Avril Lavigne Breaks Her Silence About The Conspiracy Theory That She Actually Died 15 Years Ago

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

According to a years-old viral conspiracy theory, Avril Lavigne is dead and has been replaced by a body double for the past 15 years.

For the first time, Avril finally responded to that theory directly.

The conspiracy theory dates back to 2003, when Avril’s grandfather died. The theory says that Avril was so despondent that she took her own life.

Because the singer had just topped the charts with songs like “Sk8r Boi” and “Complicated” the year before, her team needed someone to represent her in the spotlight to keep the success going. So they found a look-alike to pose as Avril — a woman named Melissa Vandella.

Supposedly, Melissa took over as Avril and has been performing as her ever since. Sounds likely, right?

Not really, but over the past several years since the conspiracy theory went viral, Avril has technically never denied it. She’s never even addressed it.

Until now, when an interviewer on Australia’s KIIS 1065 asked her about it directly.

Avril Lavigne is one of those singers who became famous at a really young age. She was only 18 when she released “Sk8r Boi” and “Complicated,” and she was instantly thrust into the spotlight, baggy camo pants and all.

Though young, she spun her hit singles into a long and successful career, releasing a string of successful albums one by one for the next decade or so.

Except that wasn’t really Avril, according to a viral conspiracy theory.

Instead, this whole time, there’s been a body double who looks just like Avril and has been posing as her for years.

According to the theory, the real Avril took her own life in 2003 after her grandfather died. But because she’d just become massively successful, her team was reluctant to give up the spotlight. They decided to simply replace her with a look-alike who could pose as Avril in front of paparazzi.

And they found this in a certain doppelganger named Melissa Vandella.

Amazingly enough, people have been scrutinizing Avril’s face, lyrics, and behavior for the past several years to support this wild theory.

The theory first gained traction back in 2015, when a BuzzFeed writer discovered the conspiracy theory on a Brazilian blog and tweeted about it, sparking an internet firestorm.

And a few years later, there are still tons of comments on social media by people who think she might be dead.

Avril — or Melissa, if you’re a conspiracy theorist — returned to the spotlight this year after a nearly five-year hiatus.

The singer was battling Lyme disease, which left her mostly bedridden for two years. She just released her first single in years, “Head Above Water,” about that experience.

Until now, she’s never talked about the conspiracy theory.

But on Wednesday, she did an interview with Australia’s KIIS 1065 in which they asked her about it: “Did you laugh at the rumors that went around where you no longer exist and there’s a clone of you?”

“Yeah, some people think that I’m not the real me, which is so weird!” Avril responded. “Like, why would they even think that?”

Case closed! Avril thinks this theory is as crazy as you do.

Then again, how can one be 100% sure?

Some people will never be convinced.