30 June 2009

Rick Astley Is Also Not Dead

2116.The Weirdest Week Ever continues, as the celebrity death hoaxes threaten to outnumber the actual celebrity deaths.

Todays not-victim? Rick Astley. Sure, he's never gonna give us up, but was life giving him up? A handful of sites reported the demise of the RickRoller using, more or less, this verbiage, with a dateline of Berlin, Germany:

Known for his 80's pop hit "Never Gonna Give You Up," the 43-year-old Rick Astley has been pronounced dead today. Astley's body was found at the Angleterre Hotel in Berlin after an ambulance responded to an emergency call from his hotel room.

Astley was found unconscious in his hotel bedroom and was unable to be resuscitated. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Astley was in the middle of a concert tour that would have ended in late August of 2009. He was to return to the United Kingdom at that time.

The word apparently came from this site, a CNN stringer site called iReport. The Inquisitr explains iReport to us:

Unlike previous fake celebrity deaths, the use of CNN’s iReport gives this a little more legitimacy up front, at least if you don’t know how iReport works. iReport is open to all submissions without pre-publication review: I could submit a story saying Rick Astley is dead at the hands of an advanced civilization of alien music lovers and it would be published until such time CNN pulled it it.

(update 0115 30 Jun) The original story reffed above has been pulled. It's now at http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-287981, and the illustration has been replaced with a video file of the opening of The Fresh Prince of BelAir. Seriously.

Another giveaway might be that the story (allegedly by AP writer Liz Sidoti) was filed at 0100 on Monday 30 June 2009. 30 June is actually today – a Tuesday.

At this point it's almost anti-climatic to note that the surname of the writer, SIDOTI, is an anagram of the word IDIOTS.

With Rickrolling and this to his credit, Rick Astly has finally, arguably, become more famous than he deserves to be. And so it goes.

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