Grandma Betty 33 dies: Instagram celebrity's death announced with heartbreaking image of her dog sat alone

Family said her legacy will continue to inspire millions of people

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The Independent Online

Betty Jo Simpson, the octogenarian who delighted her legions of Instagram followers as GrandmaBetty33, has died of lung cancer.

Betty became an internet sensation late in life thanks to images of her riding a motorcycle, dancing to Pharrell Williams' "Happy" and dressing as a clown, which were uploaded by her 18-year-old great-grandson Zach Beldon.

She was confirmed to have lost her battle with cancer on 2 August through the medium which made her famous, with Zach posting an Instagram of her dog, who features in so many of her posts, sat alone on a rocking chair.

"After a much needed night of rest , Grandma has come to peace with her battle of Lung Cancer," he wrote.

"Although Grandma Betty is no longer physically with us, she will forever be in the hearts of the millions of people she touches every single day.

"Grandma Betty did not lose her battle to cancer, because her legacy she has left behind will inspire millions of people to #Smile, #BeHappy, and #StayHappy no matter what. The fight has ended. The battle is won."

Betty said she had enjoyed being "the world's grandma", serving up nuggets of advice like "You have to love people, I mean from your heart out, just not from your mouth."

Tributes flooded in for the 80-year-old, with one user writing: "Whatever you do please never shut down her instagram.

"I have looked at it every day for as long as it has been up and everyday it has made me smile. She was an inspiration to me."