Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis is alive and well despite a false report by TMZ that sparked widespread coverage that Big fireballs the singer died.
The site later confirmed that Lewis, 87, still lives in Memphis.
“Earlier today someone claiming to be a representative of Lewis told us he had passed. Turns out that’s not the case,” TMZ wrote, retracting its shocking report.
CBS Sacramento was among those who picked up the story and later took it back.
A representative for the singer later confirmed that Lewis is “alive” and that TMZ “mistakenly reported an anonymous tip” to report his supposed death.
The controversial star was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame last week, but was unable to attend as she was suffering from the flu.
“It is with sincere sadness and disappointment that I am writing to you today from my sick bed to not be able to share my thoughts in person,” Lewis wrote in an acceptance speech posted on Facebook.
“I tried everything I could to get the energy to come today – I’ve been looking forward to it since I found out earlier this year.”
Lewis was a rock ‘n’ roll superstar in the late 1950s, with hits including Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.
In 1958, the world learned that he had married his 13-year-old cousin. He later became a country star, but never regained his superstar status.