Fact Check

Keith Urban Is the Latest Celebrity Targeted By False Death Rumors

Rumors claiming the singer died in December 2023 were nothing but a hoax.

Published Dec 22, 2023

 (Library of Congress Life/Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Library of Congress Life/Wikimedia Commons
Keith Urban died in December 2023.

In December 2023, false rumors circulated claiming that Keith Urban had died. For instance, a popular YouTube video claimed, “R.I.P. Country singer Keith Urban, who passed away last night. Fans in tears,” to which commentators responded with messages indicating they believed the death to be real.

The video falsely claimed that Urban died after suffering from a tumor "exerting pressure on his lungs." The clip did not provide evidence or sources to independently verify its claims.

Similar posts fictionalizing the celebrity’s death had circulated prior to the YouTube video. Then, in December 2023, blog posts surfaced asking whether Urban had died and a wave of Snopes readers searched our site for information on the rumor.

However, there was no evidence the singer died, as of Dec. 22, 2023. Had that actually happened, reputable news outlets such as The Associated Press would have published obituaries to memorialize him. That had not happened.

The hoax spread as Urban posted about his concert tour on Instagram, indicating that he was indeed alive and well. He also reportedly appeared with his wife, Nicole Kidman, at a screening of her new television series on Dec. 20, 2023.

In addition to the social media posts, a December 2023 article on MediaMass drew attention to the alleged celebrity death, calling Urban's death report a hoax. However, MediaMass is not a reliable source of information. The outlet describes its articles as "satire,” and a page on its website says its goal is to “expose with humor, exaggeration and ridicule the contemporary mass production and mass consumption that we observe."

Celebrity death hoaxes are a form of junk news, designed to get gullible readers to linger on a website or engage with a social media user because a famous person is involved. Such articles are often clickbait, if not outright phishing scams. In rare cases, the unfactual rumors are based on faulty reporting or misunderstandings.

Here’s our running list of celebrity death hoaxes, which have targeted everyone from Clint Eastwood to Josh Peck to Sam Elliot to Celine Dion.


“Keith Urban Dead 2023 : Singer Killed by Celebrity Death Hoax.” Mediamass, 22 Dec. 2023, http://en.mediamass.net/people/keith-urban/deathhoax.html. Accessed 22 Dec. 2023.

“Nicole Kidman Gets Keith Urban’s Support at ‘Expats’ Screening!” Just Jared, https://www.justjared.com/2023/12/20/nicole-kidman-gets-keith-urbans-support-at-expats-screening/. Accessed 22 Dec. 2023.

"R.I.P. Country Singer Keith Urban, Who Passed Away Last Night. Fans in Tears." www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49268ZtvI6s. Accessed 22 Dec. 2023.

"Some Minutes Ago! Keith Urban Died in Hospital." www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VXn5tOuxlk. Accessed 22 Dec. 2023.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.