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Death does not become them: recent celebrity death hoaxes

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Eddie Murphy has been getting more publicity lately by doing nothing than his last several movies have gotten by actually paying for advertising. Why? Because a bunch of Internet hooligans keep trying to fool the world into believing that he's dead! This week, reports surfaced that the 51-year-old "Coming to America" actor (we like to remember the good times here at omg!) met his demise during a snowboarding accident in Switzerland. Murphy, who's actually alive and well, has probably stopped paying attention to any rumors of his death since the exact same snowboarding accident story made its way around the web both in March of this year and at the end of 2010. He's not alone, however. As the old saying goes you haven't really made it in Hollywood until someone thinks you're dead (OK, that's made up). Check out some other celebs who were the victims of death hoaxes over the last year … and lived to tell about it.

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Jon Bon Jovi

Back inDecember, a report began circulating that the "Livin' on a Prayer" rocker had been found unconscious in his hotel room and was taken to a hospital where he promptly suffered cardiac arrest. The now-50-year-old, who was slated to perform at a charity event the night the news broke, was a good sport about the hoax and soon posted a photo of himself in front of his Christmas tree inside his Garden State manse holding a sign that read "Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey." Minus the cast of the "Jersey Shore," of course.

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Vanilla Ice

Just because Vanilla Ice's career is more or less dead (aside from his show "The Vanilla Ice Project" on the DIY Network), doesn't mean he is! Whoever wrote the phony report of the one-hit wonder's phony passing in June either didn't check his or her facts or has a penchant for geography jokes. The fake report stated that the 44-year-old had "died in a single vehicle crash on Route 80 between Morristown and Roswell," which equates to somewhere between New Jersey and New Mexico. But it's nice to know there are plenty of people out there concerned about Mr. Ice. "I don't know who's spreading this rumor about me dying in a car crash but — I'M ALIVE!" the rapper tweeted after hearing of the hoax. "I have like 30 texts, from mom family and friends."

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Usher

Same stretch of road, much bigger star. The same site (which allows users to put in celebrity names to create phony death reports) came up with the same exact story (with just the name changed) a few months earlier, when it insisted that "Usher died in a single vehicle crash on Route 80 between Morristown and Roswell." The singer proved himself very much alive by tweeting a photo of himself shirtless and flexing his many muscles. "I must've died and went to heaven...Alive and cold kickin a**!!," he wrote. "Never scared, never dead...Just #Lookin 4 myself. Livin legend!"

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Reba McEntire

Fans of the country crooner kicked off 2012 with a scare in January when a phony statement made its way around the Internet claiming the redhead had literally fallen off a cliff. "Preliminary reports from Austrian Police officials indicate that the actress fell more than 100 feet to her death in a remote area of the Hahnenkamm mountains while on set," a report on the full-of-fake-stuff site "Global Associated News" read. McEntire, now 57, may have been able to laugh it off at the time, but her nephew didn't. "First time I heard of it, my sister called me, my older sister Alice, and she said her son, Trevor, called her, just crying," she explained a few months later on "The Talk." "He was devastated. He calls Alice just balling. And she said, 'I'll find out immediately.' She called me and I said, 'No I'm fine.' And I had to walk him off the ledge."

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Cher
Also in January, after someone posted a fake tweet made to look like a retweet of a CNN news report, which read "RT @CNN: American recording artist Cher dies at 65 years old. Found dead in Malibu home," it only took one ditzy reality star to get the rumor really going by sending it out to her more than 12 million followers. "Did I just hear that Cher has passed away? Is this real? OMG," Kim Kardashian posted to her Twitter account, followed by: "I hope this is a twitter joke and not true. I don't see it on the news anywhere. I'm praying its not true." The power of prayer, Kim!

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