We have to admit that, although conspiracy theories aren’t exactly right up our alley, who doesn’t love reading about them? Not long ago, Avril Lavigne took to TikTok and posted a video making fun of a rumor that has haunted her for over a decade: the “real” (Whatever that means) Avril Lavigne died in 2003. This means that any creature resembling her or her form is a lookalike, i.e. doppelganger. By that rule of thumb, we would also have to believe the death rumor about Eminem or Paul McCartney. But, wait, because there are rumors about artists that passed but are claimed to be alive and in hiding.
So, what do we mean by music conspiracy theory? Well, it usually refers to a belief or speculation (so, zero foundation) that suggests a hidden or secret agenda within the music industry or surrounding specific musicians or songs. In this blog article, we’ve selected 5 of the craziest music conspiracy theories to this day. And, yes, we know there are many more but these truly illustrate how little we fact-check or, better said, how much the media assumes we, the readers, don’t fact-check. Enough said.
Conspiracy Theory #1: Stevie Wonder is not blind
The number one crazy theory in music suggests that Stevie Wonder, a renowned musician and singer-songwriter, is not actually blind. Oh, dear. It turns out that Sir Stevie Wonder has been faking his blindness for decades as part of an elaborate maneuver to fool the world. Let’s begin with fact-checking and which arguments have been used to sustain this super theory.
Conspiracy Theory #1: Arguments
- He picked up a microphone from the floor that Paul McCartney dropped.
- He was seen taking a picture of Michael Jackson.
- He was caught looking at a smartphone screen.
Stevie Wonder’s visual impairment has been well-documented throughout his life. He was born prematurely and developed a condition called retinopathy of prematurity, which led to permanent blindness. He has spoken openly about his blindness, and numerous eyewitness accounts and personal experiences from those who have interacted with him corroborate this fact.
Regardless of everything, he continues to be an amazing musician that has left a musical legacy that surpasses any rumor or bizarre theory the world has decided to waste time on. Here’s a bit of the Superstition we’d rather talk about.
Conspiracy Theory #2: Paul McCartney is dead
The “X is dead” conspiracy theory seems to be the media’s favorite. In the late 1960s, it was suggested that Paul McCartney, one of the members of the Beatles, died in a car accident in 1966 and was secretly replaced by a look-alike.
Conspiracy Theory #2: Arguments
- On November 9th, 1966 the news claimed he died in a car crash.
- The Paul we saw after was supposedly a double hired to cover this whole thing up.
- The Beatles used their music, album artwork, and interviews to hint at McCartney’s death and cover-up.
So, in essence, the factual evidence solely relies on hidden messages left in lyrics. Considering “I Am The Walrus” lyrics and the fun John Lennon had coming up with these, we can only say that it doesn’t seem like a reliable source. Paul McCartney himself has addressed and debunked this theory on multiple occasions, confirming that he is indeed alive (Duh!). He has continued to have a successful musical career long after his supposed “death” in 1966. And, for this, we do have proof.
Conspiracy Theory #3: The Eagles’ song “Hotel California” is a Satanist anthem
The rumor that the Eagles wrote “Hotel California” as a Satanist anthem has circulated for many years. As with most of conspiracy theories, it lacks substantial evidence (Surprise!) and is widely regarded as unfounded. But, just for fun, let’s see what the arguments were to back it up.
Conspiracy Theory #3: Arguments
- The lyrics “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” refers to a pact with the devil.
- When certain parts of the song are played backward, aka backmasking, hidden satanic messages can be heard.
- The cover art of the “Hotel California” album contains hidden satanic symbols.
The Eagles have consistently denied all satanic references or hidden messages behind the song. They have claimed that the song explores themes of excess, materialism, and the not-so-pretty side of the American dream. As with any song, let’s say it can be open to interpretation and any hidden message says more about the listener than anything else. Well, check it out for yourself.
Conspiracy Theory #4: John Lennon was shot by Stephen King
We’ll try to write this one out with the utmost respect. Sadly, the fictional part of this conspiracy has more to do with the criminal than the death itself. John Lennon, the legendary musician and member of the Beatles, was tragically shot and killed on December 8, 1980, in New York City. His murderer was identified as Mark David Chapman, who had no connection to Stephen King. The latter is a well-known author famous for horror and suspense novels. So, which arguments were sued to support this connection?
Conspiracy Theory #4: Arguments
- The New York Times published an article reminding us about how Mr. King received orders through magazines from President Richard Nixon and Ronald Regan. Apparently, they wanted him dead because of his clear and outspoken anti-war stance.
- The title of The Shining (1997), one of the most famous novels by Mr. King, was inspired by the musician’s single “Instant Karma”, specifically the lyrics “Well we all shine on”.
- In 1999, Mr. King was run over by a car as a cover-up.
As far as imagination goes, this is probably one of the most far-fetched conspiracy theories. But, hey, any excuse to include work from one of the best songwriters and composers of all time.
Conspiracy Theory #5: Elvis Presley is alive!
Since his death in 1977, this conspiracy theory about Elvis Presley has been around since we can remember! Theory supporters claimed that he faked his death and spent the rest of his life in hiding. Contrary to this, other claims pointed to death officially attributed to a heart attack and related complications, following an autopsy. Well, we think the latter seems to be more feasible, but let’s not jump to conclusions (enter sarcasm) and see the arguments used to sustain this music conspiracy theory.
Conspiracy Theory #5: Arguments
- Some indicate that he is a US government spy.
- Others speculate that he entered the witness protection program due to his connections with the mafia.
- Medical reports that claim natural death causes cannot be made public, and lack of evidence (apparently) equals proof.
- He faked his death to escape the pressures of fame or potential threats.
Like rumors, what drives conspiracy theories is word of mouth. So, if you want either to stop, all we can say is, “A little less conversation…”.
Music Conspiracy Theories: Final Thoughts
We can safely say that most music conspiracy theories lack substantial evidence and are often based on speculation, interpretation, coincidence, or a bored mind. We simply wanted to remind you about how crucial it is to approach any type of news with a critical mindset and always consider the lack of verifiable proof. What’s more, we think it’s much more productive to spend time exploring the life of a song than of the artist. But, again, this is simply an opinion, not a theory.