Jon Bon Jovi dead? This Internet hoax just won't die

Jon Bon Jovi dead -- just unfounded rumors that won't go away

Jon Bon Jovi dead? No. Jon Bon Jovi is not dead. But that little tidbit of truth doesn't seem to matter. The false rumors about Bon Jovi's untimely demise gripped the country on Tuesday -- well, that and the Kardashian Christmas card -- so you might as well brush up on the details.

Bon Jovi is the latest celebrity victim of an Internet death hoax. It all started with a website called Daily News Blog International, which posted a story Monday claiming that the New Jersey rocker was dead. From there, the rumor spread like wildfire, pinging around the blogosphere and every social media network known to mankind.

Despite repeated attempts by Bon Jovi himself to put the rumors to rest, "Jon Bon Jovi dead" continued to be on fire among Google searches on Tuesday morning.

Perhaps the real news in this non-news story is that Bon Jovi might have a second career as a comedian if he decides to give up his day job.

Bon Jovi poked repeated fun at the rumor at a concert Monday night in New Jersey, referring to it several times and pretending to take frantic phone calls from friends who'd heard the news, the Star-Ledger reported.

Bon Jovi also responded to the rumor on Twitter and Facebook. On his Facbook page, he posted a picture of himself in front of a Christmas tree, holding a handmade sign that read: "Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey" and included Monday's date and the time. (Brace yourselves for the next rumor about how the sign was Photoshopped and that Bon Jovi really is dead, and it's all a conspiracy.)

Adding to the intrigue: It appeared that the fake report that Bon Jovi had died was copied in part from a 2009 Los Angeles Times story that announced the death of Michael Jackson.  The Times noted on Monday that it was looking into the matter but emphasized that the newspaper was not involved in the false report.

Death hoaxes and bum rumors are nothing new. (Remember Mark Twain's quip about reports of his death being greatly exaggerated?) But new technology means these rumors ping around the globe, lightning-quick, thanks to Internet users' desire to both know everything and share everything instantly.

Bon Jovi is in good company. Other celebrity death hoax victims include Will Smith, Lady Gaga, Eddie Murphy, Justin Bieber, Jackie Chan, Johnny Depp and Mick Jagger.

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--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Singer Jon Bon Jovi attends a movie premiere earlier this month in New York City. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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