Musician Jerry Lee Lewisthe pioneer of rock and roll, died at the age of 87, his publicist confirmed to the media.
Although the cause of death is unknown, the musician suffered several health problems since 2019 after a stroke that forced him to cancel all his concerts and public appearances.
Last Wednesday, TMZ magazine erroneously reported Lewis’ death, raising the alarm about his health.
Born in Louisiana in 1935, Lewis began playing a piano which his father, a carpenter, acquired after mortgaging his house. Inspired by African-American musicians who performed in bars in that part of the United States, the young man formed his own style, which he debuted at a very young age.
Just as Elvis Presley was starting his career, Lewis traveled to Memphis to record his first songs, which spawned hits like “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Great Balls of Fire” and “Breathless,” for which he became famous. the successful music industry of that time.
In 1956, during a visit to the Sun Records studio, Lewis recorded with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, a session that earned the nickname “Million Dollar Quartet”.
His fame in the late 1950s was such that he embarked on an international tour that took him to Europe, although he then began to star in various scandals, such as the one in 1958 when he set fire to a piano when he found out that he was to be the opening act for Chuck Berry , and not the other way around.
That same year, his UK tour had to be cut short when the media reported that he had married his 13-year-old cousin Myra Gale Brown, who was also the daughter of one of his bass players.
The relationship received harsh criticism that led to radio and television censorship, as well as the cancellation of shows. The movie “Great Balls of Fire!”, starring Dennis Quaid and Winona Ryder, immortalized that period of his life in 1989.
But his career did not stop there. In 1959, he appeared in the film “High School Confidential”, for which he played its main theme, and in 1964 he returned to critical acclaim with the album “Live at the Star Club”.
His energetic, freewheeling and boisterous way of playing the piano was his signature, but Lewis also became interested in gospel and country in the 1970s, when he left rock and roll, a genre that was beginning to decline. against original songs and disco music, music.
During this time, controversies and scandals were still present in the life of the musician, who did not hide his addiction to narcotic drugs, and among his unusual episodes he even crashed his vehicle into the gates of Graceland, Elvis Presley’s mansion.
He was married seven times, but the deaths of two of his wives – Jaren Gunn Lewis, who drowned in a swimming pool in 1982, and Shawn Michelle Stephens Lewis, from an overdose in 1984 – received intense media attention and ended up tarnishing his reputation.
He received an honorary award at the 2005 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
With information from EFE