The internet is awash with conspiracy theories – and one revolving around Canadan punk singer Avril Lavigne is one such bizarre case.

Lavigne is known around the world for her impact on the punk scene, and she has amassed legions of followers, even if she does have a rather strange relationship with the human race at times.

While Lavigne is best known for her music career, she is also associated with a conspiracy theory that suggests she died back in 2003, and that she was then replaced by a body double.

While many brush this theory off immediately, those that believe that this truly happened can point to a few different pieces of supposed evidence to support their theory, as we examine in this article.

How did the theory first come about?

While Avril Lavigne’s apparent demise took place in 2003, it wasn’t until 2011 where this theory first received traction. This came through a Brazilian blog called “Avril Está Morta” – which translates to “Avril is Dead”.

The blog suggested that Avril Lavigne sadly took her own life in 2003, having struggled with the pressures of fame and the death of a family member.

In the following years, the theory became more popular, and more evidence was supposedly uncovered, with other areas added to the overall story.


As mentioned earlier, it has been suggested that Avril Lavigne was then replaced by a body double. While the original blog merely called her “New Avril”, somewhere along the way she earned the name “Melissa Vandella”, which stuck.

It is suggested that Melissa was first hired by Lavigne as a look-alike in an attempt to distract the paparazzi from her. Supposedly, the duo looked very similar.

But after Lavigne’s death, the blog proposes that Melissa was taught to sing and perform as Lavigne had. Therefore, following Avril’s alleged death, Melissa was able to replace Avril.

Rather than mourning Lavigne’s passing, the blog suggests that the record company decided to keep the death quiet, and instead allow Melissa to “replace” Lavigne in order to keep their income.

So what evidence is there to suggest that this wild theory is accurate? Well, proponents of this theory suggest that there is a lot of evidence for this.

The “Evidence”

Followers of this theory point to a few different areas. Firstly, there is the apparent change in appearance from 2003 to a few years later.

A lot of the speculation appears to be in relation to a change in Avril’s appearance. As the picture below shoes, her appearance has changed markedly in just over 10 years.

A birthmark appears to have disappeared, her nose seems to have shortened, and her chin also appears to have changed in appearance.

Other supposed changes in appearance relate to Avril’s jawline, and the shape of her eyes. These various differences have provided “proof” for many.

It is important to state that cosmetic work is highly likely, and that Avril was still young at the time of the picture on the left – which left plenty of time for her appearance to naturally change.

A picture that compares Avril’s handwriting from 2002 to 2017 also led to theories. The picture, which can be seen below, does seem to depict two very different handwriting styles.

The image was uploaded by Twitter user @privatelaprip – whose account was later deleted. This added further fuel to the fire – though handwriting can change over time.

Then there was also a tweet – as seen below – that suggests that Avril as “trying to tell” her fans about “Melissa” in some of her lyrics.

The “Givenchyass” Twitter Account

One of the biggest developments in the case came in 2017, when a Twitter user with the handle @givenchyass posted a thread which aimed to detail the entire story from Avril’s apparent death to the present day.

You can see a list of the tweets that Givenchyass posted at this link. But we will summarise what she said, in a post that would gain significant traction.

She used the same information as the blog had originally provided – such as how Avril was replaced by her lookalike Melissa, following Avril’s apparent death.

The account states that at the time of Avril’s death, her second album had already been recorded, which gave the record label time to train Melissa’s singing voice.

After Avril appeared with a new look in 2007, the user notes that a lot of Avril’s birthmarks had disappeared, and that she had “copied” a tattoo that Melissa had.

The user was mysteriously suspended by Twitter, and the account hasn’t ever been reinstated. New users remain unable to take the username. This removal has caused significant intrigue.

Avril Lavigne’s Response

With the rumours swirling for many years, Lavigne briefly mentioned the conspiracy theory in a Facebook Live Q&A. After being asked whether or not she had died – Lavigne responded by saying “No I’m not dead, I’m here. People are just bored and need something to talk about”.

Lavigne then discussed the rumours again when appearing on the Kyle and Jackie O show in Australia in 2018. Lavigne said “some people think that I’m not the real me, which is so weird. Why would they even think that?”

Once again in 2019, Lavigne spoke about the conspiracy theory – and dismissed it as a “dumb internet rumour”, before saying that she was “flabbergasted” that some people actually believed the theory.

But for many, the fact that Lavigne acknowledged the presence of the conspireacy theory was further sign that something was amiss.

The Takeaway

Did Avril Lavigne die in 2003 and get replaced by a body double named Melissa? Probably not. But the beauty of the internet is that questions will always be asked, and there will always be plenty of theories.

While Lavigne has denied the theory’s truth for several years, some point out that such a response is how “Melissa” would respond!

Ultimately, Avril Lavigne appears to still be alive, and going strong. It seems we will never get total confirmation that this conspiracy theory is false – so expect the theories to remain for many years to come…