Lena Horne, legendary American singer, actress, civil rights activist and dancer, has died at the age of 92. At least, that’s what the New York Times and the Sacramento Bee would have you believe. So is it true?
Yes and no.
Horne died in 2010, but Twitter users are still apparently mourning her death today after a report hit the web telling of her death at the age of 92. Lena Horne did die on May 9, 2010, in New York City of heart failure.
Citing a New York Times article, the Sacramento Bee reported today, May 10, 2013 that Horne has just died. We have no idea who wrote the article or how long it was up, but it appeared to have made an impression before it was taken down.
The Rootfirst noticed that the Twitter conversation regarding Lena Horne’s death had ramped up today, theorizing that the social media chatter was owed to the anniversary of her death, which was yesterday.
Social media has accidentally started celebrity death hoaxes in the past (sometimes based on errant or false reports), “killing off” Cher, Tony Yayo, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and many more. But as Tracy Clayton notes, this might be the first time a celebrity has been killed off on social media after death.
The true cause of Lena Horne’s death-after-death seems to be the Sacramento Bee story. It’s possible the author made a careless mistake and didn’t know that Horne passed away years ago. We’ll probably never know, but we’ll let you know if they release a retraction.
For now, this is the only evidence the article that likely started the Twitter memorial ever existed. Clicking the link leads to a 404 error:
Here are a couple of tweets from people who think Lena Horne died today:
Lena Horne, Sultry Singer and Actress, Dies at 92: nyti.ms/zxy2UM
— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) May 10, 2013
RIP to legendary actress/singer Atlanta’s own #LenaHorne What a beautiful person soul. She will be surely missed
— Carlos Scott (@NVisionMarketin) May 10, 2013
Just learned that Lena Horne passed away. Saddened. A legend. A true star.
— Sandi Fitch Hutton (@SandiFitchHutt) May 10, 2013
Did you fall for Lena Horne’s Twitter death hoax?