10 Musical Conspiracy Theories That Demand Your Full Attention


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To avoid being snapped by the paparazzi who are stationed outside her New York apartment 24 hours a day, this year Taylor Swift began leaving home hidden in a box carried by her security team.

At least, that’s what one of 2017’s most memorable conspiracy theories would have you believe. It might seem like a very long bow to draw — how could Swift, at 5 ft 10 inches, casually tuck herself inside a box? Does she get out of the box in the car just outside her apartment, or does she travel inside it until she reaches her destination?

Regardless of logistics, the internet quickly became convinced that this was how Swift had been hiding from the public for months, and the whole scenario became even more suspicious when suddenly almost all mention of The Box Theory vanished from the internet. Just a couple of months after it set the internet ablaze, a cursory Google search will turn up scant little. So had Swift deployed her army of lawyers to strip the internet of any evidence?

Luckily, there are plenty of other batshit crazy musical conspiracies out there to keep you busy in Tay-In-A-Box’s absence, ranging from secret song meanings to full blown murder cover-ups. Here’s ten of the best.

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Kris Kristofferson is a lizard

If you’re not across your lizard history, here’s a primer: in 1999, British broadcaster David Icke wrote a book called The Biggest Secret, detailing his belief that the world’s political leaders and celebrities are actually a race of reptilian aliens known as the Babylonian Brotherhood.

Notable lizards apparently include Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II, and Pope Francis — as well as ‘Me And Bobby McGee’ singer Kris Kristofferson. No, I have no idea either.

Now, these folks aren’t actually lizards (don’t be ridiculous). Rather, Kristofferson and the others are merely descendants of the blood-drinking reptilians who came to earth 200,000 years ago and bred with humans.

Verdict: Seems legit.

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Andrew W.K is not the real Andrew W.K

Think you know who Andrew W.K is? Try again, sheeple.

Andrew W.K doesn’t actually exist, at least not as you know him. Apparently, W.K is a character who has been played by various different actors over the years. Behind this grand scheme is a guy called Steev Mike, who was an executive producer on W.K’s debut album I Get Wet. 

Truthers are quick to point out that Mike may not actually be Mike either (because heaven knows this story needed another plot twist) and could instead be Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.

Verdict: Seems legit.

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Elvis Presley is actually alive, you idiots

Musicians never die, they just fake their death to get away from the paparazzi and live out the rest of their days in hiding. They also eat out at Burger King sometimes.

Well, that’s what people think happened to Elvis, anyway. The King actually didn’t die in 1977, he faked his death to throw the press off his trail. In the decades since he’s been spotted multiple times: at a Burger King in Michigan, with Muhammad Ali in 1984, and even as an extra in Home Alone. 

Sure, appearing in a blockbuster movie when you’re supposed to be dead seems a little risky — but YOLO, right?

Verdict: Seems legit.

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…but Paul McCartney is definitely dead

No, Paul McCartney isn’t touring Australia later this year — he died in a car crash in 1967 and was replaced by a lookalike called William Campbell. Paul Is Dead Truthers have amassed a bewildering amount of “evidence” so support this theory,  so to save time we’re just gonna present the key points:

– On the cover of Abbey Road, Paul is the only barefoot Beatle, and the only one striding with his left foot first — two things that represent him being “out of step” with his living bandmates.

– On the cover of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, Paul is depicted with a hand above his head, which could indicate being blessed and given Last Rites. He’s also the only band member facing backwards on the other side of the album sleeve.

– If you play their song ‘Revolution 9’ backwards, you can hear the words “turn me on, dead man.”

– At the end of Lennon’s song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, a voice says “I buried Paul.”

And sure, McCartney himself has asserted multiple times that he is, in fact, alive — but he would say that, wouldn’t he?

Verdict: Seems legit.

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Avril Lavigne also died and was replaced by a lookalike in 2003

You know what? It would be great if celebrities could stop dying and being replaced by lookalikes, that’s all I’m saying.

This time, it’s Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne. According to this theory, Lavigne died in 2003 at the height of her fame, and was quickly replaced by a lookalike called Melissa. Theorists point to changes in her handwriting, her vocal tone, her nose, and the shape of her eyes as evidence that the Avril of 2003 is no longer with us.

If you want to get really deep in this, dive into the thread below. 128,000 retweets can’t be wrong.

Verdict: Seems legit.

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And Katy Perry is the grown-up JonBenet Ramsey

Truthers: if they’re not killing someone off, they’re resurrecting children whose cause of death has already been extensively documented by the Boulder County Coroner.

Apparently, the woman you know as Katy Perry is actually JonBenet Ramsey, the child beauty queen who was murdered in 1997. YouTuber Dave Johnson popularised the theory with a long-winded video in 2014, which went viral last year. Johnson is SERIOUSLY CONVINCED:

“JonBenet Ramsey became Katy Perry. That’s a fact,” he says at the beginning of the video. “So if any of you continue to lie about this person dying, you are in fact a false witness to murder and death.”

Steady on, Dave.

According to Johnson, the Ramsey parents staged their daughters death (by way of a “Masonic play”) so that she could become famous in later life. He doesn’t really explain why this would help Ramsey become famous, but those are mere details that Dave doesn’t need to bother with.

His “evidence” is that Perry and Ramsey bear a slight resemblance. That’s it. He goes to the trouble of blending their photos together, which would be impressive except that it shows they look nothing alike.

Verdict: Seems legit.

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Lady Gaga killed Lou Reed

Musical icon Lou Reed died in 2013 after a long battle with liver disease. Except that actually he was murdered by pop star Lady Gaga after Reed said he didn’t like her album ARTPOP. 

The story goes that Reed was brought in to oversee ARTPOP’s musical direction, which Gaga intended to be an homage of Velvet Underground. Reed was apparently so unimpressed with Gaga’s songs that he left the project, and she became so furious that she conspired to murder him with the help of Interscope label head Jimmy Iovine and her then-manager Troy Carter.

Of course.

Reed was injected with the toxic substance polonium while he was recovering at the Cleveland clinic. Before you ask, there’s absolutely no evidence to support this theory in any way. Not even a Ramsey/Perry level link.

Verdict: Seems legit.

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Robyn’s two most famous songs are linked

I think we’ve had enough of murder and death-faking, so here’s a theory that’s actually someway reasonable. Swedish pop star Robyn has an extensive discography, but arguably her two biggest tracks are ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ and ‘Dancing On My Own’.

‘Call Your Girlfriend’ is about someone on the verge of breaking up with their partner, while ‘Dancing On My Own’ is from the perspective of a person that’s just been broken up with.

Two different songs, two different protagonists — OR ARE THEY?

Verdict: Honestly? This seems actually legit.

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Nicki Minaj is actually Jay-Z sped up

If you thought that a woman could break into the hip-hop world with nothing but extraordinary talent and an excellent work ethic, try again!

According to one particularly slimy corner of the internet, the Nicki Minaj you know is just the face of Jay-Z’s alter ego. In order to disguise his real voice, Hov simply speeds up the raps until they sound like a woman.

Plenty of videos claim to provide indisputable evidence to support the theory, mostly by slowing down Minaj’s raps until they sound (kinda, sorta, not really at all) like Jay-Z. Truthers also point to the fact that Minaj’s third album was called The Pinkprint, a reference to Jay-Z’s series of albums called The Blueprint.

Verdict: Why is it so hard to believe a woman is a better rapper than a man?

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Everyone’s in The Illuminati

It wouldn’t be a conspiracy article without mentioning these guys. Where to even begin?

The Illuminati — a secret society set up during the Enlightenment era in the late 18th century — is believed by some to still be operating today, with many of the world’s leaders and celebrities counted as members. They influence world events, rig award shows, keep the martians under wraps — basically do everything The Simpsons mention in the Stonecutter’s song.

Jay-Z and Beyonce are right at the heart of the Illuminati. That diamond cutter sign Jay is always throwing up? That’s connected to the Illuminati’s Eye Of Providence. Blue Ivy’s name? That stands for Born Living Under Evil Illuminati’s Very Youngest. The real reason they had twins? They needed three children to complete the three points of the Illuminati pyramid. Jay’s clothing line is full of occult symbols and signs of Freemasonry, and his video for ‘On To The Next One‘ is also full of Illuminati imagery.

Oh yeah, and he can apparently time travel and control people’s minds.

It’s not only Jay and Bey who are in on this — musicians like Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga (when she’s not busy murdering people), Adele, Rihanna, Kesha, Lana Del Rey and Nicki Minaj have all been implicated in this conspiracy in someway or other. Together, they’re seeking no less than world domination.

Verdict: I need to lie down.

Jules LeFevre is Staff Writer at Music Junkee and inthemix. She is on Twitter.