UPDATE: Hours after Britney Spears was involved a death hoax, the Glory singer tweeted a few selfies and wrote, “Don’t underestimate the power of Charlie’s.”
It was her first public message since Sony Music Global’s Twitter account shared, “Britney Spears is dead by accident!” Soon after, Spears’ manager confirmed to CNN that Spears was “alive and well” following the hoax.
EARLIER: Fake news strikes again. Representatives for Britney Spears confirmed to CNN that the pop star is alive and well, despite false reports to the contrary, which circulated Monday morning.
Spears fans were alarmed when tweets from verified accounts appeared to announce her death. “Britney Spears is dead by accident! We will tell you more soon,” read one tweet from Sony Music Global’s account. “Rest in peace, Britney Spears,” read another from no less than Bob Dylan’s verified account. The tweets in question were deleted shortly thereafter.
“I assume their account has been hacked,” Adam Leber, Spears’ manager, told CNN. “I haven’t spoken to anyone… as of yet but I am certain their account was hacked. Britney is fine and well. There have been a few Internet clowns over the years who have made similar claims about her death, but never from the official Sony Music Twitter account.” (Representatives for Spears did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.)
Hacker group OurMine appears to have been behind the posts. In another now-deleted tweet, Sony Music Global’s account said, “We saw a new IP logged in to the account a few minutes ago and the tweet is posted by a new IP so @britneyspears is still alive #OurMine.”
Dylan’s account also had a tweeted-and-deleted entry referring to OurMine: “OurMine checked Britney Spears twitter account if it’s hacked or not and they detected that it’s hacked! @britneyspears is still alive!!”
OurMine was also behind recent similar hacks of accounts for Marvel and BuzzFeed. Sony has its own history with hackers — the emails of top executives were famously hijacked in 2014, leading to several controversies.
The Spears fake-out comes after some significant recent celebrity deaths and health crises. Pop star George Michael died on Sunday and Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher has stabilized, according to her mother Debbie Reynolds, after suffering an apparent heart attack on Friday.