The 71-year-old Canadian singer took to the airwaves last week in Toronto to assure his fans that he was very much alive after reports began circulating that he’d passed away — one of which was confirmed by a musician friend of his who’d been duped by his own management.
“I’m fine, everything is good,” Lightfoot told a Toronto all-news station. “I don’t know where it comes from. It seems like a bit of a hoax or something, I’m not sure. I was quite surprised to hear (it) myself.”
He joked that “I haven’t had so much airplay on my music now for weeks.”
The friend, singer Ronnie Hawkins, explained that his management team in the United States had told him that someone claiming to be Lightfoot’s grandson told them the singer had died, according to a Canadian Press report.
“I think they can trace that phone call, maybe, and see who did that,” Hawkins said. “Oh, what a dirty, sick joke that is, but I’m glad it was a sick joke and not the truth.”