To memorialize his songs and his passion, a new video of Lisa Marie singing "In the Ghetto," accompanied by her father, will be posted Friday on the AOL Web site Spinner.com, and on iTunes. The video will also include images of Elvis.
"My father lived in a family housing project, transitional housing project, when he was young," Lisa Marie said.
Never forgetting his roots, Elvis would eventually build Presley Place, a shelter for Memphis-area families in crisis, where they can get job and life skills training.
"In the Ghetto" was a pioneering song at that time — the very word "ghetto" was a new one for America. All of the proceeds from the video download will benefit Presley Place.
Lisa Marie said she thought about using many other songs for the duet, but this is the one that spoke to her the most, especially when she saw what was happening in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
"New Orleans kept coming up. I saw what was happening there, and that it was still desolate. And everything was vacated and boarded up," she said. "I drove by people that were trying to live in what was left of a house. With no A.C. and 102 [degrees], with cold towels on their heads on their front porch. ...We don't focus on this stuff enough. So, that's why I wanted to take this opportunity to do something that meant something."
Lisa Marie had a strong reaction while recording the song, at one point breaking out in tears.
"I got more emotional during that recording than I've ever gotten," she said.
When her mother, Priscilla Presley, heard the song, "she lost it," Lisa Marie said.
"She was shocked," Lisa Marie said. "I guess she saw there was something special about it."
Elvis' daughter would grow up into a walking reminder of her father's smile, his eyes and his daring.
Lisa Marie has worked hard to build her own music career. She released her debut album, "To Whom It May Concern," in 2003, which included a song called "Lights Out" about death and loss at Graceland.
Today she sees her father emerging in her own two children, Ben 14, and Riley, 18.
"They both have traits. My son has got this very regal thing about him. He's just got this dynamic energy that is familiar. … And then my daughter just, the humor, you know. She's got the intelligence, and she's smart, although I find her more like my mother than I do him."
Wednesday night, the eve of Elvis' death, Lisa Marie paid another tribute to her late father. She went upstairs to his room at Graceland and turned on the light in his window.
"That was something that hasn't been done before but I thought it would be cool to do this anniversary," she said.
It was a salute across 30 years from a woman who lived through the darkness of her father's death. A woman who, as a little girl, wrote down three wishes she had:
"If I had three wishes, I would wish I could drive a Volkswagen. I wish I had 100 astropops. I wish my mother and father don't die."