Five pop music rumours and the real stories behind them

From Marilyn Manson appearing in Wonder Years to Avril Lavigne's supposed replacement by a lookalike called Melissa, the music world has more than its fair share of wild and wacky rumours.

Not just a phenomenon of the internet age some of these myths date back decades.

We debunk five of the greatest musical myths.

Kylie Minogue is Rick Astley speeded up and vice versa

Part conspiracy theory, part playground rumour, this 1980s classic owes its existence to the ability of record players to play vinyl at either the speed of 45 or 33 rpm.

The potential for accidentally playing a record at either too fast or too slow a speed, which John Peel knew something about, had a role in this teenage bedroom tale.

It goes like this: if you play the 7-inch single version of Kylie's I Should Be So Lucky at 33rpm, instead of its actual 45rpm, it sounds exactly like Rick Astley's voice not Kylie.

It's a rumour that would never get off the ground in today's streaming dominated world, though even Astley himself has admitted at different speeds his and Kylie's voices sound "remarkably similar."

The rumour had added fuel because both artists were members of the Stock, Aitken and Waterman stable of stars that with other acts like Bananarama, Sonia, Big Fun, Hazel O'Connor, Jason Donovan and Sinitta dominated late 1980s pop scene.

It might not be at the wrong speed but you can watch both stars duet on I Should Be So Lucky and Never Gonna Give You Up at the 2018 Radio 2 Hyde Park Festival in a Day.

Kylie and Rick - singing at the same speed

Phil Collins divorced his wife by fax

This fake news would seem to have everything - a pop star at the height of their powers, relationship heartbreak and the cold clinical use of a now outdated technology. The only problem being it's not true.

Break-ups figure high in the music of Phil Collins. The multi-million record selling artist's 1981 album Face Value was written in the aftermath of his first wife Andrea Bertorelli filing for divorce, with many songs, including In The Air Tonight, reflecting his pain at the couple's marriage breakdown.

The 1984 hit song Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) also dated from this period, its lyrics reflecting Collins' anguish at the divorce.

But, for years the star was dogged by the rumour he had ended his relationship with second wife Jill Tavelman by the peculiarly 1980s communication method of fax.

A piece of tech now mainly associated with football transfer deadline days, the fax machine is just perfect for a late 1980s and early 1990s myth. It offers a speedy resolution, makes sure things are in writing, all while being a big icon of its time.

In 1989's Back to the Future 2, the future Marty McFly is sacked by fax, probably the worst prediction of how 2015 would look contained in the film.

The Collins fax rumour was just as loosely based in reality and the singer set the record straight on its falseness in his 2016 autobiography.

Incidentally, the lyrics "Well if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand" from In The Air Tonight have their own rumour about a young Phil Collins witnessing a drowning where an adult refused to help - but that is a whole other, and once again, wholly untrue story.

Phil Collins addressed the myth in his 2016 autobiography

Paul McCartney died and was replaced

Fairly easy to disprove you'd think as Sir Paul is still performing aged 77.

However, there is a whole internet rabbit hole devoted to the very odd Paul is dead rumour.

The conspiracy theory goes that McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and was replaced by a lookalike, and subsequently The Beatles littered their work with clues to his death.

Exhibit number one was claimed to be the cover of Abbey Road, with the famous zebra crossing picture supposedly depicting a funeral procession.

John Lennon walking at the front dressed in white represented a spiritual figure, Ringo Starr in a dark suit the undertaker, McCartney, out of step with the others, barefooted and holding a cigarette in his right hand (he is left-handed), was obviously the corpse, and then George Harrison in denim was meant to depict the gravedigger.

There were supposedly numerous other clues, for example the VW Beetle in the background's number plate 28IF - a representation of McCartney's age if he was alive. This fails to take into account that McCartney, born in June 1942, was 27-years-old when the picture was taken in August 1969.

Other signs were meant to be hidden in Beatles lyrics, sometimes backwards, and in other album artwork.

Very much alive Sir Paul McCartney will headline the 50th Glastonbury Festival in June 2020.

Paul McCartney in the mid-1960s

Did David Bowie predict Kanye West?

He may have been very prescient on the future of the internet in this Newsnight interview from 1999, but David Bowie supposedly stared in to his crystal ball back in the 1970s and predicted Kanye West.

The basis for this rumour is the cover artwork of the 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.

We're talking 1972 here, five years before the birth of Kanye West in 1977, so admittedly not Nostradamus length territory. But supposedly the clues are all there.

Bowie is pictured in a London side street with a glowing sign above his head with the words 'K. West' and on the album the first track Five Years suggests Earth is set for destruction, while the final track on the same side Starman predicts a starman will descend to save the world - in this rumour Kanye will save us all.

Kanye West was born five years, and two days, after the Bowie album was released.

The K. West featured in the sign was actually a fur store in Heddon Street where the picture was taken in London's Mayfair.

Predicted Kanye, perhaps

Bob Holness played sax on Baker Street

The genesis of the rumour that Blockbuster's host Bob Holness was responsible for the distinctive saxophone on Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street is claimed by BBC 6 Music presenter Stuart Maconie, "My personal and silly part in a sad story is that as an NME writer I invented the urban myth claiming that Bob played the sax solo on Gerry's 1978 hit Baker Street," he said in 2011.

The claim Stuart Maconie said had appeared in the NME, of which he was assistant editor, in 1990.

The real saxophonist was in fact Raphael Ravenscroft.

The fact that the song Baker Street had an extra lease of life when it was covered by the group Undercover in 1992 may have led to the rumour's proliferation during the 1990s.

Presenter Tommy Boyd, and even Raphael Ravenscroft himself, have also claimed they were the original source of the tale of the former Radio 1 DJ Holness being responsible for the Baker Street sax sound.

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