Elton John tweeted, “I wouldn’t be who I am today without Jerry Lee Lewis.” The legendary musician passed away on Friday at the age of 87. After his death at age 87, celebrities like Elton John, Ringo Starr, and Dennis Quaid paid tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis.
Rock and roll legend, well known for tunes like “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” passed away on Friday at his Tennessee home with his wife Judith by his side, according to a statement released by his publicist. Ronnie, Lori, Phoebe, and Jerry Lee III, as well as his wife Judith, are among his surviving children.
Although the singer had many health problems in recent years, including a stroke in 2019, the cause of his death is unknown. In spite of being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame last week, his physicians advised that he stay home and rest.
RIP Jerry Lee Lewis. The Killer has gone. He could play that piano, boy. Think I gotta play me some Lewis Boogie.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 28, 2022
John tweeted a photo of himself with Jerry Lee Lewis and the caption, “Without Jerry Lee Lewis, I wouldn’t have been who I am today.” He was innovative and thrilling; he pulverized the piano,” the “Tiny Dancer” composer elaborated.
She’s also a fantastic singer. Your pioneering spirit has been an inspiration, and I appreciate the rock and roll nostalgia. #RIP.”
At the 2015 New Orleans Jazzfest, John and Lewis finally crossed paths onstage. According to Jazzfest producer Quint Davis, who spoke with the Times-Picayune on behalf of the festival, “Elton said it was the most nervous he’s ever been, more than any gig.”
“Jerry Lee Lewis was always a tremendous influence on me,” Elton is cited as stating in David Buckley’s 2007 biography “Elton.” It’s safe to say that he’s the most outstanding pianist ever to play rock and roll. He’s just too fast for me to keep up with, so I’ll never be able to play his position.
RIP Jerry Lee Lewis.
Rory on working Jerry Lee in 1973: "Meeting certain rock & roll legends, they’re a pale imitation of their stage image or their legend is a kind of a dull version of it but Jerry Lee was almost 99% full technicolour!" #jerryleelewis pic.twitter.com/Ounv11Ry8O
— Rory Gallagher (@rorygallagher) October 28, 2022
God bless Jerry lee Lewis peace and love to everyone in his family Ringo,” Starr wrote in a tweet. Quaid, who played Lewis in the 1989 film “Great Balls of Fire,” released a statement reading, “Jerry Lee was a Christian, an American legend, and the best piano pianist in the world.
They’ll still be playing ‘Great Balls of Fire and ‘Whole Lot of Shakin’ in the year 500. In a nutshell, he was great, and I will miss him. May God bless Jerry Lee.
I’m sorry to report that one of rock ‘n’ roll’s early innovators has passed away. An unrepentant rebel. Gene Simmons tweeted, “Rest in peace, Jerry Lee Lewis. Member of the Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood tweeted, “R.I.P. JLL the KILLER-What, a dude.”
Jerry Lee Lewis has passed away,” Stephen King tweeted. There is no longer a Killer. This kid has some severe piano skills. I feel the need to put on some Lewis Boogie.
Sadly, Jerry Lee Lewis has left us…” SLEEP EASY, KILLER; you were truly unique. The Oak Ridge Boys lamented, “#RIPJerryLee” on Twitter.
Sadly, One of the pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll has passed. A rebel to the end. RIP, Jerry Lee Lewis.….Jerry Lee Lewis, Influential and Condemned Rock & Roll Pioneer, Dead – Rolling Stone https://t.co/ooKDLm4skX
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) October 28, 2022
“One of my most vivid memories of Jerry Lee was in 1997 when he was a guest on ‘Monday Night Concerts’ at the Ryman,” Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern said in a statement.
Trahern continued, “Ricky Skaggs and Brian Setzer joined Jerry Lee for a set that started with the classic ‘Great Balls of Fire and ended with a stirring rendition of ‘The Old Rugged Cross.’ It was incredible to see Jerry perform that night; he’s a true force of nature.
#RIPJerryLeeLewis Just find out that we have lost a Rock 'n' roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis, my thoughts and prayers goes out to his family, friends and fans. Thank you Jerry for giving us a lot of good music and memories and hope we can you see again pic.twitter.com/t1kmsy9lHU
— CoryChrist1 (@ChristCory1) October 28, 2022
“As one of the most talented musicians and entertainers of our time, it warms my heart to know that he got the chance to accept his rightful place in the hallowed hall as a member of the newest class of Country Music Hall of Fame inductees just a few weeks ago. My deepest condolences go out to Jerry Lee’s family and friends during this time.”
Several Lewis colleagues and friends shared their memories of the groundbreaking artist in statements. “It’s so sad to hear that Jerry Lee Lewis has passed. I’ve loved him since I first met and worked with him in the early 1970s. He was definitely one of a kind as an artist and person.” wrote Crystal Gayle.
— Jorge F. Guerrero (@Jotafercho) October 28, 2022
David Frizzell recalled, “I first met Jerry Lee Lewis with my brother Lefty in the late 50’s on a TV set they were filming and got to hear him sing ‘Great Balls Of Fire’… then years later when I was recording in California in the early ’80s (on a night off) we went to The Palamino Club to see Jerry’s show (that is the night my wife Jo and I met) and got to visit with him briefly.”
“Over the next few years, we got to do a lot of shows together. We were so proud he was just inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. ‘Say Hello to Heaven’ Jerry Lee”
— Andrew Male (@Andr6wMale) October 28, 2022
“Jerry Lee, at the beginning of a session, put his gun on the piano. Silence. They do the session… The next day the musicians come to the session, and all bring their guns. That was Jerry Lee,” read a statement from Don McLean.
Many others took to social media to share their admiration for Lewis and spoke of the influence that the pioneering musician had on their careers.