Teen pop is no joking matter, and two radio DJs are learning that fact the hard way.
Rock DJs Kramer & Twitch were dismissed from a Dallas station for airing a false rumor that Britney Spears and her beau Justin Timberlake of 'N Sync were killed in a car crash.
Distraught fans immediately began phoning police when the phony report aired on the KEGL-FM evening program.
The jocks say they didn't expect such a response. They initially considered running a similar joke about Metallica's James Hetfield, but opted for the teen stars instead, thinking it would be less upsetting to their rock audience. Kramer says they were merely trying to "cause a little commotion."
"The last thing we expected was to create such a worldwide panic within one hour," said Kramer. He also says they had permission from management to air the rumor, according to The Dallas Morning News.
An executive at Clear Channel Communications, which owns the station, says the incident was not the DJs' first offense, and they were let go for what has been a series of infractions.
Clinton Clarifies His Rock Moments
Just how big of a Fleetwood Mac fan is Bill Clinton?
The former president set the record straight while introducing Stevie Nicks at a recent music industry convention in Los Angeles.
He landed in a potentially embarrassing position when the convention host asked when he was first "exposed to Stevie Nicks."
Clinton quickly replied, "I've never been exposed to Stevie Nicks!"
U2's Profitable Year
The summer concert season is just getting under way, and U2 is already leading the way in terms of financial gains for the year.
The Irish rockers' "Elevation" tour is proving to be the most profitable outing of 2001. They have racked up 50 sold-out shows with an expected gross of about $70 million, not including an extra set of appearances expected in the fall.
And some pop stars who first hit the charts back in the '70s are proving they're still moneymakers. The Elton John-Billy Joel tour has grossed $59.2 million for 31 shows.
The rankings may shift after the summer when some of the other big-selling tours get under way, including Madonna, Janet Jackson and the Dave Matthews Band.
Eminem joins his fellow Detroit rappers on the new D12 album, Devil's Night … Madonna is being added to the new edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica … And the Beastie Boys are offering free tracks from artists on their Grand Royal label via Napster.
ABCNEWS Radio and ABCNEWS.com's Buck Wolf and Nancy Chandross contributed to this report.