Looking Back on Lisa Marie Presley’s Iconic Graceland Visit with George W. Bush and a Japanese Prime Minister

U.S. President George W. Bush (L-R), Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Lisa Marie Presley and Priscilla Presley stand for photos in front of Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, June 30, 2006.
U.S. President George W. Bush (L-R), Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Lisa Marie Presley and Priscilla Presley stand for photos in front of Elvis Presley’s Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, June 30, 2006.

REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

As the world mourns the sudden death of Lisa Marie Presley, who died of a possible cardiac arrest on Thursday at the age of 54, many are surfacing their favorite memories of the singer-songwriter — like when she welcomed two world leaders to Graceland, including a U.S. president.

The now-historic 2006 trip was something of a going-away present for Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, gifted by President George W. Bush, who knew of Koizumi’s well-documented love of Elvis Presley‘s music.

Together, Lisa Marie and her mother, Priscilla Presley, took the men on a tour of Graceland, marking the first time a sitting U.S. president visited the iconic Memphis property. President Bush was also accompanied by his wife, first lady Laura Bush.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi puts on sunglasses belonging to Elvis Presley as Presley's widow Priscilla Presley, second left, and his daughter Lisa Marie Presley, center, President Bush, second right, and Laura Bush, right, look on during their tour of Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, June 30, 2006.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi puts on sunglasses belonging to Elvis Presley as Presley’s widow Priscilla Presley, second left, and his daughter Lisa Marie Presley, center, President Bush, second right, and Laura Bush, right, look on during their tour of Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, in Memphis, Tenn., Friday, June 30, 2006.

Charles Dharapak/AP Photo

According to reports from the time, Bush gifted Koizumi the Graceland tout and a jukebox loaded with Elvis hits in honor of the Japanese leader’s time in office coming to an end — and to emphasize the close relationship between the two nations.

“This visit here shows that not only am I personally fond of the prime minister, but that the ties between our peoples are very strong as well,” Bush told reporters following the tour, which he called “unusual.”

Koizumi, meanwhile — wearing a pair of thick, gold-rimmed glasses in the style of Elvis — said, “My dream came true.”

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (3rd-L) puts his arm around Lisa-Marie Presley as Priscilla Presley (L), US President George W. Bush( 2nd L) and US First Lady Laura Bush look during a visit to Elvis's "Jungle Room" 30 June 2006. Koizumi and Bush toured Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (3rd-L) puts his arm around Lisa-Marie Presley as Priscilla Presley (L), US President George W. Bush( 2nd L) and US First Lady Laura Bush look during a visit to Elvis’s “Jungle Room” 30 June 2006. Koizumi and Bush toured Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty

The festive atmosphere extended to Air Force One, on which the leaders traveled to Memphis, with hits like “Love Me Tender” and “Don’t Be Cruel” playing as stewards served the King’s culinary favorite: grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Koizumi, who left office just a few months after the 2006 Graceland tour, shares a Jan. 8 birthday with Elvis. In 2001, he reportedly released an album of his favorite Presley songs (complete with his comments about each song) on CD. The love of Presley’s music is apparently a family affair, as he and his brother are said to be long-time members of the Tokyo Elvis Presley Fan Club.

Lisa Marie — who was just 9 years old when her father died — was a singer herself and lived a life in the spotlight, in addition to being a mom to four children.

Upon her father’s death, she became the joint heir to his estate alongside her grandfather Vernon Presley and great-grandmother Minnie Mae Hood Presley. When they died in 1979 and 1980, respectively, Lisa Marie became the sole heir, inheriting her dad’s Graceland residence.

Priscilla confirmed her daughter’s death to PEOPLE in a statement Thursday night.

“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” began Priscilla, 77. “She was the most passionate strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers. At this time there will be no further comment.”

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