Rumors of celebrity death are nothing new, they have been around for decades.
Social media and the internet only promote rumours, allowing fake news to spread rapidly and go viral within hours.
What is a famous death hoax?
A death hoax is a deliberate report of someone’s death that is later proven to be false.
On very rare occasions, this may happen because the person deliberately faked his or her own death.
Thanks to the Internet and social media, rumors of celebrity deaths have become common.
Almost every day new rumors of some celebrity’s untimely demise spread.
Read more about death rumors
It’s easier than ever to spread fake news about a famous person’s death.
Even an unverified post or comment on social media can be shared and broadcast online for millions of people to see and believe.
How long have celebrity death rumors been popular?
Rumors of celebrity death are nothing new.
While death rumors have increased with the rise of the digital age, in reality they have existed for decades.
When a real celebrity dies, multiple death rumors emerge, often one after the other.
(After the death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945, many death rumors spread, claiming that celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin and Frank Sinatra had also died.)
Perhaps the most famous death hoax in the pre-Internet era was the urban legend, “Paul is dead.”
A conspiracy theory alleges that Beatles musician Sir Paul McCartney died in 1966 and was replaced by a star look-alike.
The rumor alleged that McCartney had died in a car accident, and to spare the public grief, the surviving Beatles had replaced the star.
Another version of the death rumor is the death denial rumor.
These rumors claim that a person is alive, despite the official announcement of his death.
Celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Tupac Shakur, Prince, and Michael Jackson have been the targets of death denial rumors.
Some stars, such as Paul McCartney, have also been the target of replacement conspiracies, including singer Avril Lavigne and former first lady Melania Trump.
Which celebrities cheated death in 2023?
Looks like 2023 is the year of the death hoax.
Countless celebrities, politicians, and influencers have had to deal with false rumors or allegations that they have passed away.
US Sun has reported on several such hoaxes this year, including fans’ reactions to these hoaxes and how quickly the celebrities or someone from their respective teams shut down the false allegations.
Hundreds of celebrities faced death rumors in 2023, including actors, podcasters, musicians, YouTube and TikTok creators, and TV personalities.
Actor and TV dad Ty Burrell was rumored to have passed away after not being able to attend the Modern Family reunion.
Joe Rogan, an American podcaster, also faced death rumors.
Harry Styles, one of the biggest music stars in the world, was also not untouched by death rumors and became a victim of fake news.
A fake website also spread the rumor that A-list actor Mark Ruffalo has died.
Elon Musk must be used to death rumors by now, with rumors surfacing every few months since 2021 that the Tesla and SpaceX billionaire is no longer alive.
Actor Tom Selleck, who was no stranger to death rumors, quickly shut down rumors that he had passed away through his representatives.
Family Feud host and TV entertainer Steve Harvey also fell victim to the famous death hoax.
America’s Got Talent winner and Disney star Grace VanderWaal also left fans shocked after her alleged death rumor.
Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher sparked death rumors in October.
Well-known broadcaster and wildlife expert Sir David Attenborough also became a victim of internet rumours.
The Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan also made headlines for her “death” on October 25, which turned out to be a cruel joke.
Hollywood star and Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. started trending due to death rumor in October.
Netflix actor Drew Starkey also had to dispel rumors that he died after fans of the Outer Banks star were sent into a frenzy after hearing news of his alleged demise.
Former wrestler and current blockbuster actor Dwayne The Rock Johnson has also been the victim of several death rumors this year, most recently in October.
Rumors were circulating online about Randy Travis, a popular country singer, battling poor health in recent years and going to the hospital.
Even actress Hayden Panettiere’s death rumor was spread online.
Death rumors can be all over the world, as evidenced by the rumors that Bollywood star and politician Ramya Divya Spandana has passed away.
Iconic actor Sam Elliott became the victim of death rumors twice in 2023, first in August and then in November.
Comedian and former talk show host Ellen DeGeneres turns out to be alive and well after rumors of her “death” circulated online.
Rapper Jay-Z’s fans had more than 99 problems when they saw the rapper’s death trending on social media.
Even country legend Dolly Parton couldn’t escape a death rumor when her ex, ex, became a trending topic on Twitter.
Slim Shady rapper Eminem also became the victim of a death hoax circulating on social media, while the Love the Way You Lie rapper was confirmed to be alive and well.
Occasionally, death rumors also occur with younger, less-famous stars, such as season 11 Bachelorette contestant Josh Seiter, who was targeted to die in August 2023.
Even young stars like 1998-born social media sensation and actor Brent Rivera can’t stop death rumors from spreading like wildfire.
Social media star Danny Duncan also became the victim of false death rumors after filming a YouTube video of a car crashing into an RV.
YouTuber IShowSpeed sparks death rumors after a high-profile hospital visit.
The announcement of the rumor of rapper Lil Tay’s death caused a stir when some journalists alleged that the rumor was written by an AI.
Mr Beast’s collaborator and YouTube star Chandler Hollow also had fake information circulating online about his alleged death.
Friends star Jennifer Aniston became the latest celebrity to be involved in a death hoax, but just days later she was spotted alive and well.
Singer Celine Dion also became the target of dangerous online rumors, as her health issues continued to worry fans.
Little People, Big World star Jacob Roloff took to Twitter to quash rumors that his mother, Amy Roloff, has passed away.
Even Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller fell victim to the famous death hoax at the end of the month.
Standup comedian and actor Larry the Cable Guy was also the target of fake news spread about his death.
Both Steve Harvey and Harvey Weinstein became the targets of death rumors after RIP Harvey trended online.
Jeremy Renner was the latest Marvel star to fall foul of a celebrity death hoax in June 2023, but this wasn’t his first rodeo — the star also had to quash rumors of his demise in 2017.
Rumors of the death of Simon Cowell, one of the world’s biggest music moguls, were also spread, but the famous TV judge immediately shut down this fake news.
Tom Hanks, a beloved American actor, was alive and well when a bizarre death rumor spread online.
Black Sabbath rocker Ozzy Osbourne also had to shut down rumors that he had died.
Controversial YouTuber Edp445 also became the latest victim of an elaborate online death hoax.
Even former Dance Moms star and YouTube sensation JoJo Siwa couldn’t get over an online death hoax in early May.
Fake rumors began to spread about Angelina Jolie’s demise, but the Hollywood star was yet another victim of a famous death hoax.
There were rumors circulating on the internet about truTV’s Hardcore Pawn Star Les Gold having passed away, but they were quickly debunked.
TikTok creator Queen Cheryl was also the victim of death rumors after her partner Quran posted a video of himself crying, but he was quick to quash the rumours.
Top Gun star Tom Cruise couldn’t quash rumors that he had passed away in early March, until his representatives confirmed that he was alive and well.
DJ Khaled was also the target of an online death rumor that claimed the rapper and music producer died in a car accident while using Snapchat, but Snopes quickly debunked the fake news.
Rapper J. Cole caused a stir on social media after death rumors spread on X, formerly Twitter, but fans close to the star quickly shot down the rumors.
YouTube star Belen Levin became the victim of online rumors about her death in a car accident in late January, but the star dispelled the death rumor by posting regular content on her Instagram page in February.
Iconic singer Tina Turner was one of the first celebrities to spread rumors of her death in 2023.
Unfortunately, the singer died of natural causes just a few months later in May 2023.
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