Surfacing most recently in 2015, the internet has renewed interest in the conspiracy theory that Canadian pop singer Avril Lavigne is dead and a lookalike has taken her place (thanks to Twitter user @givenchyass).
Wait, what? Hold on to your butts.
The theory goes like this: Avril Lavigne was a poppy punky 18 year old in 2002 when she released her debut album “Let Go.” The album was a success and spawned hits like “Complicated” and “Sk8er Boi.” Supposedly that success left her unable to walk around without being mobbed by fans and an actress lookalike named Melissa Vandella was hired to help out with that.
so she decided to hire a look alike to walk around LA for her and pose for the paparazzi (avril on the left, look alike on the right) pic.twitter.com/wNSrDVh09i— 🅴 (@givenchyass) May 13, 2017
It is said that Avril and Melissa became close and one day thought it would be fun to teach Melissa how to sing like Avril. As you do, I suppose. At any rate, Avril’s grandfather died in 2003 and it crushed the singer. She allegedly threatened suicide, as she felt lost without her grandfather around. She locked herself away and wrote her next album, “Under My Skin.” The album was recorded and conspiracy theorists point to the darker lyrics as a sign of the singers state of mind.
From “My Happy Ending”:
Let’s talk this over It’s not like we’re dead Was it something I did? Was it something you said? Don’t leave me hanging In a city so dead Held up so high on such a breakable thread (breakable thread)
Apparently, Lavigne successfully hung herself with a belt in late 2003 after her dark period of mourning. Instead of announcing the singer’s death, her handlers decided to just let lookalike Melissa “be” Avril full time.
So what other things do people point to in order to bolster this theory? LET’S LOOK.
then all of a sudden in 2007, "avril" (melissa) released the best damn thing and she had a new look and a new style (avril 2004, avril 2007) pic.twitter.com/CuWn8YcNke— 🅴 (@givenchyass) May 13, 2017
Avril always wore pants on red carpets. The dresses started late 2003. Melissa (bottom) loves the attention but Avril (top) clearly doesn't. pic.twitter.com/rPtIbzsqpH— goth princess (@angeldelemuerte) May 14, 2017
In actuality, Lavigne grew up in the eye of the media. She was 18 when her career began and most people change in looks over the course of 15 years. There’s also makeup and, possibly, plastic surgery to thank. Occam’s Razor, people. The simplest explanation is usually the right one.
Also, someone has taken credit for creating the hoax in the first place. According to a Buzzfeed employee in Brazil named Ryan Broderick, the Avril Lavigne conspiracy started with a website named Avril Esta Morta. The very first line of that website that details the conspiracy still floating around today?
“This blog was created to show how conspiracy theories can look true.”