Larry Gatlin remembers growing up Lisa Marie Presley: She was quiet and shy at heart

Larry Gatlin reflects on his friendship with Lisa Marie Presley.

During an interview with Fox News Digital, Gatlin shared his memories of Presley, recalling the first time he met her when she was three and he was 23.

“I was her babysitter for an hour or so in 1971,” he said, adding that he remembers seeing her backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. “I manipulated her by changing her diaper.”

Having known her as a child and witnessed her grow up in the public eye, Gatlin said he remembers Presley being “quiet and shy at heart”.

The only child of Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis and Priscilla, she died at the age of 54

“[She] “She almost had to be what everyone wanted her to be … which is a cross between Elvis and Priscilla, her mom and Pop,” said Gatlin. “It’s hard to define who you are when everyone wants you to be something/someone else.”

Larry Gatlin reflected on his friendship with Lisa Marie Presley in an interview with Fox News Digital.

Larry Gatlin reflected on his friendship with Lisa Marie Presley in an interview with Fox News Digital.
(Larry Gatlin)

Looking back on their friendship, Gatlin explained that although they didn’t “talk all the time and hang out”, he made sure to tell Presley that he would always be there for her.

“To say we were such close friends — friends who talked all the time and hung out — would be disingenuous on my part,” Gatlin gushed before adding, “I told her I loved her and her Bob and her mom and if she ever needed me, all she had to do was call.”

The life of Lisa Marie Presley in pictures

“I told her I had my own battle with drugs and alcohol and that I understood the deal,” he explained. “She never called me, and now she doesn’t need me. She’s complete, she’s totally fine and she’s with saints who will just let her be herself. That’s the way I see it.”

“Rest in peace sweet girl. Larry G, aka your diaper-changing babysitter, long time ago.”

Gatlin also crossed Elvis’ path early in his career when Gatlin auditioned for a spot as a vocalist in “The Imperials,” the band that performed backup vocals for Elvis while he was living in Las Vegas.

Although the audition did not go well, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” recorded and released two of Gatlin’s songs, “Help Me” and “Bitter They Are, Harder Fall”.

Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Priscilla and Elvis Presley, died Thursday.

Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Priscilla and Elvis Presley, died Thursday.
(The Magma Agency/WireImage)

Lisa Marie, the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, died Thursday at the age of 54.

“Priscilla Presley and the Presley family are devastated and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Lisa Marie,” Priscilla’s representative said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “They are so grateful for the support, love and prayers from everyone and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

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Priscilla also added in a statement to People, “It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter, Lisa Marie, has left her. She was the most compassionate, strong, and loving woman I have ever known. We are asking 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.”

Two days before her death, Lisa Marie walked the red carpet alongside her mother at the Golden Globe Awards and was in the audience when Austin Butler accepted his award for Best Actor for his portrayal of her father in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis.

Lisa Marie attended the Golden Globes on Tuesday and was in the audience when Austin Butler accepted his award for best actor for his portrayal of her father in Baz Luhrmann's movie.

Lisa Marie attended the Golden Globes on Tuesday and was in the audience when Austin Butler accepted his award for best actor for his portrayal of her father in Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis.”
(Todd Williamson/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)

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The singer-songwriter’s final resting place will be next to her beloved son, Benjamin Keough, who passed away in 2020, her daughter Riley Keough’s representative confirmed to Fox News Digital. Elvis and other members of the Presley family are also buried at Graceland.

In addition to her daughter Riley, Lisa Marie was also a mother to daughters Finley and Harper.

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