There was a lot of fake news flying about online in 2016. The following, utterly baffling and bizarre stories covered on NME.com this year however, were all very much true - from rapper B.O.B. trying to convince his fans the Earth was flat, to Kanye West literally embracing President-elect Donald Trump at his NYC gaff. In a world where fact has truly became stranger than fiction, we select the most unbelievable and confusing headlines from this weird old year.
When: Jan 25, 2016
The story: In an unprovoked outburst on social media in January, US rapper B.O.B. outed himself as a non-believer in science and claimed that the world was indeed flat. “A lot of people are turned off by the phrase “flat earth” … but there’s no way u can see all the evidence and not know… grow up” he said in a tirade of tweets.
What happened next: Beloved physicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson got involved and the pair traded insults and diss tracks about the validity of Galileo, Newton and Copernicus’ thinking.
When: Feb 3, 2016
The story: When David Bowie’s death was reported earlier this year budding artists took to the street to commemorate The Starman with graffiti murals. Some were great. Some, however, looked less like David Bowie and more like TV presenter Pat Sharp.
What happened next: Taking to Twitter, Sharp reckoned it didn’t have any resemblance (it does, a bit), but was semi-flattered anyway; “I don’t see it myself! Also to be mentioned for any reason in the same breath as Bowie is a bit odd to say the least”.
When: Jun 20, 2016
The story: When frontman DeLonge left Blink in 2015, he initially cited an inability “to commit” to the group. A year later, DeLonge suggested that actually, it was his desire to investigate UFOs and little green men that forced him to leave. “Dealing with something that’s a national security issue, and you’re being gifted with the opportunity to communicate something you’ve been passionate about your whole life — something that has the opportunity to change the world over time — being a small part of that is enormously important for my life path. But I can’t do everything. I can’t tour nine months out of the year with enough time to do the enormity of what I’m setting out to do.”
What happened next: He backtracked slightly, claiming that it didn’t result in him leaving the band, but insisted that he was working with the US government on tracking down UFOs.
When: Jul 28, 2016
The story: On July 27, YouTube star Marina Joyce sparked panic among her fanbase after they claimed that she had been leaving hidden messages in her videos – which alluded to her being forced to make videos against her will. Her erratic behaviour sparked #FreeMarinaJoyce to trend on Twitter as concern grew for her safety.
What happened next: Enfield Police began investigating and reported that she was “safe and well”. Joyce responded to her fans worry by denying any use of drugs and said she had turned to religion, “I became a Christian and because I had this whole spiritual quest in my life. I’m a Buddhist now”.
When: Sep 23, 2016
The story: In his autobiography last year, CJ revealed that he potentially killed a man back in the 1988. Following a little scuffle with a mugger, he claimed he threw the attacker in an Amsterdam canal in self-defence, “I fully suspect I killed him. I’ve no idea what happened to him.” That revelation came back to haunt him, unsurprisingly, when he was arrested at Heathrow airport in August, in connection with 12 bodies that were found in the canal around the same period.
What happened next: CJ was soon bailed and an attempt to extradite him to the Netherlands failed. He has since responded to the charge, claiming that the investigation was based around a bogus Wikipedia article that fabricated the controversial passage.
When: Oct 19, 2016
The story: As LaBeouf toured the press circuit for his latest film American Honey, his stop on Ellen proved to be the weirdest of them all. As the pair conversed about Shia’s ink – he revealed that gracing his knees were a few of his idols, including Prince, Tupac and (two) of US rapper Missy Elliot.
What happened next: His knees have stayed out of the limelight, but instead he’s been seen dissing rappers and getting thrown out of Warpaint gig for fighting.
When: Oct 18, 2016
The story: Though the incident occurred two years ago, actor James Franco was sued in October by photographer David Tonnessen following an alleged scrap at a Lana Del Rey gig in 2014. The lawsuit claims that “unprovoked, [Franco] viciously charged and head-butted [Tonnessen] in the stomach” all while “smiling, rather demonically… [with a] blank expression of joy on his face.”
What happened next: Franco is yet to publicly respond to the bizarre allegation.
When: Nov 25, 2016
The story: It began back in June when Lindsay Lohan called out the midlands town while live tweeting the EU Referendum results – Sorry, but #KETTERING where are you?”. The town, of which 61% voted in favour of Brexit, were rather peeved and their local MP Philip Hollobone responded by asking Lohan to apologise by turning on the town’s Christmas lights.
What happened next: She didn’t show – but at least she apologised for not being able to make it to the prestigious event.
When: Nov 27, 2016
The story: As headlines go, you’d be hard stretched to make one up which would out-weird this. At a party in Royal Windsor, Princess Beatrice responded to James Blunt’s request to be knighted by swinging her sword back in preparation of anointing ‘Sir James’. Only problem was, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was standing just behind and took a little swipe on the cheek from the weapon.
What happened next: When Sheeran returned to the stage he made reference to the weird incident. “It’s nice to be back. I’ve had a whole year off. I went to Japan for about a month and hung out with Japanese people. Got my face cut open, anyone read about that?”
When: Dec 13, 2016
The story: Following Trump’s US election win in November, West proclaimed from the stage that he didn’t actually vote – but if he had, he’d have chosen Trump. Outrage ensued and just days later, West cancelled his Saint Pablo tour and was hospitalised for “temporary psychosis due to sleep deprivation and lack of hydration”. However not long after his release West met the President-elect in Trump Tower to the shock of fans and his peers.
What happened next: Following the surprising pictures, West explained why he had met Trump. “I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues. These issues included bullying, supporting teachers, modernising curriculums, and violence in Chicago. I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change,” West said on Twitter.