Family members and friends are continuing to mourn the loss of Benjamin Keough, the 27-year-old son of Lisa Marie Presley and the grandson of Elvis Presley. Following confirmation of his death on Sunday, many who knew him closely have paid their respects, with his close friend Brandon Howard paying tribute to him in a statement to Us Weekly in which he remembered Keough as a "wonderful, magical person."
Speaking to the outlet, Howard, who said that he and Keough met while spending time at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, said that Keough was "multifaceted," explaining that "he can go from being, like, the scholar to the wild guy, to the amazing brother that you never had." Calling him "gifted," he added that "you're lucky to know him, to even be around him." Howard said that Keough was "the very person that would be there for anybody."
Reacting to his death, Howard said that it was "shocking." A representative for the Presley family confirmed Sunday that the 27-year-old had died in Calabasas, California. In a press release, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department stated that officials reported to the scene to assist in a “rescue response.” When they arrived, Keough was "suffering from one gunshot wound" and was pronounced dead. The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed via an autopsy that Keough died from an intraoral shotgun wound. His death was ruled a suicide.
Although Keough reportedly struggled with the "pressure" of his family's legacy, choosing to mostly remain out of the spotlight, and some reports have suggested that he struggled with drugs and alcohol, Howard is choosing to remember happier times with him. Howard said that like his legendary grandfather, Keough had a "passion" for music. He said that the 27-year-old was "so excited" when he signed a five-album, $5 million deal with Universal in 2009.
Howard also revealed that Keough had more than just musical talent, as he was also an "excellent chef." Howard joked that he "kept begging him to cook some food," as he was "one of the best." Howard said that he didn't "get a chance [to try his cooking] and I kept begging him for food." He added that "we watched him make different dishes and stuff all the time" and that Keough "would send me pictures."
Along with his mother, Keough is survived by his sister, Riley Keough, who has starred in a number of indie and horror films over the years, including 2019's The Lodge. Keough and Riley, 31, are Presley's children from her first marriage to musician Danny Keough. Lisa Marie also shares twin daughters Harper and Finley Lockwood, both 11, with ex-husband Michael Lockwood.