Jerry Lee Lewis

American rock 'n' roll musician (1935–2022)

Jerry Lee Lewis (September 29, 1935 – October 28, 2022) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. His best known singles were "Great Balls of Fire", "Breathless", and "High School Confidential". He was honored in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2022.

Jerry Lee Lewis
Lewis at Credicard Hall in September 2009
Background information
Birth nameJerry Lee Lewis
Also known asThe Killer
Born(1935-09-29)September 29, 1935
Ferriday, Louisiana, U.S.
DiedOctober 28, 2022(2022-10-28) (aged 87)
Nesbit, Mississippi, U.S.
GenresRock and roll, country, rockabilly, blues, Honky tonk, gospel
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, pianist
InstrumentsVocals, piano, guitar
Years active1954–2022
LabelsSun, Mercury, Sire/Warner Bros, MCA



Like other music players who were known by many people around the same time as him Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins, Lewis sang gospel and country music before becoming well known for rock and roll. He was known for his wild style of piano playing and songs like "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" and "Great Balls of Fire".

Lewis got a career boost, when he performed on The Steve Allen Show. His first son was named Steve Allen Lewis, as a tribute.

At a time when Lewis was very popular, people found out that his third wife, Myra Gale Brown, was a thirteen-year-old distant cousin of his. People thought this was bad. His career nearly came to an end. In the early 1960s, he made a comeback. Throughout the next two decades he suffered many personal problems, including health problems, and divorce.

On November 22, 1976, Lewis was arrested outside Elvis Presley's Graceland home for trying to shoot him.[1]

Many people think of him as an icon and pioneer of popular music.

A 1989 movie, Great Balls of Fire, starring Dennis Quaid and Winona Ryder, is about his life.

Personal life


Lewis was born in Ferriday, Louisiana. He was a cousin of Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Swaggart.

Lewis was married seven times, There were some bigamous marriages and a marriage with his underage cousin.[2] He had six children during his marriages.

When Jerry Lee Lewis was 16, he married Dorothy Barton, the daughter of a preacher.[3] Their union lasted for 20 months, from February 1952 to October 1953.[4]

He preferred young girls, and several of his marriages were of doubtful legality. His third marriage was to 13-year-old Myra Gale Brown, his first cousin once removed, on December 12, 1957.[5] It is worth remembering that every state had its own legal system, and what was lawful in Tennessee might not have been lawful in some other states.

Lewis died on October 28, 2022 at his home in Nesbit, Mississippi at the age of 87.[6] At the time of his death, he was recovering from the flu.[7]


  1. Dan Epstein, Richard Bienstock (February 27, 2014). "30 Most Embarrassing Rock-Star Arrests". Rolling Stone.
  2. "Cousin's ex becomes Jerry Lee Lewis's 7th wife". CNN. March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  3. Cramer, Richard Ben (March 1, 1984). "The Strange and Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis". Rolling Stone. p. 4. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  4. Jerome, Jim (April 24, 1978). "Fame, Tragedy and Fame Again: Jerry Lee Lewis Has Been Through Great Balls of Fire, Otherwise Known as Hell". People. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  5. Bonomo 2009, pp. 19
  6. Jerry Lee Lewis, Rock Pioneer and ‘Great Balls of Fire’ Singer, Dies at 87
  7. Jerry Lee Lewis, 'Too Ill' For HoF Induction, Honored By Kris Kristofferson

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