Jerry Lee Lewis is not dead, despite false media report

The American singer, songwriter and pianist was reportedly down with flu this month

Jerry Lee Lewis speaks at the Country Music Hall of Fame in May 2022 after it was announced he would be inducted as a member, in Nashville, Tennessee. AP
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Jerry Lee Lewis is not dead, despite a report from TMZ that sent people into a state of mourning on Wednesday.

The publication had reported “erroneously” based off an “anonymous tip”, a representative for the rock and roll pioneer, 87, told Variety.

TMZ has since retracted its report.

“We are told the rock 'n' roll legend is alive, living in Memphis,” TMZ said in revising its article. “Earlier today, we were told by someone claiming to be Lewis’s rep that he had passed. That turned out not to be the case. TMZ regrets the error.”

Lewis, who is known for hits such as Great Balls of Fire and Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On, was meant to attend the induction ceremony for the Country Music Hall of Fame on October 16, but did not as he reportedly had the flu.

“It is with heartfelt sadness and disappointment that I write to you today from my sick bed, rather than be able to share my thoughts in person,” Lewis captioned an Instagram post with a photo of him in bed.

“I tried everything I could to build up the strength to come today — I have looked so forward to it since I found out about it earlier this year. My sincerest apologies to all of you for missing this fine event, but I hope to see you all soon.”

The photo shows “longtime dear friend” Kris Kristofferson visiting Lewis at home to present him with his medallion from the ceremony.

In 2019, the American singer, songwriter and pianist, nicknamed the Killer, also suffered a stroke, but a year later announced a new album of gospel music coming up, although that has yet to be released.

The false news report comes only weeks after People magazine published an incorrect story and tweeted that famous musician Joni Mitchell had died, although fans were quick to spot the error.

Scroll through the gallery below to see famous people we have lost so far in 2022

Updated: October 27, 2022, 7:45 AM