Katy Perry, Madonna duped by balcony videos from Italy's coronavirus lockdown

Taryn Ryder
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Some Italians are making the most of their country's lockdown due to the coronavirus. From Florence to Naples, videos of people singing and dancing on their apartment balconies have gone viral — but they aren't bopping along to American pop hits, despite videos that seem to show otherwise. Katy Perry and Madonna are among the celebrities who have been tricked by doctored videos that show Italians seemingly belting out their songs.

Perry was duped first. The American Idol judge retweeted one of the fake videos that was dubbed with a live recording of her song "Roar," writing, "You cannot break the human spirit." The clip has been viewed over six million times.

Madonna fell for something similar, sharing what she apparently thought was a video of Italians singing her 2019 single "I Rise." She tweeted, "Let Us All RISE UP."

Rihanna fans unknowingly shared the same video, but instead of "I Rise" Italians are supposedly singing "Bitch Better Have My Money." Rihanna, who hasn't tweeted since February, hasn't shared the clip.


Cheryl Cole fell for the hoax as well when her song "Fight For This Love" was dubbed over the clip. (The initial post has since been deleted.)

The original videos of these balcony singers were posted in a thread by Leonardo Carella, an Italian doctoral candidate at University of Oxford. In Salerno, Italians were recorded singing the country’s national anthem — not "Roar."

The clip shared by Madge and Rihanna Navy shows people from Turin, a city in Northern Italy, and if you look close enough you see that the isolated Italians are actually dancing to the "Macarena."

The Killers had some fun with the fake video going around of "Mr. Brightside." The rock band posted the doctored video on Instagram followed by a very real video of frontman, Brandon Flowers, washing his hands while singing an a capella version of their hit song.

Despite the inauthenticity of all these videos, they are still pretty joyous to watch.

For the latest news on the evolving coronavirus outbreak, follow along here. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides. 

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