Rock ‘n’ roll and country music legend Jerry Lee Lewis — otherwise known as “The Killer” — died on Friday, Oct. 28 ,2022, at the age of 87 at his home in Mississippi.
According to his publicity team, the singer had recently been dealing with a bout of the flu, which forced him to miss his Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Nashville earlier this month.
Although Lewis couldn’t attend the ceremony, the honor was accepted by Kris Kristofferson on Lewis’ behalf, and Kristofferson traveled to Mississippi to personally give him his medallion. In what would become his final note to fans on social media, Lewis expressed his gratitude for being inducted into the longstanding institution.
Lewis began his career in 1956 when he auditioned for Sun Records in Memphis, recording two songs with producer Jack Clement. He went on to become a session musician for other young artists at the time, including Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. He was soon introduced to Sun artist Elvis Presley, and he, Presley, Cash and Perkins once shared a famous jam session in the studio, which was released as the Million Dollar Quartet.
Lewis rose up through the ranks with other legendary artists at the time, releasing hits such as “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Great Balls of Fire” and more. He was famous for his energetic piano playing, often playing the instrument with his foot and kicking his piano bench to the side, earning the nickname “The Killer.”
Lewis’ career included inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986), the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1989), the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and more. He was present of the announcement of his Country Music Hall of Fame induction in May of 2022.
With a career spanning more than 65 years, here’s a look back at a few of the biggest moments of Jerry Lee Lewis’ life and career.
Jerry Lee Lewis Through the Years: Photo Gallery
There’s a whole lotta shakin’ (and more) goin’ on here