Everyone is subject to fake news, but especially the wealthy and well-known. There seems to be a new false report about a famous person or other prominent figure every day. False rumours, however, gain considerable significance in the case of famous deaths. Many celebrities who are still living and breathing have been reported dead.
Queen Elizabeth II
In her mid-nineties, Queen Elizabeth II has been often misidentified as having passed away. She was the British monarch with the longest reign, and her death would result in a lot of big changes. She is, however, still very much alive! She was reported dead twice: once in March 2022 after she hadn’t been seen in public for a few weeks due to her health; and once after getting COVID-19 during the pandemic.
At the age of 80, legendary singer Dionne Warwick made her Twitter debut and became an overnight hit. She shared one of the claims on Twitter with the phrase “Oh no!” when false rumours of her death began to spread.
Following the death of soccer legend Maradona on November 26, 2020, a lot of people became confused and believed Madonna had died. To be clear, the Queen of Pop is still alive and well even though both of them are legendary.
In 2019, speculations that Eastwood had passed away from a heart attack spread like wildfire. But there was a corresponding report in 2017, thus this was not the first time the actor had been pronounced deceased.
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
In 2001, two Dallas DJs who were ostensibly only pulling a nasty prank on the public stated that Britney and JT had passed away.
The Fox News Twitter account was hacked in July 2011, and the hackers tweeted that Obama had been killed.
After news outlets mistook him with battle rapper Tech 9, who passed away on March 25, 2019, Tech N9ne had to make a public statement to clarify that he was still alive.
There were claims that Avril Lavigne had committed suicide in 2003. In 2017, a trending Twitter post alleging that Lavigne had been replaced with a lookalike brought the rumours back to life.
When reports of Jackie Chan’s death first surfaced in March 2011, the internet went ablaze.
According to two phoney news stories, Taylor Swift allegedly passed away in a car accident in 2009, the same year that she experienced a deadly reaction to sleeping drugs.
In 2008, three years before his actual death, Bloomberg published an obituary of Steve Jobs. Strangely, the document was 17 pages long.