Confusion over Mark Lanegan and Queens Of The Stone Age could have led to false claim of Queen Elizabeth’s death

The UK monarch recently tested positive for COVID-19, but is still alive.

Mark Lanegan, Queens Of The Stone Age

Mark Lanegan (back left) with Queens Of The Stone Age in 2002. Image:
Hayley Madden / Getty

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Confusion surrounding the death of Screaming Trees frontman and frequent Queens Of The Stone Age collaborator Mark Lanegan could be behind a controversial piece of fake news claiming that the Queen has died.

On Wednesday, the gossip site Hollywood Unlocked posted an image on Instagram of the Queen, with a caption that claimed “sources close to the palace” had confirmed her death to the publication. The Queen is not dead, however, she did recently test positive for COVID-19. She postponed a number of in-person and virtual engagements following the test.

Despite a complete lack of evidence for the claim, Hollywood Unlocked founder Jason Lee has stood by the reporting. He claimed to Buzzfeed News that the Queen was scheduled to attend the wedding of British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, and that he heard the news directly from a guest at the star-studded event. Lee stated that a guest close to the Queen received a call, and then “reacted emotionally to a few people, and those few people were informed that that’s what happened.”

BuzzFeed News counters this, however, by noting that the Queen was not on any published guest lists of the event, nor does she have any connection to Enniful. As previously noted, she also postponed all in-person engagements following her positive COVID-19 test.


The publication instead offers an alternative explanation: there was a miscommunication somewhere along the line to Lee regarding the death of Mark Lanegan, who alongside fronting the band Screaming Trees was a frequent vocalist for Queens Of The Stone Age.

The news of Lanegan’s death was announced within an hour of Hollywood Unlocked’s post claiming that the Queen has died, and as BuzzFeed News explains: “It wasn’t immediately clear if Lanegan was supposed to attend the wedding, but some guests – unlike Queen Elizabeth – had connections to 90s and 00s alternative rock.”

When BuzzFeed News asked him if he thought it was possible that his source had misheard, Lee reportedly replied: “I don’t want to have a call every time there is an update on the internet. What I said earlier still stands: Until there is a retraction, that’s the story.”

Lee has shown no signs of backing down from his claim, despite the post being flagged by Instagram as fake news. Yesterday, he took to Twitter to write: “We have not retracted our story. There has yet to be an official statement from the Palace. Staying tuned.” He added today: “Please don’t take my calculated silence as somewhat cowering away from the work I’ve done this week. I’ll be active today on Twitter. And if you know me you know I’ve ALWAYS come with receipts.”

News of Lanegan’s death was confirmed in a statement shared to his Twitter page on Monday. “Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland. A beloved singer, songwriter, author and musician he was 57 and is survived by his wife Shelley. No other information is available at this time.”

Aside from his work with The Screaming Trees from 1985 to 2000 and with Queens Of The Stone Age, Lanegan was also a solo artist and a frequent collaborator. He recorded an unreleased album of Lead Belly covers with Kurt Cobain and performed in Mad Season with both Layne Staley of Alice In Chains and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam.


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