Rock legend Jerry Lee Lewis is still alive, despite reports earlier today to the contrary, Entertainment Weekly reports. A representative for Lewis, who’s currently (still) 87, issued a statement today contradicting an earlier report from TMZ, which stated that he had died today. TMZ has issued an apology for the report.
Lewis suffered a stroke back in 2019, but was apparently feeling optimistic enough about his recovery a year later that he announced a forthcoming album of gospel music. Earlier this year, he was honored with a spot in the Country Music Hall Of Fame, although he reportedly declined to attend the ceremony on the recommendation of his doctors. Lewis helped more-or-less create the sound of mainstream rock music in the 1950s, charting such pioneering hits as “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls Of Fire.”
His career was massively derailed in the latter part of the decade, though, when it was revealed that he had married his 13-year-old cousin once-removed, Myra Gale Brown. Although the ‘60s were a fallow period for Lewis, largely due to the ensuing scandal, he eventually re-emerged as a country star, regularly charting with hits like “Would You Take Another Chance On Me.” He’s since been granted numerous Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Academy’s Hall Of Fame, and, despite the aforementioned personal scandals, is generally held up today as one of the founding fathers of rock ‘n’ roll. Lee’s publicist, Zach Farnum, said that TMZ had been misled today by “an anonymous tip,” confirming of Lee that “he’s alive” in Memphis in a statement.