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Rock 'N' Roll Legend Jerry Lee Lewis Dies At 87

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Source: mega

Oct. 28 2022, Published 1:29 p.m. ET

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Rock 'n' roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis has passed away at age 87, has learned.

The iconic musician is best known for his hits like Great Balls of Fire and Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On and was among rockstars like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard. Lewis ushered in a groundbreaking sound, unlike anything the public masses had heard before.

Born in Louisiana, Lewis drew inspiration from rock 'n' roll's origins that combined blues and brass. Lewis was known for his signature sound that incorporated his pianist background in swinging, upbeat melodies that bridged a gap between rockabilly and what is now considered rock 'n' roll.

"There was rockabilly. There was Elvis. But there was no pure rock 'n 'roll before Jerry Lee Lewis kicked in the door," Lewis once said of his soulful renditions.

Lewis' cause of death has yet to be announced.

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Like most rockstars, Lewis' career was not without scandals and he dabbled in a nefarious lifestyle that nearly ended his career.

While Elvis had to put music on hold after being drafted into the army, Lewis had the opportunity to overtake the King's fame as his own. However, a jaw-dropping bombshell prevented that from happening.

While on tour in England in 1958, the media learned a damning secret life the rockstar was living: he was married to two women at the same time — but not to just any women. One of his wives was reportedly a 13-year-old, but that was not the only shocking tidbit surrounding their relationship.

His teen bride was also Lewis' cousin, Myra Gale Brown.

In addition to that scandal, the musician was still legally married to his previous wife when he exchanged nuptials with the minor.

Upon learning of the news, Lewis' tour was canceled and he was blacklisted from radio stations. The marriages were not the last for Lewis, who would go on to ask several other women for their hand.

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"I probably would have rearranged my life a little bit different, but I never did hide anything from people," Lewis told the Wall Street Journal in 2014. When asked about his infamous marriage, he simply said, "I just went on with my life as usual."

Lewis continued down a path riddled with alcohol and drug abuse, legal issues, and health concerns. Two of his marriages came to an abrupt end when his wives died an early death.

"If I was still married to Jerry, I'd probably be dead by now," Brown said on her former marriage to her cousin. Brown divorced Lewis in the early 1970s and alleged that she suffered mental and physical abuse at the hands of Lewis, which nearly drove her to take her own life.

Despite his scandals at the time, Lewis was able to reinvent himself in the 1960s.

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Long after his most famous hits were released, the music industry eventually forgave Lewis for his moral wrongdoings.

In the 1975 book, The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, Lewis recalled an opportunity extended to him by a deejay, which served as a turning point for his career.

"This time I said, 'Look, man, let's get together and draw a line on this stuff - a peace treaty you know," Lewis explained on the deal that he would sing country songs for the radio and keep his rock music to live performances.

Lewis didn't keep up his end of the bargain for long, though, and another scandal found him while he performed at the Grand Ole Opry in 1973. He broke two infamous rules: no swearing and no non-country songs.

"I am a rock and rollin', country-and-western, rhythm and blues-singin' motherf-----," Lewis told the audience.

The rockstar continued to make music — and millions — while personal tragedies captured him over the decades, including the loss of two children, Steve and Jerry Jr.



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