The sad Aretha Franklin rumour that's sweeping the internet

Aretha Franklin on stage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation event on November 7 in New York City. Source: Getty

Social media has a habit of trying to kill celebrities off before their time – Jeff Goldblum has had it happen to him several times, with Australia’s Richard Wilkins even announcing it on TV.

And British newspapers only on Monday reported that singer David Cassidy was dead, while the star lay in critical condition in hospital after suffering multiple organ failure at the weekend.

Now Aretha Franklin is the latest to fall victim to the hoax reports, but the singing superstar isn’t taking it lying down.

With Twitter awash with posts claiming that the 75-year-old had passed away, Franklin told friends that she was far from her deathbed.

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Entertainment reporter Shaun Robinson tweeted that she had spoken to Franklin’s friends, who asked her to spread the word not the believe the news that the singer had passed away.

It’s not the first time that Franklin has ‘survived’ such an internet ‘killing’.

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In 2011 there were reports she was fighting pancreatic cancer, but she told Robinson at the time that she had no idea where the story came from.

“I was sitting there reading the newspaper and it was saying someone in my family said that,” Franklin said in amazement. “No one in my family ever said that to anybody.”

The diva did announce in February that she was retiring from music, but that she had one final album in the works before she did so, and that she planned to open a nightclub called Aretha’s as a retirement project.

Fans were relieved to hear this time round that, yet again, the music legend was just fine. After all, she was on stage just at the beginning of this month, performing at the Elton John AIDs Foundation’s gala show in New York.

Have you been caught out by an online death hoax, sharing news on social media only to find out that the person was alive and well?