Congratulations, Avril Lavigne: You’re the first famous person to have a fake, shakily sourced story about your death spread far and wide on the Internet in 2011.
The 26-year-old singer is alive and nowhere near the reported site of her death in British Columbia; reports earlier in the week had her in Hawaii with boyfriend Brody Jenner, and she performed her new song “What the Hell” on the L.A. portion of ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” special Friday night (Dec. 31).
As has been the case with the last few death hoaxes, the source of the fake story is Global Associated News, the official-sounding “news” front of a prank site called Fake A Wish. It lets people plug a celeb’s name into a generator that creates a story about their death usually in some sort of weird accident.
Lavigne’s fake death, for example, supposedly happened while she was snowboarding at the Whistler ski resort in British Columbia. Similar fake snowboarding deaths have befallen Adam Sandler, Owen Wilson and Charlie Sheen in the past couple of weeks.
So, to reiterate: Avril Lavigne, not dead. Lots of Internet users, still gullible.