Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis died at the age of 87 on Friday, October 28 at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. The legendary Louisiana-born musician was nine years old when he discovered a passion for the piano. At the age of 14, he gave his first public performance. Three years later, he recorded his first demo.
After breaking through in 1956 with Crazy Armsit was in 1957 that the pianist-rocker released his greatest hits, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On and Great Balls of Fire. He is also making history by recording Million Dollar Quartet with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. From the following year, he continued to meet with success with Breathless or High School Confidential. But less than two years after the explosion of his notoriety, in 1958, his career plunged overnight when the press learned that he was married to his thirteen-year-old cousin, when he was 22 and that he is still not divorced from his second wife.
Ten years later, Jerry Lee Lewis made a paying musical shift by launching into country. His career was then revived. In 2006, his album Last Man Standing becomes his best-selling record in the world with over a million copies sold. His next album, Mean Old Manreleased in 2010, is also a hit.
Despite addictions to alcohol and drugs that caused him serious problems with the police but also health problems, Jerry Lee Lewis never stopped music. The controversial American pianist has won 4 Grammy Awards, 2 Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2022, just before his death.