Jerry Lee Lewis dies at 87

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Jerry Lee Lewis, a trailblazer of rock and roll and rockabilly music, has died. He was 87 years old.

A publicist for the singer confirmed that he died on Oct. 28.

Lewis shot to fame in the 1950s with his 1957 hit “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On“ and continued to captivate fans with songs like “Great Balls of Fire,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” and “Me and Bobby McGee.”

The singer, whose music melded genres like blues, gospel, and country, became known for his outrageous piano style, which included playing the instrument with his fists, feet, and elbows.

“He was there at the beginning, with Elvis, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, and the rest,” the statement from his publicist said. “And watched them fade away one by one till it was him alone to bear witness, and sing of the birth of rock ‘n’ roll.”

In the statement about Lewis’s death, his publicist noted that the singer experienced various illnesses and injuries in the last few years of his life.

Last week, Lewis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, though a representative shared in a post on Instagram that he was “too ill with the flu” to attend the ceremony.

Lewis also shared a message in the post writing of his disappointment over not being able to attend the ceremony in person.

“I tried everything I could to build up the strength to come today — I’ve looked so forward to it since I found out about it earlier this year,” he wrote in part. “Through over 60 years singing music professionally, country has always been the genre where I felt the most at home — between my fellow artists, the radio and the industry players — some of them anyway. I am honored to be going into that Hall of Fame rotunda with some of my heroes — Hank Williams Sr., Jimmie Rodgers and the like — not to mention so many amazing friends who have been so good to me through the years.”

Lewis is survived by his wife, children, sister, and cousin, as well as grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.


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