NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sony Music Entertainment’s Twitter account was hacked on Monday, publishing fake statements that pop music icon Britney Spears had died.
Sony Music, a unit of Sony Corp. (6758.T), said in a short statement that its social media account was “compromised” but that the situation “has been rectified.”
The company said it “apologizes to Britney Spears and her fans for any confusion.”
A Sony spokeswoman refused to comment further. A Twitter spokesman did not return emails seeking comment.
The 35-year-old international superstar and Grammy Award winner is “is fine and well,” Spears’ manager Adam Leber told CNN.
In the first of several false tweets on Monday, the company’s Sony Music Global Twitter account published a short message reading “RIP @britneyspears” and “#RIPBritney 1981-2016,” along with a teary-eyed emoji, Variety and Billboard magazines reported.
The fake tweets were soon removed. In some tweets, the group OurMine took responsibility, Billboard reported.
The Twitter account of folk music icon Bob Dylan may also have been subjected to a hoax, Billboard reported, when it sent out a now-deleted tweet reading “Rest in peace @britneyspears.”
The Sony spokeswoman confirmed that Bob Dylan is also a Sony artist and that the company’s statement “holds true for what’s happened.”
Another unit of Sony, Sony Pictures Entertainment, was the victim of a devastating cyber attack in November 2014, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded was the work of North Korea. That hack came a month before Sony Pictures was due to release the film “The Interview,” about two journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Reporting by Hilary Russ in New York; Additional reporting by Kanika Sikka in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler