Aretha Franklin Died (Or Did She?)

Cary Fagan

arethaReports of Aretha Franklin's death have been greatly exaggerated.

The Twitterverse is rampant with rumors of the Queen of Soul's passing. While the R&B legend did undergo surgery for pancreatic cancer earlier this month and is currently in recovery, she is still very much with us, according to her reps.

Celebrity death rumors have always been around, but the Internet age enables gossip mongers to spread the wrong word more quickly than ever before. It's almost a rite of passage for stars to be virtually killed off before their time. Here's a short list or celebs who have either been stabbed, OD'd or had a car accident in the past few years:

Just last week, Charlie Sheen was rumored to have died in a snowboarding accident. (Note to hoax perpetrators ... uh, snowboarding accident? Puh-leeze. How dull. Mr. Sheen should be cancelled out by something more fitting, like starring in a snuff film.)

A few days earlier, Aaron Carter was reported to have succumbed to a drug overdose. Also untrue.

Several articles posted online separately claimed that Paris Hilton had been fatally stabbed during her short jail stint.

Will Ferrell was said to have met his maker in a very unlikely way: a paragliding accident. It circulated that a freak gust of wind blew the comedian into a cluster of trees.

It's no surprise that Lindsay Lohan was reported to have died of a drug overdose. The funny part? It was confirmed via Twitter by a fake Kim Kardashian.

Baby-faced Justin Bieber has been offed several times -- once by a drug OD and another by being shot in a nightclub. (Damn! That boy's got to stop running with the wrong crowd!)

Car crashes seem to be even more popular than overdoses as a cause of death for the rich and famous. Kanye West was supposedly in a fatal auto accident in LA. Ditto Will Smith and Eminem. And in a Romeo-and-Juliet-style twist, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears were reportedly killed together in a crackup.

The oddest report? Johnny Knoxville was reported to have taken his last breath while taping Jackass. How, you ask? His parachute failed to open as he jumped from a bi-plane ... while he was eating a giant jar of baked beans. Nice.

But back to the original news. Ms. Franklin, we're glad you're still with us and hope you stay for many. many years. Get well soon!

Do you believe it when you read a tweet of a celebrity death?

Image via Facebook



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