In February of 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and "The Big Bopper" died in a horrific plane crash.
Now regarded as "The Day The Music Died," this event in history marked the first time celebrities were believed to have died in "threes."
In 1970, the myth grew into a full blown legend when guitarist Jimi Hendrix died, almost immediately followed by singer Janis Joplin and then Doors' icon Jim Morrison.
For years to follow, most memorably in September 2003, when Johnny Cash, Warren Zevon and John Ritter all passed, the legend grew into a universally recognized contemporary old wives tale.
In August 2005, King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Peter Jennings and Robin Cook died.
Over a two day period in early 2006, we lost Don Knotts, Dennis Weaver and Darren McGavin.
In January 2008, it was Brad Renfro, Suzanne Pleshette and Heath Ledger.
Last week, we lost Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson.
Last night, Sunday - the beginning of a new week - we lost famous TV pitchman Billy Mays.
Many on the internet tonight fear that Mays' death will set off another round of three celebrity deaths. False rumors have already circulated that Walter Cronkite is close to death. Although there is no reason to believe that the elder newsman is about to leave us, his family has indicated that the ailing ninety-two year old newsman is not well.
Is this a legitimate news story? Absolutely not. But is the growing paranoia and fear surrounding the recent rash of celebrity deaths and history of "threes" worth noting?
The modern culture of celebrity is dictated by what the masses believe. And, tonight, as illustrated across vast social networks and blogging communities, star gazers are on the lookout for "the next two victims" of a pattern that many believe always dims the bright lights of Hollywood three times per cycle.
And whoever made the beautiful Billy Mays image, speak up and i'll give you credit.