This page has been archived and is no longer updated.Find out more about page archiving. defines 'conspiracy theory' as "a theory that explains an event as being the result of a plot by a covert group or organisation" and "the idea that many important political events or economic and social trends are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public".

And so it was that, last week, Olly Murs was accused of being, as the Guardian put it, "the tightest-trousered conspiracy theorist in town" after he asserted in a Sun interview that, "Something happened that day - whether it was covered up, I don't know," about a mass panic in London's West End on Black Friday last year.

Is he the first musician to have hinted at going-ons that are somehow unknown to the rest of us? Far from it...

Matt Bellamy of Muse

[WATCH] Highlights of Muse at Reading + Leeds 2017

A 2015 NME interview with Matt Bellamy begins with a fantastic anecdote about the time when the Muse frontman found himself sat next to George W. Bush's former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, at a Washington DC event. "There was a failure of intelligence that night - in that the powers that be hadn't realised that you might not want to sit a man obsessed with conspiracy theories next to one of the most powerful figures in the US military-industrial complex," NME's Gavin Haynes wrote

Bellamy seized his moment: "I asked him about hollow-point bullets. Because Homeland Security had purchased millions of them. They explode when they hit you - I think they are banned under the Geneva Convention. This was widely reported in the conspiracy press, and the question was why were they buying so many. It looked like they were preparing for massive riots."

Incredibly, Bellamy added that Powell deflected by saying, "When you're out in the field and you want to shoot, you want to kill: quickly and cleanly," before dessert was served. And the purchasing (or not) of millions of hollow-point bullets is just one of many conspiracies that Bellamy has considered over the years. A Noisey article collected them together, and they include 9/11 being an inside job, which he later retracted, and possibly the existence of UFOs. He claims to have once seen one, although he accepts that it might well have been a helicopter.

Shaun Ryder

[LISTEN] Shaun Ryder chats to Steve Wright

Some aliens look like us, some look like Freddo the Frog

Speaking of UFOs, by our count, at least 11 musicians claim to have seen them, but we forgot Shaun Ryder, so make that 12. As he told Steve Wright in 2013, above, he's been "into" UFOs for years, after he believed he saw one in Salford in 1978. "There were a lot of sightings around the same time over the Pennines," he said.

Also in 2013, Ryder told the Guardian: "It's not that I want to believe, it's just impossible not to. We're not the only life in the universe. We're just not. It's ridiculously impossible. If you look at the way kids are being taught now… when I was a kid at school, you was taught there was no life out there - that was it. But now kids are being taught there's water, so where there's water there will be life forms or whatever. So it's not that I want to believe, that's how it is."

He thinks we're being watched by sophisticated, possibly frog-like ETs, and have been since time immemorial, telling i-D last year: "This planet has been one big experimental watch-planet from day one. So if we was ever going to be took over and turned into f****** food, it would have happened years ago. So, yeah, aliens? As Paul Hellyer [former Canadian Minister of National Defence] said, there's a lot of different species. Some look like us, some look like f****** Freddo the Frog."

Some aliens look like us, some look like Freddo the Frog


M.I.A. began her 2010 album Maya with a track called The Message and lyrics of: "Headbone connects to the headphones / Headphones connects to the iPhone / ​iPhone connects to the internet / Connected to the Google / Connected to the government." It led to accusations that she was a conspiracy theorist, which she flatly denied, telling the Guardian in 2013, just as they were reporting the Edward Snowden leaks: "What I said about the internet is what's happening now. It's on the front of your own newspaper. It's not a conspiracy theory, is it - unless your paper is supporting a conspiracy theory? Conspiracy theory is too much of a small pond for me to swim in."

Nonetheless, her theory that "Google and Facebook were developed by the CIA", as she told Nylon magazine in 2010, hasn't been corroborated, nor a belief, which she suggested to the Guardian in the same year, that, "Tower Hamlets [in London] got a new MP and because he wanted to tone down the violence in Hoxton, he flushed the area with loads of heroin to sedate and pacify the Bengalis."

BBC Advice - heroin

Jim Corr

In 2011, The Corrs' Jim Corr spoke to host Brendan O'Connor on RTE's The Saturday Night Show, revealing an interest in conspiracy theories. He believes, or did at the time, that the truth about the 9/11 attacks is being suppressed; swine flu may have been man-made; the American military has a secret tectonic weapon which could have been used to cause the 2010 earthquake in Haiti; and also that a secret society is trying to establish a one-world government.

In the interview, Corr said that he had a section on his site called One-World Government that collected together quotes on his theories. That section has now been removed, but Jim still maintains a Twitter feed which suggests an ongoing interest in governmental and societal issues.


[WATCH] Highlights of B.o.B's set at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend

The cities in the background are approx. 16 miles apart... where is the curve?

"What did you get up to this weekend?" began a 2016 Newsbeat article. "Cinema? Pub with your mates? Not B.o.B. He spent the last few days trying to convince Twitter that the world is flat."

The rapper had posted a photograph of himself on a hill with the caption, "The cities in the background are approx. 16 miles apart... where is the curve?" resulting in a discussion on the micro-blogging site with renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Irritated, B.o.B promptly released a diss track, Flatline ("Neil Tyson need to loosen up his vest / They'll probably write that man one hell of a cheque"), which, in true hip hop beef-style, led to a response from Tyson's rapping nephew, Stephen. The track, Flat to Fact, included the lyrics: "I'm in the Hayden Planetarium gettin’ shoulder rubs / I think it's very clear, that Bobby didn't read enough / And he's believing all this conspiracy theory stuff / Are these all of your thoughts or is the loud talkin'?"

Unperturbed, BBC Trending reported last year that B.o.B was "crowd-funding the launch of satellites to see if he can get some evidence" of the Earth being flat. Initially, he was asking for $200,000. That figure has now been increased to a target $1m, of which less than $7,000 has currently been raised.

The cities in the background are approx. 16 miles apart... where is the curve?

Mick Fleetwood

[LISTEN] Mick Fleetwood chats to Johnnie Walker about Fleetwood Mac's 1977 album Rumours

It's perhaps unfair to say Mick Fleetwood is a believer in conspiracy theories, but he certainly thinks deeply about them, telling Word magazine in 2004: "I'm not an overly-read guy, but I loved David Icke's The Biggest Secret. Some of it does push the envelope, but I find that sort of stuff really interesting. Power structures that have been controlling the planet for longer than you or I realise. What are they? Mostly things called 'banks'. I mean, who decides the interest rates? Who really decides? Why have they got a right to do that? They invent and print money that doesn't belong to them.

"Over here in the US I never see anything in the press about it. Look at Freemasonry. The Capitol was designed by freemasons. A lot of the American presidents have been freemasons. How many? Sixty-three per cent. Nixon was, Bush could well be; nearly all the founding fathers were freemasons. The dollar bill is covered in Masonic insignia, the pyramid and the eye. I'm not saying there's anything sinister about it, but it is debatable in terms of 'why is that?'. I have an awful feeling they control more than anyone ever questions."

And he's not the only rocker who started out in the 60s to raise questions about established order. In Andrew Smith's book Moondust, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant is quoted as saying, "I never really believed they went, to be honest with you," about the 1969 Moon landing.

Demi Lovato

I believe there could possibly be mermaids

Finally, Demi Lovato is the kind of pop star who is often the subject of conspiracy theories, including one that she has a secret twin sister, Poot, who has been locked in a basement her entire life, as E! reported. She's also a fan of them. "I know that they're real," she said about aliens on US talk show, Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2014, above. "How self-centered would we be as humans to believe that we are the only living things in the universe?"

Warming to her theme, Lovato added, "I believe there could possibly be mermaids... an alien species living in parts of the Indian Ocean, which we have never explored before." She cited "an extremely convincing documentary that came out," which "the next day they had to say was fake".

The programme in question, Mermaids: The New Evidence, was shown on Animal Planet in 2013. It was staged and featured a disclaimer at the end saying that "certain events" in the film were "fictional".

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I believe there could possibly be mermaids

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