Fake News: Ozzy Osbourne Did NOT Lose Battle Against Pneumonia -- NOT Dead

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Ozzy Osbourne Did NOT Lose Battle Against Pneumonia -- NOT Dead

Did Ozzy Osbourne just die of pneumonia? No, that's not true: the story announcing his death on February 6, 2019 is definitely false even though it went massively viral ten days after publication.

The story originated from an article published on February 6, 2019 titled "Ozzy Osbourne lost battle against pneumonia. The touching words of Sharon Osbourne" (archived here) which opened:

As it was announced few minutes ago the famous singer of Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne lost the battle against pneumonia.

His wife Sharon Osbourne wrote on her twitter account:

My best friend and the guy I was in love with. Oh god, I miss him.
I don't think I'll ever get over this awful, awful pain. I don't know if I'll ever breathe or think normally again. I don't know how to survive anymore. I need help.

His real name is John Michael Osbourne. He was a working-class child and had five siblings. At the age of 16 he started working in a slaughterhouse. After a year he stopped working and started burglaries and petty bribes to make money to buy drugs.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail, which did not show when the story was published:

Ozzy Osbourne lost battle against pneumonia. The touching words of Sharon Osbourne

As it was announced few minutes ago the famous singer of Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne lost the battle against pneumonia. His wife Sharon Osbourne wrote on her twitter account: My best friend and the guy I was in love with. Oh god, I miss him. I don't think I'll ever ...

Sharon Osborne did not post the message referenced in the story to her Twitter account, as you can check for yourself here. She did post a thank you note for all the get well messages Ozzy received while hospitalized with pneumonia recently:

Since then it has been reported that the singer is recovering at home:

Ozzy Osbourne Recovering at Home After Hospitalization

Ozzy Osbourne is recovering at home after being hospitalized for complications related to the flu.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes theweeklyobserver.com as:

A news site that has repeatedly published false or misleading information about celebrities.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about theweeklyobserver.com before when they prematurely announced Joe Jackson's death:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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