Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot is alive and well, and told CP24 he has no idea what began a rumour he had died on Thursday afternoon.

"I was quite surprised to hear it myself driving in… to my office," he said, chucking about the error, which spread like wildfire over the Internet. "I haven't had so much airplay for weeks."

Several Canwest papers and Global News were reporting the death on their websites starting early in the afternoon, and other news outlets quickly followed suit.

At about 2 p.m., Canwest politics reporter David Akin made a well-circulated post on Twitter that the singer had died, citing anonymous sources close to Lightfoot.

However, the stories were quickly pulled down after Bernie Fielder, Lightfoot's booking agent, told the Globe and Mail that the singer had just left the dentist and was on his way to his office at about 2:30 p.m.

One online report cited rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins as the source of the information. Hawkins later said he recieved the news in a telephone call from a man claiming to be Lightfoot's grandson.

"Oh what a dirty, sick joke that is, but I'm glad it was a sick joke and not the truth," Hawkins told The Canadian Press from his home near Peterborough.

In his interview with CP24, Lightfoot assured fans that he is in good health and has plenty of musical projects still on the go.

"I'm fine. Everything is good," he said. "We're doing Casino Rama in March. We have an opening there and numerous other things. We are starting a tour at the end of the month."

Lightfoot is a well-known folk singer with hits including "If you could read my mind" and "The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

With files from The Canadian Press