Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American rock and roll and country music singer and pianist. An early pioneer of rock and roll music, his career faltered after Lewis married his young cousin, and he afterwards made a transition to country music.
Lewis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and his pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In 2008 He was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him number 24 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2003, they listed his box set All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology number 242 on their list of "500 greatest albums of all time".
Lewis was born to the poor family of Elmo and Mamie Lewis in Ferriday in Concordia Parish in eastern Louisiana, and began playing piano in his youth with two cousins, Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Swaggart. His parents mortgaged their farm to buy him a piano. Influenced by a piano-playing older cousin, Carl McVoy (who later recorded with Bill Black 's Combo), the radio, and the sounds from the black juke joint across the tracks, Haney's Big House, Lewis created his style from black artists who were unable to play to white audiences, mixing rhythm and blues, boogie-woogie, gospel, and country music, as well as ideas from established "country boogie" pianists like recording artists Moon Mullican and Merrill Moore. Soon he was playing professionally.