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Fake News: Belgian Singer Stromae NOT Dead In Paris Road Accident

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sun, 14 Oct 2018 21:46:11 Z)

Did Belgian singer Stromae die in a road accident in Paris today, aged only 33? No, that's not true: a death hoax about the singer was launched by a website that is linked to several other celebrity death hoaxes. It is not real.

The story originated from an article published by "chanteur-news-info.fr" on October 14, 2018 titled "Accident grave à Paris - Le célèbre chanteur Stromae est décédé aujourd'hui à l'âge de 33 ans, des suites d'un accident de la route." (archived here) which opened:

Le célèbre chanteur Stromae est mort aujourd'hui à la suite d'un accident de la route.Le chanteur est revenu du concert et a été frappé par une autre voiture.Il a été emmené à l'hôpital où il est mort.

Stromae de son vrai nom Paul Van Haver, ou Paul, né le 12 mars 1985 à Etterbeek, est un auteur-compositeur-interprète et producteur de hip-hop, musique électronique et chanson française belge originaire de Laeken, à Bruxelles4,5.

A quick Google translation of that reads:

The famous singer Stromae died today as a result of a road accident. The singer returned from the concert and was hit by another car. He was taken to the hospital where he died.

Stromae by his real name Paul Van Haver, or Paul, born March 12, 1985 in Etterbeek, is a singer-songwriter and producer of hip-hop, electronic music and French French song from Laeken, Brussels4,5.

Screenshot of http://chanteur-news-fr.info/ins-news.php?id=117

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Accident grave à Paris - Le célèbre chanteur Stromae est décédé aujourd'hui à l'âge de 33 ans, des suites d'un accident de la route.

FR - NEWS ONLY

No mention of the singer's death was made on his official Facebook page or in any other mainstream news outlet. Most of the article was just copy pasted from his Wikipedia entry. More importantly the image used to illustrate the story is actually from a 2017 article about a Spanish truck that had an accident on a French highway:

Un camión español sufre un grave accidente en la A-39 en Francia. Fotos - Diario de Transporte

Un camión de la empresa española Transportes Trota S.A. ha sufrido un accidente esta mañana a las 6:45 horas la autopista A-39 en Francia, el siniestro en el que han resultado heridos de gravedad los dos conductores que fueron trasladados en helicóptero hasta los hospitales de Besançon y Dijon.

In addition to that the website spreading the hoax is using Adsense ads to monetize its articles and it uses the Adsense ID "ca-pub-7530693347425879". This ID was also found earlier on a website on the domain "pro-inside.website" which was responsible for a death hoax about French actor Sami Naceri about a year ago:

Fake News: French Actor Samy Naceri NOT Dead From Heart Disease | Lead Stories

French Actor Samy Naceri, most known from his role in the movie "Taxi", was the victim of a celebrity death hoax earlier today. A site ostensibly named "C. Chivalric" hosted at pro-inside.website/fr/ published an article ( archived here) titled "L'acteur français Samy Naceri est mort aujourd'hui à cause d'une maladie cardiaque.

So you probably shouldn't trust any news coming from this new website either...

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About the author:

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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