According to the internet, Avril Lavigne died in 2003. We unpack the ridiculous theory.


Warning: This post contains mentions of suicide, and may be triggering for some readers.

According to the internet, Avril Lavigne died between 2002 and 2004, so roughly since 2003.

But the conspiracy theory doesn’t just stop there. Oh no.

It’s believed that since her ‘death’, the singer has been replaced by her friend and actress, Melissa Vandella.

Apparently Lavigne’s record company initially hired Vandella in 2002 to be her body double after the then-17-year-old grew weary of fame after the release of her hit debut album Let Go in 2002. As the story goes, Vandella then took over Lavigne’s identity and career after the ‘Complicated’ singer allegedly died by suicide in 2003, after the death of her grandfather.

Like we said, it’s a lot.

Here’s everything else we know about the twisted theory.


Why do fans think Avril Lavigne is dead?

According to various sources, the rumour was started on a Brazilian fan website, before taking over the internet.

As for whether there’s any evidence which confirms this theory… well, to quote the now 35-year-old singer: “WHY DO THINGS HAVE TO BE SO COMPLICATED???”

Diehard fans say Melissa-Avril’s face is different to Lavigne’s real face, with some alleging that her moles and permanent skin blemishes have also disappeared. Whether that’s the result of skilled makeup artists, cosmetic procedures, or advancements in skincare technology… who can say?

Avril Lavigne dead
Avril in 2002 (L) vs Melissa-Avril in 2005 (R). Image: Getty.

The tracklisting of Lavigne's 2004 album Under My Skin - the first one in which Vandella officially 'took over'- also raised suspicion, apparently. Fans stated that songs like 'Take Me Away,' 'My Happy Ending,' and 'Nobody's Home,' gave cause to believe she was posthumously referencing her death. Very meta, much (non)sense.

Finally, conspiracy theorists have made the observation that Lavigne has transitioned her music from her tie-wearing 'Sk8er Boi' era to a more mainstream-pop aesthetic. And look, while the 2009 song 'Girlfriend' wasn't her best work, the late-noughties were a confusing time for many.

Remember when we all wore see-through cotton leggings as pants? Case closed.

Avril Lavigne dead
From the quiff to the singular pink streak... 2009 Avril was a product of her time. Image: Vevo.

Who is Melissa Vandella?

We don't really know. In fact, apart from fan conjecture, there's not really much evidence Lavigne has ever associated herself with anyone named 'Melissa Vandella'.

The supposed actress has no IMDb profile, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media channels.

Despite this, either sharing a message to fans - or playing into the speculation - Lavigne was once photographed with the name 'Melissa' written across her fist. As for why she might have done a thing... we have no idea.



How did Avril Lavigne respond to the rumours?

While the 'Avril Lavigne is dead' theory is dubious to say the least, the pop star did seemingly disappear from the spotlight from 2014 to 2018. We now know, however, this was because she was battling a debilitating case of Lyme disease.

In a statement shared with People in 2018, the eight-time Grammy nominee said it felt like she "was dying".

“One night, I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die,” she said. “My mom laid with me in bed and held me. I felt like I was drowning.”

This experience would go on to be the inspiration for her single 'Head Above Water,' which was also the name of her sixth studio album.

"Those were the worst years of my life as I went through both physical and emotional battles. I was able to turn that fight into music I’m really proud of," she told People.

"I wrote songs in my bed and on the couch and recorded there mostly as well. Words and lyrics that were so true to me."



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Avril Lavigne (@avrillavigne) on

Speaking to EW in February 2019, it's pretty clear Lavigne is less than impressed with the tall tale.

"More like that it’s just a dumb internet rumour and [I’m] flabbergasted that people bought into it. Isn’t that so weird?" she said.

"It’s so dumb. And I look the exact same. On one hand, everyone is like, 'Oh my god, you look the same,' and on the other hand people are like 'Oh my god, she died'".


Credit to the 'Avril Lavigne is dead' devotees, fake-Avril would discredit the theory, wouldn't she?


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Avril Lavigne (@avrillavigne) on

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

What do you think about the 'Avril Lavigne is dead' theory? Tell us in a comment below.

Feature image: Getty.