Hollywood legend Betty White is not dead, despite fan fears to the contrary. The confusion stemmed from the death of the similarly named singer Betty Wright.
Betty Wright (not Betty White) was a soul and R&B icon. Wright did die on May 10, 2020 at the age of 66. Her official profile on the Universal Music website says that Betty Wright “influenced a generation of female singer-songwriters and continues to influence the world of hip hop.” You can read more about Betty Wright’s death and life here.
As for Betty White, the Golden Girls’ actress, she is alive and just fine. In fact, Lifetime recently announced that the 98-year-old legend will be appearing in a new Christmas movie. This caused relief among Betty White fans even as people mourned the death of the talented Wright.
However, the similarity of Betty White’s name to Betty Wright’s name sent some fans into a panic.
“I think it’s nice that people seem relieved that Betty White didn’t pass away,” admonished radio host Shelley Wade. “But during your relief, also try to show some compassion that Betty Wright actually did pass away. Her life meant something as well. #RIPBettyWright.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Some Fans Mistakenly Thought Betty White Died
Fans were in a full-blown panic at the news. Enough of them were worried about White that her name trended on Twitter. Seeing White’s name trend on Twitter also frightened some people into thinking she might have died. Some people pointed out that Wright’s death was also tragic. “Betty Wright in heaven listening to everyone saying how relieved they are that Betty White is still alive #BettyWright,” wrote one woman.
Betty White fans were relieved she wasn’t dead. “I saw Betty White trending and i got scared for a moment. Gotta keep her safe! #BettyWhite,” wrote one.
“Seeing Betty White trending and finding out she isn’t dead, just a movie announcement,” wrote another.
“I saw Betty White trending and thought the worst. Then I saw it’s #BettyWright who passed away—and felt ashamed that I didn’t know her music. What an amazing voice and soul she possessed. I’ll spend the rest of the day enjoying her gifts,” wrote one man.
“Here’s something to make you smile. Betty White is 98 years old and still in good health,” a woman wrote. “yall gon stop scaring the sh*t out of me whenever i see betty white trending,” wrote another.
“I don’t agree. People can be relieved that Betty White didn’t die and still be empathetic to the fact that Betty Wright died,” wrote a fan.
“I thought Betty White died,” admitted a fan. “I am very sad to hear singer Betty Wright passed today and this tweet is no disrespect to her death but damn when first saw the announcement read it wrong and thought it said Betty White and my world stood still! #Bettywhite forever my idol,” wrote another.
Another fan summed it up best: “I’m relieved to hear Betty White is still with us, but I’m also saddened to hear that Mrs. Betty Wright is not. What a talent. What a light.”
READ NEXT: The Life & Death of Betty Wright.