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Passing of Mark Lanegan may have sparked false report of Queen’s death

The U.S. rocker was a former member of Queens of the Stone Age

By Joe Goggins

Mark Lanegan
Mark Lanegan has died at the age of 57. (Photo: Teresa Sedó/Creative Commons)

A false report of the death of Queen Elizabeth II earlier this week may have arisen from a misunderstanding relating to the passing of Mark Lanegan.

News of Lanegan’s death at 57 broke on Tuesday evening (February 22), around the same time that the showbiz news site Hollywood Unlocked was reporting that the monarch has passed away. The site’s founder, Jason Lee, posted the claim to Twitter and stood by the story the following day (February 23), claiming a retraction posted to the Hollywood Unlocked Twitter feed was the result of a hack.

Now, a source has suggested to Buzzfeed that the unexpected death of Lanegan may have led to  a mix-up, with the singer having counted Queens of the Stone Age among his former bands. He contributed vocals to a number of tracks on 2000’s ‘Rated R’ and 2002’s ‘Songs for the Deaf’.

For Lee’s part, he continued to stand by his improbable story, which suggests news of the Queen’s supposed death spread among guests at the wedding of British Vogue editor Edward Enninful. “I would never post something like this if the person that told me, I did not trust,” said Lee. “People are asking why we posted without allowing the royal family or the Palace to release a statement. Why? Because we break stories. And I’ve broken many stories that have been factual. We have never been wrong.”

Until now, it would appear: Buckingham Palace confirmed on Wednesday (February 23) that the Queen participated in her usual weekly phone call with prime minister Boris Johnson, hours after Hollywood Unlocked had reported her death. The loss of Lanegan was confirmed in a post to his Twitter account by his wife, Shelley Brien. 

Tributes to the prolific rocker, who played with Screaming Trees, The Gutter Twins and Mad Season and collaborated with the likes of Isobel Campbell and Duke Garwood, flooded in on social media. Lanegan’s months-long battle with COVID-19 in 2021, which left him close to death, will be chronicled in a forthcoming and ultimately posthumous memoir, ‘Devil in a Coma’.