Axl Rose pays tribute to friend Lisa Marie Presley: "I wanted her to be happy"

Axl Rose onstage and Lisa Marie Presley on the red carpet
(Image credit: Axl Rose: Mark Horton | Lisa Marie Presley: Joe Scarnici)

Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose has paid tribute to Lisa Marie Presley, whose death was announced late last week.  

In a statement given to People magazine, Rose spoke of his sorrow at Presley's death, confirming that he had comforted the singer after the death of her son, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020.

"I will miss my friend Lisa," wrote Rose. "Her passing, just as her son's, or as a kid, her father's, doesn't seem real. Lisa loved her family, all her children. My heart goes out to them.

"Her son's passing was shocking, tragic and devastating. It was something that, at a point, you obviously didn't want to bring up but awkwardly would in an effort to let her know you cared and were thinking about her, about them, and to be of any comfort one could, which she appreciated."

Rose went on to reveal that he attempted to keep Presley positive in the wake of Keough's death, trading "jokes, news articles and lots of animal vids."

"I wanted her to be happy, to feel good about things, at least as much as one could under the circumstances," wrote Rose. "And really, with the closeness of their relationship, one could hope – but truthfully, it didn't seem, at least without some real time passing, a reasonable reality."

Guns N' Roses also shared a short tribute on their Twitter account, posting the message "Rest in peace my friend" next to a picture of Presley onstage. 

Presley, who had attended the Golden Globe Awards ceremony on Tuesday last week, was found unresponsive in her California home two days later after suffering a cardiac arrest. 


Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.