Thousands of people think Avril Lavigne is actually a woman named Melissa Vandella.

It was a dreary night, and I had nothing better to do than troll the deep dark web for hours on end. After a long journey of clicking on any and every recommended video on YouTube, I (regretfully) found myself on stupid, albeit mind blowing, conspiracy theory videos.

I happened to land on an Avril Lavigne conspiracy video, which led me to a bunch of Avril Lavigne conspiracy websites and Twitter threads.

What… the hell… is going on with Avril Lavigne?

Up until that moment, I’d heard nothing. But this is something tens of thousands of people right across the world ACTUALLY BELIEVE. Since 2015, this is actually becoming one of the most popular conspiracy theories of all time.

Here’s the breakdown.

The beginning

Avril Ramona Lavigne came into our worlds when the then 17-year-old signed a million-dollar record deal and released her debut single Complicated. There was a lot of eyeliner and stripey black and white long-sleeve tees involved.

From there, she blew up, and the world lost its damn mind. I bought those arm warmers – HOW WAS THAT EVEN A THING – with holes in them. I sang along to Sk8r Boi (and hate to admit that I still do) with suspenders hanging off my hips… Don’t judge me, we all tried to channel our inner Avril Lavigne at one point in time).

Listen: Turns out you’re vulnerable to conspiracy theories no matter who you are… (Post continues.)

According to these conspiracy theorists, though, this level of fame was apparently not what Avril wanted or liked.

What’s that? A pop star not loving the constant invasion of their privacy? That’s not at all a regular occurrence. NOT AT ALL.


To deal with the struggles of fame, the singer supposedly employed a lookalike to pretend to be her in public. (Yes, you’re right, this all sounds very much like Hannah Montana…)

Enter Melissa Vandella

Who, you ask, is Melissa Vandella? GREAT QUESTION.

The conspiracy theory says Avril’s record company hired an actress named Melissa Vandella to solve the singer’s fame woes. This means the punk queen could stay true to the music and live a normal life.


Avril and Melissa supposedly became quite good friends. You know, to the point where they could impersonate each other like identical twins do. Aw, just like Parent Trap! Sort of.

And THEN – according to bullsh*t conspiracy theorists with too much time at 4am on a Tuesday the web, Avril Lavigne died in 2004. Or disappeared. Or something. But her family and friends and everyone who ever knew her covered it up.

I know. Bear with me.

The Freaky Friday swap

With the real Avril nowhere to be found, Melissa was able to step into her place to cover up the disappearance of the original.

Is your brain turning to mush, too?

So basically, in a quick recap: the actual version of Avril Lavigne doesn’t exist and the copy version, AKA Melissa, is the popstar we’ve know today for the past 14 years.

Seems completely realistic.


Conspiracy theorists say there are many, many signs present-day Avril is actually Melissa.


Firstly, there is a photo shoot of Avril/Melissa (I can’t keep up) with Melissa doodled on her hand.

But the likelihood of Lavigne trying to tell fans this whole story through a scribble on her hand? A little... unlikely. A coincidence yes, but not exactly the smartest way to conceal your identity.


Diehard fans say imposter Avril's face is different to the real Avril's.


I'm shocked?! I didn't know mega-famous singers look different as they grow older?! I mean, aside from naturally maturing with age, there is an out-of-this-world concept called plastic surgery that people in the spotlight choose to get to enhance or change their features.

Yep, because that's so unheard of in the world of celebrities.

But you see, when it comes to Avril, moles aren't where they are supposed to be, permanent skin blemishes aren't there anymore... blah blah blah.

It's not like Photoshop exists to perfect the celebrity image, right?

Meanwhile, Melissa is nowhere to be seen on social media. Oh, and then her signature changed.

And last but not least, Avril's entire image and the sound of her music changed.

Gone were the days of baggy skater jeans, a goth tie around a bare neck and natural hair. Knee high socks, tartan skirts and peroxide blonde hair are in instead for the now 33-year-old. Not to mention the song Girlfriend doesn't entirely assimilate with the Avril Lavigne who once skateboarded through parks or strummed guitars on cabs in the middle of the city in her music videos.

But hey, it's not like we've ever heard of artists (ahem Taylor Swift) shifting to the mainstream realm of pop to stay current, successful and relevant.

Nope, that's just another theory in itself.

I will say this, though. It is a bloody clever conspiracy theory. God I love the internet.