Celebrated singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot was in his car on Thursday when he heard some curious news over the radio: Gordon Lightfoot was dead.

Contrary to the report, however, Lightfoot had just had a dentist appointment and was driving to his Toronto office.

"My phone was ringing off the hook in my office when I got there," said Lightfoot, who put the rumour to rest in an interview with CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss.

Not only did the singer, who is 71, have to field numerous calls and set the media straight, he also had to get in touch with his five children in the Toronto area and let them know he was okay.

"I just made it my business to get on the phone and jump right in there and let everybody know it isn't so."

Despite the severity of the situation, Lightfoot appeared to be taking it lightly.

"I was shocked of course," he said, joking that "it's the best day for airplay that we've had in weeks."

The rumour appears to have started on Twitter, and in turn was spread across the Internet when several Canwest media websites posted the news.

Lightfoot said he wasn't sure how the rumour began on Twitter.

"I'll just keep moving forward," he said. "I know it's going to sort itself out."

Lightfoot was born in Orillia, Ont., and has been a major musical force since the early 1960s.

He is considered one of Canada's best-loved musicians, gaining fame with songs such as "If You Could Read My Mind" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."