Jerry Lee Lewis, the rock ‘n’ roll legend, has suffered what is being called a “minor” stroke, and is being cared for in a Memphis hospital. The “Great Balls of Fire” singer, 83, known by the nickname “The Killer” is expected to make a full recovery.
TMZ broke the news that Lewis had a stroke at home on Thursday night, and was taken to the hospital with his family by his side. The singer and piano playing icon is not canceling any of his concert dates, and “looks forward to getting back into the studio soon to record a gospel record and on the road performing live for his fans.”
Lewis’ next concert date is at the end of April for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and his rep says he will be there. Despite being in his 80s, the musician still reportedly puts on an energetic show.
“We’re just asking for prayers and support and privacy.”
Lewis has been married seven times, according to The Daily Mail, including once to his first cousin, Myra Gale Brown. In 1976, the musician was arrested outside of Elvis’ Graceland estate, where he arrived drunk and reportedly intended to shoot the fellow singer.
Jerry Lee Lewis, best known for his 1950s rockabilly piano hits "Great Balls of Fire" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," has suffered a stroke, his Facebook page says https://t.co/O3kKH2xzpX pic.twitter.com/KynGnVSvAS— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 2, 2019
People Magazine says that though Lewis has cut back on his touring schedule in the last few years, he still loved to put on concerts, and did a show on February 16 in Greenville, South Carolina.
Lewis has long said that it’s continuing to perform which keeps him going.
“It depends on the crowd. I feel the crowd out on the first song. I want to look into their eyes and see the emotion. Sometimes the commotion, too! It always works out good either way; I give them what they want. I just love music. I’m a musical person. I live for my music.”
The Killer explains that he has a small studio at his home where he continues to record and also listen to his old records, saying that it soothes him.
Jerry Lee Lewis has been playing the piano for over 70 years, having started at 9-years-old back in Louisiana, says CNN. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a trailblazer back in 1986, with an introduction that set him apart from other musicians of his generation.
“He pounded the piano with such abandon that it’s a wonder it didn’t come apart. He is a defiant, reckless, indefatigable wild man that can rock you into oblivion.”