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Yesterday, we reported that representatives for the country music legend Jerry Lee Lewis had shot down reports that he had passed away. Sadly, it has now been confirmed that Lewis died this morning at his home in Mississippi at the age of 87, and the former President Donald Trump is speaking out to pay tribute to him. 

Lewis Passes Away

Daily Mail reported that Lewis’ death was confirmed by his representative Zach Farnum, who said that the “Great Balls Of Fire” singer had been suffering from the flu. 

“Judith, his seventh wife, was by his side when he passed away at his home in Desoto County, Mississippi, south of Memphis,” Farnum told Variety. “He told her, in his final days, that he welcomed the hereafter, and that he was not afraid.”

Farnum also described Lewis as being the last of the great rock’n’roll generation.

“He was there at the beginning, with Elvis, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, and the rest, and watched them fade away one by one till it was him alone to bear witness, and sing of the birth of rock’n’roll,” he said, according to BBC

Find out more about his death in the video below.

Lewis’ spokeswoman Sujata Murthy also confirmed his death. 

“Lewis, perhaps the last true, great icon of the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, whose marriage of blues, gospel, country, honky-tonk and raw, pounding stage performances so threatened a young Elvis Presley that it made him cry, has died,” she said.

Related: Jerry Lee Lewis Shoots Down Reports He’s Dead At 87 – ‘It’s Bulls***!’

Trump Honors Lewis

Hours after Lewis’ death, former President Trump released a brief statement honoring him.

“Jerry Lee Lewis was beloved by everyone, a real bundle of talent, energy, and everything else necessary to be a star,” Trump said.

“He just passed away,” he continued. “Our warmest regards to his wife, Judith, and family. He will be missed!”

Other tributes to Lewis have already started pouring in as well:

Lewis’ Life

Born in Louisiana in 1935, Lewis became famous in the 1950s as one of the first “wild men” of rock’n’roll, calling himself “The Killer.” While many think he got this nickname because of his wild nature or his dynamic style of playing the piano, he actually got it because “Killer” was a common phrase for North Louisiana residents in the post-World War II era, according to Live About.

Lewis seemed poised to become the top rock’n’roller of his generation until his career was derailed in 1958, when it was revealed that his third wife was actually his 13-year-old third cousin Myra Gale Brown, who he’d married when he was 22. The scandal broke months after the release of his hit song “Great Balls Of Fire,” and Lewis would never have another top ten hit after that. 

“I’ve done some crazy things,” he told USA Today in 2010. “I messed up along the way and got what was coming to me.”

Lewis managed to rebuild his career a bit in the 1960s, and though he never reached the heights that he’d seemed destined to in the 1950s, he maintained a regular presence on the country charts over the next two decades. In 1986, he was one of the original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with Chuck Berry, Elvis, James Brown, Ray Charles, and Buddy Holly, among others. 

Find out more about Lewis’ death in the video below.

Related: Jerry Lee Lewis Will Finally Be Inducted Into Country Music Hall Of Fame

Lewis On Religion

Lewis came from a time when preachers would regularly rant against the evil of rock ‘n’ roll, calling it “the devil’s music, and he wasn’t sure that he could disagree with them. 

“I’m a religious man,” he once said. “I never lost my connection. I just drifted away, and I never did come back. You can’t serve two gods. But I’m definitely a believer, and I’m looking forward to going to heaven. I certainly hope they need a piano player.”

While Lewis will be dearly missed, we can all take comfort in knowing that he is in Heaven now. Rest in peace, Jerry Lee Lewis! 

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