Simon Cowell is not dead despite the phrase “RIPSimonCowell” trending on Twitter on June 25. There have been no media reports, no public statements from his management nor any mention of a possible death on his various social media channels. The trend appears to be related to an erroneous edit on Cowell’s Wikipedia page that said he died on June 25.
Simon Cowell, 60, is a highly recognizable celebrity and if he was dead, it would have been widely reported. Cowell has not been active on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram since June 16. Heavy has reached out to Cowell’s management company but has not received a response.
Cowell Changed His Lifestyle Dramatically Following a Health Scare in 2017
Cowell told The Sun at that time, “Sometimes we get a reminder that we’re not invincible and this was certainly mine. It was a huge shock. I have got to really take good care of myself to sort that out.”
The fainting episode was caused by low blood pressure, according to Cowell. In May 2020, Cowell told The Sun that he had lost nearly 60 pounds since beginning his healthy lifestyle. Cowell told the tabloid, “The most dramatic period was the first month where most of the weight comes off and you look at yourself and think ‘wow.’”
Cowell added that he avoided red meat as well as a lot of vegetables, salads and “this great beer.” During an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2019, Cowell credited his son, Eric, 6, as influencing his new lifestyle.
Stars Like Jeff Goldblum & The Rock Have Been Victims of Death Hoaxes in the Past
Death hoaxes are common in the internet age. In March 2014, ABC News published a guideline for internet users in order to help them to avoid falling for death hoaxes. At that time, a common death hoax suggested that various celebrities, including Jeff Goldblum and The Rock, had died after falling from some cliffs in New Zealand. The ABC article pointed out that readers should be eagle-eyed for “bait text” — information that seems interesting but has been used multiple times in multiple other fake stories.
A Washington Post article on the same topic encouraged users to stick to known websites and noted that “Breaking news stories will usually include the reporter’s name; hoaxes, mysteriously, go un-bylined.”
In 2014, The Week published a list of hoax sites. They included Empire News, The National Report, Huzlers, Daily Currant and Free Wood Post. The website noted that occasionally news stories from satire sites such as The Onion and Clickhole are circulated as legitimate news. The Week article concludes simply that users should “Take 30 seconds to determine whether something is real before you blast it out to hundreds of people. We’ll all have a better internet for it.”
Buzzfeed’s Craig Silverman, a specialist in fake news, told DigiDay in 2012, “Fake news relies on viral sharing. If you think about why so many stars are subject to death hoaxes, they’ve been part of a pop culture that people have an emotional connection to. And that is at the core of what makes fake news work.”