children: Jerry Lee Lewis Jr. (1954–1973) and Ronnie Guy Lewis (b. 1956).
His third marriage was to 13-year-old Myra Gale Brown, his first cousin once removed, on December 12, 1957. However, his divorce from Jane Mitchum was not finalized before the ceremony took place, so he remarried Brown on June 4, 1958. In 1970, Brown filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery and abuse, charging that she had been “subject to every type of physical and mental abuse imaginable.” They had two children: Steve Allen Lewis (1959–1962) and Phoebe Allen Lewis (b. 1963).
Jerry Lee Lewis’ fourth marriage was to Jaren Elizabeth Gunn Pate (October 1971 – June 8, 1982). Pate drowned in a swimming pool at the home of a friend with whom she was staying, several weeks before divorce proceedings could be finalized. They had one daughter, Lori Lee Lewis (b. 1972). Mary Kathy “K.K.” Jones of San Antonio, Texas, testified in court during Lewis’ income tax evasion trial in 1984 that she lived with him from 1980 to 1983. His fifth marriage, to Shawn Stephens, lasted 77 days, from June to August 1983, ending with her death. Journalist Richard Ben Cramer alleged that Lewis abused her and may have been responsible for her death, but the allegations have never been verified.
His sixth marriage, to Kerrie McCarver, lasted 21 years, from April 1984 to June 2005. They have one child: Jerry Lee Lewis III (b. 1987). In 1993, Lewis moved to Ireland with his family in what was suggested (but denied) to be a move to avoid issues with the Internal Revenue Service. He lived in a rented house on Westminster Road in Foxrock, Dublin, and during his time there was sued by the German company Neue Constantin Film Production GmbH for failure to appear at a concert in Munich in 1993. Lewis returned to the US in 1997 after his tax issues had been resolved by Irish promoter Kieran Cavanagh.
Jerry Lee Lewis lived on a ranch in Nesbit, Mississippi, with his family. Lewis married his seventh wife Judith Lewis (née Brown, the ex-wife of the brother of Myra Gale Brown) on March 9, 2012. The next day, Lewis severed business ties with his daughter Phoebe Lewis-Loftin who was his manager and revoked her power of attorney. In 2017, Lewis sued his daughter and her husband Zeke Loftin claiming that she owed him “substantial sums of money”. In the lawsuit, Lewis, his wife Judith Lewis, and his son Jerry Lee Lewis III also claimed Loftin defamed them on Facebook. Lewis-Loftin and her husband counter-sued, claiming Judith Lewis and Jerry Lee Lewis III interfered in the business relationship. In April 2019, U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers ruled that most of the claims were barred by a three-year statute of limitations except the defamation claims.
As a teenager, Lewis studied at the Southwest Bible Institute in Waxahachie, Texas, before being thrown out for daring to play a boogie-woogie version of “My God Is Real”, and that early incident foreshadowed his lifelong conflict over his faith in God and his love of playing “the devil’s music”. Lewis had a recorded argument with Sam Phillips during the recording session for “Great Balls of Fire”, a song he initially refused to record because he considered it blasphemous (“How can… How can the devil save souls? What are you talkin’ about?”
He asks Phillips during one heated exchange.) During the famous Million Dollar Quartet jam involving Lewis, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash, they performed several gospel songs. Lewis’s biographer Rick Bragg explains that part of the reason the recording only features Lewis and Elvis singing is because “only Elvis and Jerry Lee was raised in the Assembly of God”, and “‘Johnny and Carl didn’t really know the words… they was Baptists’, Lewis said, and therefore deprived.”
In the 1990 documentary The Jerry Lee Lewis Story, Lewis said to the interviewer, “The Bible doesn’t even speak of religion. No word of religion is even in the Bible. Sanctification! Are you sanctified? Have you been saved? See, I was a good preacher, I know my Bible? I find myself falling short of the glory of God.” Gospel music was a staple of his performing repertoire. After a string of hit country albums, he decided to record a gospel album for the first time in 1970.
On November 22, 1976, Lewis was arrested outside Elvis Presley’s Graceland home for allegedly intending to shoot him. Lewis almost killed his own bass player, Butch Owens, on September 29, 1976 (Lewis’s 41st birthday), when a .357 Magnum accidentally went off in his hand. In Rick Bragg’s 2014 authorized biography, Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, Lewis said that the reclusive Presley had been trying to reach him and finally did on November 23, imploring him to “come out to the house.”
Lewis replied that he would if he had time, but that he was busy trying to get his father, Elmo, out of jail in Tunica for driving under the influence. Later that night, Lewis was at a Memphis nightclub called the Vapors drinking champagne when he was given a gun. Lewis suddenly remembered that Elvis wanted to see him and, climbing aboard his new Lincoln Continental with the loaded pistol on the dash and a bottle of champagne under his arm, tore off for Graceland. Just before three o’clock in the morning, Lewis accidentally smashed into the famous Graceland gates.
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Presley’s astonished cousin Harold Lloyd was manning the gate and watched Lewis attempt to hurl the champagne bottle out the car window, not realizing the window was rolled up, smashing both. Bragg reports that Lewis denies ever intending to do Presley harm, that the two were friends, but “Elvis, watching on the closed-circuit television, told guards to call the police. The Memphis police found the gun in the car and put Lewis, protesting, hollering, threatening them, away in handcuffs.”
Lewis said, “The cops asked Elvis, ‘What do you want us to do? And Elvis told ’em, ‘Lock him up.’ That hurt my feelings. To be scared of me — knowin’ me the way he did — was ridiculous.” Lewis was charged with carrying a pistol and public drunkenness. Released on a $250 bond, his defiant mugshot was wired around the world. Presley himself died at Graceland eight months later.
In 1979, the IRS seized property from Lewis to compensate a $274,000 tax debt. The property included several automobiles, a tractor, five motorcycles, jewelry, musical instruments, home entertainment equipment and firearms. In 1980, an auction was held, but only 150 potential bidders showed up. The auction amassed $91,382, less than a third of the debt. In 1984, he was found innocent of evading taxes. However, the next year, the IRS seized property from Lewis’ ranch in Nesbit, Mississippi. In 1988, Lewis filed for bankruptcy, petitioning that he was more than $3 million in debt, including $2 million he owed to the IRS.
Jerry Lee Lewis cause of death
On February 28, 2019, Jerry Lee Lewis suffered a minor stroke in Memphis. He fully recovered, but had to cancel upcoming appearances. Lewis died on the morning of October 28, 2022. Lewis’s death came just two days after news sources falsely reported that he had died on October 26. He was 87 years old. A cause of death was not immediately available, however.
Jerry Lee Lewis net worth
How much was Jerry Lee Lewis worth? Jerry Lee Lewis net worth was estimated at around $15 million. His main source of income was from his primary work as a singer, songwriter and panist. Jerry Lee Lewis’s salary per month and other career earnings were over $2 million dollars annually. His remarkable achievements earned him some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy car trips. He is one of the richest and most influential businessmen in the United States. Jerry Lee Lewis stood at an appealing height of 1.75m and had a good body weight wich suited his personality.