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8 Craziest Celebrity Award Show Conspiracy Theories

by Estelle
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Some people read something in everything. Whether it be a strange cloud formation or a weird sound coming through the pipes of an old house. They attach a sinister meaning to all of it. It is even worse when it comes to celebrities. When their dresses fold a certain way, it could be that they’re faking a pregnancy. When they have a creepy-looking symbol on their album cover, it might just mean that they are in cahoots with Satan.

10 Crazy Conspiracy Theories About Celebrity Deaths

Over the years many conspiracy theories have been formed around the idea that annual award shows are just Illuminati rituals in disguise. Weird celeb behavior and shocking deaths form part of these rituals. On this list are eight examples of such conspiracies. (Spoiler alert: the Illuminati is blamed for a lot of stuff.)

8 Heath Ledger

Photo credit: The Australian

Even before Heath Ledger died on 22 January 2008 at the age of 28, strange rumors chased him. After he took the role of the Joker in The Dark Knight Rises, it was said that darkness entered his soul and he became insane. Sound melodramatic? That’s not even nearly the craziest thing that’s been theorized about this young actor lost in the prime of his life and career.

Conspiracy theorists latched on to the fact that Ledger died on Oscar nomination day in 2008 with the ceremony following a month later. They claimed that the Illuminati killed the actor to ensure higher viewer ratings for the awards show. They also came up with a bunch of other conspiracies, as they did not believe he died of an accidental drug overdose. They insisted that Ledger had to sacrifice his life to gain short-lived fame. They also said that since he died on the 22nd, his death was ritualistic as the number 22 is in sync with the Joker tarot card. They also pointed out that in his two last movies: The Dark Knight Rises and the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, there are two scenes in which Ledger’s character is hanged. One scene shows him hanging from his foot, which looks like the Hanged Man tarot card. The other scene shows him being hanged by the neck with the ‘all-seeing eye’ symbol drawn on his forehead. According to theorists, the neck hanging scene depicts the real-life hanging of Roberto Calvi whose death was also rumored to be symbolic and ritualistic.

Some even believe that the Illuminati recruited Mary Kate Olsen to kill Ledger in a way that would resemble a drug overdose.[1]

7 Prince & Michael Jackson

Photo credit: Mix 108

Prince and Michael Jackson were both huge music stars. And they both died within days of the BET Awards in 2009 and 2016 respectively. After Prince was found dead in 2016, conspiracy theorists were quick to point this out. They compared it to the Grammy’s curse (think Whitney Houston’s death and Rihanna being assaulted by her then-boyfriend Chris Brown), saying that all awards shows were cursed and had to have a ritual death before airing. Hence, according to this bizarre theory, Prince and Michael Jackson were both murdered to fulfil this need.

And if that isn’t weird enough, there have also been rumors of Queen Elizabeth ordering the death of Prince to satisfy her blood lust on her 90th birthday (or out of anger for the singer stealing her thunder on her birthday). Even Aretha Franklin spoke of her suspicion that Prince may have died of the Zika virus fuelling even more conspiracy fires.[2]

6 Cory Monteith

Photo credit: Fox News

When Glee first hit the television, it was praised for being unique and celebrating people who don’t just follow the norm. And while the show’s latter seasons were said to be dull and uninspiring, most fans remember what is widely referred to as the ‘Glee curse.’ Not only did main actor, Cory Monteith, die of an overdose on 13 July 2013 (a month before the Teen Choice Awards), but supporting actor Mark Salling was found guilty of possession of child pornography and committed suicide on 30 January 2018.

As with the above-mentioned celebrity deaths, conspiracy theorists quickly jumped on the “celeb must die to hike viewer ratings” bandwagon, accusing the elusive Illuminati of murdering Monteith. At the Teen Choice Awards, Glee won the Choice TV Show for comedy award and Lea Michele the Choice TV Actress award. She made a tearful speech about Monteith, who had been her boyfriend at the time of his death. Some very heartless viewers commented that Michele was in on the Illuminati conspiracy and allowed them to murder Monteith in order to further her career somehow. They also said that the only reason she kept talking about Cory Monteith was to keep the media spotlight on herself, starting with her speech at the award show. Further “proof” was given that Michele was not really devastated about Monteith’s death, when she started dating Matthew Paetz “only a year” after Monteith died.[3]

5Philip Seymour Hoffman

In 2012 Harvey Weinstein claimed that the movie, The Master, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman annoyed some scientologists at the time and that they tried to derail its filming. The Church of Scientology denied these claims after the film’s director confirmed that the movie was based loosely on L Ron Hubbard and tells the story of a cult leader and a World War II veteran drawn into his cult.

Conspiracy theorists however seem to think that the Church’s denial just means that they had something else up their sleeve. And when Philip Seymour Hoffman died, they triumphantly stated that the Church of Scientology murdered him as payback for the movie being released. The theory has it that since Hoffman had been clean of drugs for 23 years, it was very suspicious that he would die of a heroin overdose shortly after the film was completed. Some even compared the scene of Hoffman’s death to that of something a hitman would leave behind, seeing as how 49 bags of heroin were found at the scene as well.

Hoffman died on 2 February 2014 and the Academy Awards for that year took place exactly a month later on 2 March. Some believe this was planned on purpose to rub in the fact that Hoffman would never attend another awards show. Others suggested that the death of Hoffman was a ritualistic murder organized by both the Illuminati (who is said to be behind most celebrity deaths) as well as the Church of Scientology as a comeback for the ‘insult’ to their religion.[4]

4 XXXtentacion & Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish – bury a friend (Official Music Video)

American rapper XXXtentacion was only 20 years old when he was murdered on 18 June 2018. Billie Eilish made strides in her music career in 2019 and had hardly recorded her hit album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go, when the conspiracies started flying. It was the song, Bury a Friend, that caught conspiracy theorists’ attention.

Not only was she almost immediately accused of having ‘joined the Illuminati’, some even accused her of having had XXXtentacion murdered in order to be the next big thing in the music industry. Theory has it that in order for Eilish to be initiated and accepted as a member of the Illuminati at the 2019 American Music Awards, she would have had to offer a blood sacrifice, which in this case was deemed to be XXXtentacion. Bury a Friend is believed to have been inspired by this sacrifice.

When Eilish performed at the 2019 AMA’s, conspiracy theorists claimed that her initiation had been completed. Some went even further and said they believed Eilish had been possessed by the devil himself after her initiation.[5]

3Dolores O’Riordan

The Cranberries – Zombie (Official Music Video)

There are only a few songs that can ignite strong memories of an entire decade. Thriller is one of them and Zombie another. The Cranberries were much-loved in the 90s because of their unique sound and Zombie quickly became a fan favourite. Lead singer Dolores O’Riordan confirmed that the song was inspired by the tragic deaths of 3-year-old Johnathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry when Cheshire was bombed in 1993.

O’Riordan was found dead in a bathtub in a hotel on 15 January 2018. She was dressed in pyjamas. The cause of death was only released in September of that year and officials stated that she had drowned after becoming intoxicated. However, conspiracy theorists were not about to leave things at that. Because Whitney Houston and her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown both died in bathtubs and Whitney died on the day the Grammy awards were held in 2012, many believed that just as Whitney and Bobbi were ‘murdered by the elite’, O’Riordan too met her fate at the hands of the illuminati. Once again, if conspiracy was to be believed, another celebrity had been murdered just a few weeks before the annual Grammy awards event. It is claimed that she was a Masonic blood sacrifice for the Grammy’s. This theory follows on the back of a very long-standing claim that the Grammy’s is an Illuminati-organized Satanic ritual disguised as an award ceremony and that those who don’t stick to the rules are offed as a sacrifice to the organizers. What O’Riordan might have done to displease the Illuminati overlords remains a mystery.[6]

2 Whitney Houston & Jennifer Hudson

Photo credit: Pinterest

Whitney Houston arguably has more conspiracy theories surrounding her life and death than any other music star. Not only was it rumored that she had been a fertility sacrifice so that Beyonce’s daughter, Blue Ivy, may live but it was also claimed that Rihanna had predicted the star’s death.

Further conspiracy theories have it that after Houston was found dead just before the Grammy Awards in 2012, the event was turned into a mega-ritual to initiate her replacement, Jennifer Hudson, into the Illuminati. (It was also claimed that Lady Gaga was aware that a death would take place as she was dressed in what resembled a funeral outfit.) Theorists even accused Clive Davis of knowing that Houston would die, as he told Piers Morgan the day before her death that Jennifer Hudson was the ‘new Whitney’. They went on to claim that since Hudson sang “I Will Always Love You” in tribute to Houston while illuminated by a single spotlight with a picture of the late singer above her, her initiation had begun. When Nicky Minaj ended the show with a performance that included levitation and a bright red robe, it was claimed that she was actually referencing the sacrifice that had taken place in the form of Whitney Houston’s death.[7]

1 Kobe Bryant

Photo credit: Blast

From the moment that the news broke of Kobe Bryant’s death on 26 January 2020, controversy reigned. Many people chose to bring up the rape allegation that dogged the famous basketball player years ago, with an educator even saying that karma caught up with a rapist. This did not go down well and Liza Sejkora, principal of Camas High School, was forced to resign after heavy backlash following the comment.

Conspiracy theories exploded. Not only did rumors fly that white supremacists murdered Bryant (as alleged by Dr Uman Johnson), it was also widely debated whether the Illuminati murdered him for elite occult ritual purposes.

It is claimed that Bryant was a Grammy award show sacrifice because he died mere hours before the show started. The show was held at the Staples Center and the helicopter crash happened not far from there. When the news broke during the show, several celebrities paid tribute to Bryant in what some theorists called yet another mega-ritual to usher in his replacement: LeBron James. This theory was fuelled online by those who chose to circulate clips of Bryant’s Black Mamba Nike ad in 2011 which ended with a helicopter crashing onto a basketball court. Another clip making the rounds on social media shows part of an episode of Chamberlain Heights featuring Kobe Bryant dying in a helicopter crash. Furthermore, what was clearly just a mistake on the BBC’s part, when they used footage of LeBron James instead of Kobe Bryant when reporting on Bryant’s death, is now being used as further ‘proof’ of an evil, murderous conspiracy.[8]

fact checked by Jamie Frater

Estelle is a regular writer for Listverse.

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