03/27/1998 AT 12:00 AM EST
Former Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed has apparently been the victim of a weird hoax. On Monday someone who has yet to be identified sent to countless in-boxes a bogus e-mail made to look like a Reuters news report. It carried the headline "Lou Reed, 57, Succumbs to Addictions." The fake dispatch went on to state that the musician, who in actual fact is 58, "was found dead in his apartment last night, apparently from an overdose of the painkiller Demerol." It claimed the he was with his wife, Laurie Anderson. The only clue to the bogus nature of the story was that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was referred to in it as a "close personal friend" of Reed's. Some of the nation's radio stations picked up the e-mail and announced the news. Reed's publicists spent the better part of Tuesday denying the tale and saying that Reed is alive and well -- and in Amsterdam, working.