Death Be Not, Uh...True: The 8 Most Asinine Musician Death Hoaxes
Why do people perpetrate death hoaxes? Why would someone deliberately set out to spread rumors of a famous person's demise that they know simply aren't true?
Word is Hell does, too.
Is it some kind of Munchausen-By-Proxy thing, where they hope to absorb some of the residual sympathy and outpouring of goodwill? Is it a madcap pranksters' desire to watch the gullible and hasty panic and run around while spreading the fake news like a plague? Are they just assholes doing normal asshole things?
Rocks Off doesn't claim to know the motivations behind it, only that it happens from time to time, and way more often than in the old days thanks to the Internet and the multitude of social media sites thereupon. Frequently they target our rock stars, from those as obnoxious as Gene Simmons to those as sweet and harmless as Taylor Swift -- and this, just recently.
They're always annoying and classless. Let's read about them!
In October 2009, someone tweeted that Kanye West had died, and before anyone could verify this, it had already become a worldwide trending topic -- a term Twitter uses to describe words and phrases which appear in tweets more often than others, or else are placed there by paid sponsors.
It was the top search term on Google, too, until West's girlfriend-at-the-time Amber Rose tweeted that it wasn't true, that Yeezy was in fact alive and well. Before the fervor died completely down, however, spam artists used Search Engine Optimization to push malicious sites loaded with spyware and malware onto those searching the term "Kanye West RIP." Yet another reason to keep yourself a little more well-informed, right there.
Starting in 2001 and every few years since, the erstwhile Marshall Mathers has "died" in a car accident. We prefer our hoaxes to be at least somewhat original, but this one just rips off "Stan."
Just a few months ago, singer and actress Cher was targeted in a death hoax; we're not even sure what she supposedly died of, since the bigger story immediately became how popular, wealthy oaf Kim Kardashian tweeted the hoax out to her 12.8 million followers.
At least she was asking if it was true, but Kim, Twitter is not Google. Hopefully at least a couple thousand of her followers linked her to LetMeGoogleThatForYou.
Jon Bon Jovi
Last year around the holidays, a rumor started that Jon Bon Jovi had died of cardiac arrest in a hotel room. Instead of your usual Twitter hoax, this rumor was started by a Pennsylvania musician named Jeffrey Goho.
Goho's motivation: bitterness towards Bon Jovi's non-music-related enterprises, but also because people from Pennsylvania are born hecklers -- watch any concert or sports game set there for proof of that fact.
Bon Jovi nipped the rumor in the bud by posting to his Twitter and Facebook a picture of himself holding a piece of paper with the date, time and the message "Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey" written on it. As for Goho, he was last seen begging Bon Jovi fans to stop harassing his band's Facebook page.