As if 2016 couldn't get any worse, a high-profile cyber attacker hijacked Sony's music page and declared Britney Spears dead yesterday.
Fortunately, it was a hoax. Britney is a-o-k.
Twitter freaked out Monday morning when the official Sony Music Global page posted a tweet that claimed Britney "is dead by accident."
"We will tell you more soon," they said.
A follow-up tweet seemed to pay tribute to Spears' life (1981-2016). Minutes later, a sequence of new tweets confirmed that she lives.
OurMine Security said that Sony's account had been compromised and the pop music icon, who just turned 35, is not a 2016 victim.
Weirdly, OurMine reportedly hacked Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Sundar Pichai recently, warning they were just "testing your security."
OurMine reportedly hacked Netflix too.
The hacking of Sony is nothing new ... nor is the proliferation of fake news. Bottom line, though, is that Britney Spears remains unharmed.
Representatives for the singer confirmed this, despite false reports to the contrary, which circulated and fooled many people Monday.
Spears fans the world over were alarmed as tweets from not just Sony, but other verified accounts appeared to announce her death.
“Rest in peace, Britney Spears,” read an actual tweet from no less than Bob Dylan’s verified account; Bob apparently is a fan of Britney?
That tweet from Dylan and many others like it were deleted shortly after the hoax was debunked and they realized they'd been had.
“I assume their account has been hacked,” Adam Leber, Spears’ longtime manager, told CNN later on Monday. “I haven’t spoken to anyone."
"I am certain their account was hacked. Britney is fine and well," he assured the star's fans, noting that this was a first, even for her.
"There have been a few Internet clowns over the years who have made similar claims about her death, but never the official Sony Music Twitter.”
Britney personally took to Twitter, writing simply:
"Don't underestimate the power of Charlie’s."
Britney included the following collage:
Silver lining of death hoaxes? New selfies from Brit!
Spears is no stranger to outrageous rumors and theories over the years, but Sony has its own history with hackers too, as we know.
We're gonna blame Putin. Kidding/not kidding.
Long before hacking became so widespread, the emails of top executives were famously hijacked in 2014, leading to several controversies.
The Spears fake-out is surprising and yet not.
It comes on the heels of some very real celebrity deaths (George Michael) and health crises (Carrie Fisher) over the past week alone.
With the way this incredibly, often tragic year has gone, you could almost believe that something like this would happen in the waning days.
Fortunately, it was just another hoax. Phew.
When she's not being fake-killed off by hackers, Britney has kept a relatively low profile of late, but is still going strong in life and work.
And love, according to multiple recent reports.
She's started dating Sam Ashgari, who was a dancer in Britney and Tinashe's hot "Slumber Party" video, and is performing in Vegas.
Are they having slumber parties for two yet?!
A source close to the couple says they're in the "getting-to-know-you" stage of their relationship, having gone on three dates this far.
He's certainly glad she'll live to see a fourth.
Many a celebrity has been done in by Twitter, Facebook or other nefarious Internet hoax-making, but the Sony Twitter is quite unusual.
Here's a look back at other famous "victims" we've covered on THG, all of whom are mercifully alive, well and entertaining us presently: