Aretha Franklin

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Nice work, Internet! After Morgan Freeman and Aaron Carter, we knew you had one more celebrity death hoax left in you before saying goodbye to 2010.

As it happens, this time around, it's the reports of Aretha Franklin's death that have been greatly exaggerated.

Here's the deal…

Sometime yesterday afternoon, the Twitterverse began agitating with news of the admittedly ailing musical diva's demise. The Queen of Soul quickly became a trending topic, and the pervasive news quickly made the jump from the social networking site to multiple media outlets.

Problem was—and this is becoming something of a familiar refrain now—it wasn't true.

However, this time around, no malicious tweeter or infamy-seeking fan was behind the hurtful rumor—instead, this fake death was nothing more than a case of mistaken identity.

Motown singer Teena Marie, best known for hits like "Lovergirl" and "I'm a Sucker for Your Love," passed away last week at the age of 54. But what does that have to do with Aretha?

Well, one of Marie's nicknames (not one of her better known ones, incidentally, but one which certainly made a resurgence in the media in the wake of her untimely death) was the Ivory Queen of Soul.

And somewhere in the mix of frantic tweet-first-think-later RT'ing, the "Ivory" portion of the moniker was lost. However, a source close to Franklin, currently recovering from a mystery surgery believed to be related to pancreatic cancer, told the Detroit Free Press that the 68-year-old is very much alive.

So sadly, one Queen is dead. But long live the Queen.

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