Rock ‘n’ roll musician Jerry Lee Lewis is alive, his rep has said, after the “Great Balls of Fire” singer became the victim of a false death report.
A report from US publication TMZ initially said the 87-year-old had died today (26 October) at home in Memphis.
However, an update from the outlet said that: “Earlier today we were told by someone claiming to be Lewis’ rep that he had passed. That turned out not to be the case.”
Lewis’s representatives confirmed the situation to Page Six, saying: “He’s alive. TMZ reported erroneously off of a bulls*** anonymous tip.”
Considered one of the pioneers of rock’n’roll, the piano player was born on 29 September, 1935, in Ferriday, Louisiana.
“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On”, released in April 1957, gave Lewis his first hit as a solo artist. The follow-up, “Great Balls of Fire”, was an even bigger success and became his signature tune.
Released in December 1957, it went on to be used prominently in films such as 1986’s Top Gun and this year’s sequel Top Gun: Maverick. The song’s title gave its name to a 1989 biopic, which starred Dennis Quaid as Lewis.
Last Sunday, Lewis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. According to a post on the musician’s official Facebook page he was “too ill with the flu to attend the ceremony.” Longtime friend and collaborator Kris Kristofferson accepted the honour in his place before driving to Memphis to present the award to Lewis in person.
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