Sony has been left red-faced once more after hackers gained access to their Twitter account and sent out a series of truly terrifying tweets, announcing Britney Spears had died.
But before you start cursing about just how truly horrific a year 2016 has been for celebrity deaths, take a deep breath and relax. We’re happy to report that iconic 35-year-old pop star is both alive and well.
Two tweets were sent from the Sony Music Global account by hackers on Boxing Day.
The first, posted at 1.13pm read, "RIP @britneyspears. #RIPBritney 1981 - 2016." The second, posted just seven minutes later at 1.20pm read, "britney spears is dead by accident! we will tell you more soon #RIPBritney."
Within hours of the being sent out, however, Spears' manager, Adam Leber announced the tweets to be a hoax, telling CNN, "I assume their account has been hacked."
"I haven't spoken to anyone as of yet but I am certain their account was hacked. Britney is fine and well. There have been a few Internet clowns over the years who have made similar claims about her death, but never from the official Sony Music Twitter account."
Sony confirmed the hack, releasing a statement that read, "Sony Music Entertainment's Twitter account was compromised. This has been rectified. Sony Music apologizes to Britney Spears and her fans for any confusion".
It's not the first time the media entertainment company has been left exposed. A series of email hacks in 2014 revealed major problems within the company, including the gender pay gap between major Hollywood actors starring in Sony films.
But judging from Spears' own social media accounts, the 'Poison' singer paid the prank no mind, sharing a Christmas Day video of sons Sean and Jayden enjoying the holidays.