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Hoax: Britney Spears Very Much Alive

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BEVERLY HILLS, December 26, (THEWILL) – No, Britney Spears is not dead. A representative for Spears confirmed on Monday that the singer is alive and well.

The Sony Music Global Twitter account sent a tweet early December 26, 2016 saying that Britney Spears had died. Hackers appear to be behind the tweets.

Her fans' hearts may have skipped a beat when tweets purportedly from Sony Music Entertainment said “RIP @britneyspears #RIPBritney 1981-2016” and “Britney spears is dead by accident! We will tell you more soon #RIPBritney.”

The real Sony Music Entertainment quickly deleted those tweets and issued a terse clarification:

“Sony Music Entertainment's Twitter account was compromised. This has been rectified,” it said.

“Sony Music apologizes to Britney Spears and her fans for any confusion.”

Spears's manager, Adam Leber, told CNN that “Britney is fine and well.”

She had posted photos on Sunday of her children in camouflage gear during an outdoors excursion.

“There have been a few Internet clowns over the years who have made similar claims about her death,” Leber said, “but never from the official Sony Music Twitter account.”

In 2001, a Texas radio station reported that Spears and then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake had died in a car crash. Two on-air personalities were later fired for repeating bogus Internet reports.

In addition to Sony's Twitter account, the official account of Bob Dylan may have been hacked on Monday : It tweeted: “Rest in peace @britneyspears” about the same time as the fake Sony tweets were going out.

While the origin of the erroneous tweets was not certain, the hacker group OurMine was a prime suspect. One tweet from Dylan's account included the OurMine hashtag.

The deaths of many other celebrities — from Beyonce to Michael Jordan to Jackie Chan and Sylvester Stallone — have been erroneously reported over the years, often in hacked internet postings.

Story by Oputah David