A history of musicians responding to the dodgy news of their own demise

Apparently when you get to a certain level of fame, people like to start rumours that you’ve corked it. I don’t know why. Honestly, the thought has really never occurred to me.

Yet history has shown us, time and time again, that it’s just something which happens. You know, like the sun coming up, or Dune Rats playing Splendour in the Grass.

illy musician death

From as far back as the seventies to literally last month, there’s no shortage of musicians who have had to hear the wonderful news that they’re dead.

Jack Black

In June 2016 a tweet came from Tenacious D’s official account, saying that frontman Jack Black had passed away in the wee hours of the night before.

Later it was revealed that their account had been hacked, but that wasn’t before a congregation of his fans hadn’t already spread the news.


This one is fresh, plus it’s nice and close to home. Last month, Australian hip-hop sensation Illy stumbled across a “BREAKING NEWS” article informing him that he was dead.

Being the still alive person that he was, he disarmed the whole debacle on social media quick smart.

Dave Grohl

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has been the victim of several death hoaxes, but most notably in 2006 where a number of conspiracy theories about his demise started doing the rounds. Obviously, he’s still here.

Speaking to NME about the incident, Grohl never lost his sense of humour; “I’m like a cockroach – don’t worry, I’ll be around for a long time.”

Neil Young

The legendary Neil Young is the king of death hoaxes, having to seriously shut down some fake claims in 1975, 1979 and yet again in 2012.

The most recent account is the juiciest, when NBC reported “Astronaut Neil Young, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82”. Neil Armstrong, not Neil Young, had passed away (may he rest in peace).

Alice Cooper

Of all the musos on this list, Alice Cooper was likely the only one to have enjoyed the news of his death. I mean, it’s very on brand.

In 1970 Melody Maker Magazine posted a fake obituary that was apparently so believable, most of Cooper’s fans took it as gospel. Eventually, the rocker had to issue a statement:

“I’m alive, and drunk as usual.”


The dead man himself, Illy, will be playing at the upcoming A Weekend in the Gardens festival on November 18th. Grab your tickets here.