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The weirdest conspiracies about music's biggest stars

With some people speculating that Gucci Mane has been replaced with a government clone, we look at some of the most bizarre music conspiracy theories out there

When Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane emerged from prison earlier this month looking noticeably slimmer and with what a seemingly different speaking voice, there could be only one possible explanation: he’d had been replaced by a government clone. Fuelled by an interview quote from Breakfast Club host Lil Boosie – “That ain’t the real Gucci” – the preposterous theory that the real Gucci Mane was either dead or still behind bars quickly began to gain traction. The conspiracy fanatics didn’t let the fact that the story originated on a satirical website, or that the Lil Boosie quote was fabricated, or any sort of basic logic, stand in the way of their convictions.

The rumours became so prolific, in fact, that Gucci Mane himself addressed them on Snapchat. “I will neither support or deny those accusations,” he joked. Then again, that’s exactly what a clone would say.

Thanks to the internet, however bizarre, far-fetched or downright ridiculous a theory is, there’ll be people willing to support it. A musician sang a particular word twice over the course of five albums, and their middle name begins and ends with the same letter? They’re obviously a reptilian humanoid. Here are ten of the best and weirdest music-related conspiracy theories in circulation – and remember, jet fuel can’t melt steel beams.


Back in 2012, Pitbull released a collaborative single with Shakira called “Get It Started’. The track contained references to “big news”, “Malaysia”, “worldwide” and “two passports.” Naturally, certain corners of the internet interpreted it as a warning about the disappearance of flight MH370 (an extremely pre-emptive one, given that it was two years before it happened) since it was a Malaysia Airlines flight, two men on the plane were travelling with fake passports and it was, um, big news. The theorists conveniently ignored the jumble of words that followed that “two passports” line – “three cities, two countries, one day,” none of which bore any relevance to flight MH370. 


Because she’s Beyoncé, and thus having just one measly conspiracy theory would almost be an insult, there are many, many conspiracies regarding Queen Bey. She’s Solange’s mother, she recruits teenagers for Satan, she’s a member of the Illuminati (though to be fair, who isn’t these days?), she killed Joan Rivers and she faked her own pregnancy. Must be exhausting. Perhaps the most pervasive of all the Beyoncé-related theories, though, is that she’s actually a clone. Here’s how it went down: concerned that their precious investment may one day prove to be mortal, Beyoncé’s producers decided to get their hands on a few of her stem cells to put aside for a rainy day. And it’s lucky they did, because the real Beyonce died in 2000, and was replaced by a clone. Here she is acting strangely at a basketball game, because her programming had malfunctioned, you understand, and definitely not because she was bored out of her mind. Her and Gucci Mane should start a clone club.


Brace yourself before visiting David Alice’s website on “the Diana-Morrissey phenomenon.” It goes in deep. The theory, painstakingly presented through a timeline of The Smiths’ entire career, is that Morrissey – time and time again – foreshadowed the untimely death of Princess Diana. Take this line, from “The Queen Is Dead”, for example: “Hemmed in like a boar between arches.” Need we say more? Well yes, probably. The line contains “the interrupted spelling of Princess Diana's first name: d-i-a-n-a.” And so does the line, “and in the darkened underpass” from “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”. Here’s the real kicker though. “Princess Diana crashed into a row of ‘arches’ (formed by the support pillars) in an ‘underpass.’” There is a lot more where that came from. A lot more.


Obviously, there’s no way a woman could actually, legitimately break into the world of hip hip through sheer talent, right? So how do we explain Nicki Minaj? Well, the only conclusion any logical person could possibly come to is that her voice is actually Jay Z’s, but sped up a bit. The Nicki Minaj we all know and love is simply the face of the operations, wheeled out to mime along to a man’s digitally altered vocals. Wake up sheeple.


A conspiracy theory so prevalent it’s got its own Wikipedia page, the ‘Paul is dead’ rumour began in 1969 when the student newspaper at Iowa’s Drake University published an article asking, “Is Beatle Paul McCartney Dead?” The answer was – and indeed still is – a pretty resounding ‘no’, but that didn’t stop the rumour mill from grinding away for the next 50 years. After all, when a section of “Revolution 9” from the White Album is played backwards, you can clearly hear the phrase, “Turn me on dead man.” Then there’s the fact that John Lennon mumbles, “I buried Paul” during the fade-out of “Strawberry Fields Forever”. OK, so he’s actually saying, “Cranberry sauce,” but condiments don’t make for such good conspiracy theories.


It’s always difficult to accept when someone extremely famous and talented turns out to be, in Lorde’s own words, “basically a foetus.” For some people, the fact that Ella Yelich-O’Connor released “Royals” when she was just 16 was a bitter pill to swallow. So bitter, in fact, that the ‘Lorde age truthers’ decided she must be lying. When she told Rookie’s Tavi Gevinson that The Virgin Suicides “really resonated with me as a teenager. I mean, I still am a teenager,” that accidental past tense was all the proof the truthers needed that she was, in fact, 45 years old. Sadly, someone forked out $17.02 for her birth certificate, discovered that she was definitely born on November 7 1996, and we were all forced to accept that someone not yet legally able to drink has achieved more than we ever will in our lives.


Back in 2012, the website Hip Hop Is Read received an anonymous letter recalling a top secret meeting that supposedly took place back in 1991. “Little did I know,” the letter said of that fateful meeting, “that we would be asked to participate in one of the most unethical and destructive business practice I’ve ever seen.” It goes on to claim that record companies had invested millions into privately-owned prisons – prisons which they now had a vested interest in remaining filled. “Our job would be to help this happen by marketing music which promotes criminal behaviour.” The result? Gangsta rap. Because apparently, if it wasn’t for rap music, prisons across America would lie dormant.


This is a strange one, because it’s a theory that was seemingly propagated by Mary J. Blige back in 2005. Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash, alongside eight others, at the age of 22, but some people – Blige included, it would seem – believe that the whole thing was carefully orchestrated. “It was just that when I saw her die, that’s when I discovered the fact that I’m next,” said Blige in a truly bizarre interview, displaying a deep paranoia which the interviewer resolutely fails to follow up on. “I don’t know how or when, but I’m next. I don’t know what kind of freak accident they’re going to put me in, or what kind of overdose of heroin they’re going to sort out, but at the end of the day, I knew I was next. I just thought, I’m scared.” More than a decade on, and she’s still alive and kicking. Unless, of course, she’s also been replaced by a clone…


Somewhere along the way, there is an ounce of truth in this one. Michael Jackson’s sudden death did indeed coincide with mounting protests against the election of Mahmoud Admadinejad in Iran, immediately snatching the world’s spotlight away from a country on the brink of revolution. “Michael Jackson RIP” even replaced “#iranelection” as Twitter’s top trending topic. For some people though, the timing was a little too convenient. Never mind Conrad Murray – the incompetent personal physician who accidentally administered Jackson with a lethal cocktail of sleeping pills – it was the Iranian government that killed the king of pop.


As we’ve already established, there are very few popstars who haven’t been accused of joining this mysterious (and, in this context, fictitious) secret society. But few have been accused with more fervour than Jay Z. Google the word “Illuminati”, and Jay Z’s possible membership is one of the top suggested questions thanks to his uber wealth and propensity to throw pyramid hand signs around. Some even support the David Icke school of thought – that he’s Illuminati of the reptilian humanoid variety. You’d think a powerful reptilian humanoid would have better things to do than create overpriced streaming services.