Hey, Hey, You, You, You’re not Avril Lavigne

He was a Sk8ter Boi, she was Melissa?


Courtesy of PopCrush

Avril Lavigne Then and Now

Lauren Dickinson, Reporter

According to Merriam-Webster, a conspiracy theory is “a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.” Conspiracy theories have interested people for years, providing explanations for different events. Although many are crazy accusations, there are some that spark the interest of viewers creating somewhat of an obsession for finding the truth. This article is discussing the recurring conspiracy theory regarding Avril Lavigne. Everything stated in this article is based on fan theories and is not considered factual. 

Avril Lavigne is a Canadian singer born in 1984. She became popular for her grungy pop singing style and work with Shania Twain and Stephen Medd. She signed to a record label in New York City at the age of sixteen. She released her first album, Let Go, in 2002 and became more and more popular (Au-Yeung). However, not everyone believes that this successful singer is actually Avril Lavigne. 

For years, there have been conspiracies floating around the internet. Well, there was one that blew up that stated that Avril Lavigne was actually dead. It all started when a fan page blog posted an article claiming that Avril was replaced by a body double officially dubbed as Melissa. But, where is the evidence, and who is Melissa? Fans have compiled a list of “evidence” to prove this wild theory. 

1. Melissa Vandella

During the peak of her fame, it is believed Avril became too stressed with the sudden stardom and hired an actress whom fans have named “Melissa Vandella.” She supposedly harbored a striking resemblance to Avril and was used during events that Avril was not able to attend. Avril Lavigne was then reported to have died. “Melissa” then replaced her to avoid disappointing fans with her tragic death. 

2. Physical Differences

Avril Lavigne Comparison (Courtesy of mdzol.com)

The most used evidence for this theory is the changes to Avril’s physical appearance over the last two decades. One of the biggest arguments for this is her nose. Fans have noticed that her nose and facial structure changed after her supposed death. Pictured here is a side-by-side comparison of Avril and the “New” Avril. There is an obvious difference between the two pictures that could easily leave viewers believing they are not the same person (Feinberg).

3. Style

At the start of her career, Avril wore what was considered a more “masculine” style of clothing, opting for pants and shirts rather than the glittery dresses other female pop stars were known for. As she got older, she began to ditch her original look and began to wear the dresses she was known for disliking. Many fans viewed this change as proof that Avril was not the same person they knew and loved (Ripley’s Believe It or Not!).

Although there seems to be a lot of evidence to prove this theory, there are also more plausible explanations for these changes. Having a body double to walk around and distract the paparazzi is a good idea and has probably been done many times. However, if you attempt to search for this name, nothing will come up. There is no evidence to suggest that “Melissa” ever existed. How could Avril Lavigne be replaced by someone who has no record of ever existing? It is not very easy to completely erase someone from existence, and it is hard to believe that this would be done to cover up a singer’s death. With the physical differences, there is reason to believe that she could have had plastic surgery that caused these changes. Even though there has been no statement from Avril regarding plastic surgery, it is more likely than a different person. Lastly, the style changes could have happened for a number of reasons. Most people could agree that they are not the same person as they were during their high school years. The same could be said for Avril. As she matured, she most likely wanted to experiment with new styles and wanted to branch out from the grungy pop star persona that she had created. Very few people stay the same forever. Lastly, the most convincing evidence against this theory is that Avril Lavigne commented on it herself. According to an interview done on the Kyle and Jackie O radio show in Australia, the Canadian singer stated that she is in fact alive (Jahshan). It would probably be difficult to get a statement like this from a dead person. 

The creator of the original blog post that started the conspiracy theory has since stated that the entire thing was made up. The theory was a part of an experiment to see how people on the internet would react to a collection of facts that were put together to make a conspiracy (Ripley’s Believe It or Not!). However, fans are still sure that this conspiracy is in fact true even with this newfound information. This goes to show that people can blow things way out of proportion and that not everything you see on the internet is the truth.


Au-Yeung, Joshua. “Why Fans Think Avril Lavigne Died and Was Replaced by a Clone Named Melissa.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 16 May 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2017/may/15/avril-lavigne-melissa-cloning-conspiracy-theories.

“Conspiracy Theory Definition & Meaning.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conspiracy%20theory. 

Feinberg, Ashley. “Did Avril Lavigne Die in 2003?: An Internet Conspiracy, Explained.” Gawker, 2 Oct. 2015, https://blackbag.gawker.com/did-avril-lavigne-die-in-2003-an-internet-conspiracy-1734185142.

Jahshan, Sonia, director. Avril Lavigne Responds To Conspiracy That She’s Dead | KIIS1065, Kyle & Jackie O. YouTube, YouTube, 8 Nov. 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcbPHpypfGg. Accessed 4 Nov. 2022. 

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! “Was Avril Lavigne Replaced by a Double? It’s Complicated.” Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, 1 June 2022, https://www.ripleys.com/weird-news/was-avril-lavigne-replaced-by-a-double-its-complicated/.