Back in 2003, a conspiracy theory bubbled up from the bowels of the internet and started circulating like wildfire when Buzzfeed journalist Ryan Broderick sparked a viral theory that Avril Lavigne was well and truly dead. With one simple post, he succeeded in convincing many that the pop-punk princess had passed away, suggesting that a lookalike had been performing as her ever since.
For a quick recap, dive right in and examine the "evidence" behind this batshit Avril Lavigne death hoax below:
How Did The Avril Lavigne Death Hoax Begin?
It's quite confusing because over the past years, it's been very clear that Avril Lavigne has been very much alive: As recently as 2013, she even released an album featuring singles such as "Rock 'N Roll" and "Hello Kitty." Then there came announcements that she had split from her husband — Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger — and that she's been battling with Lyme disease, an infection often caused by tick bites.
However, a frankly-titled blog Avril Esta Morta disagreed. According to this page, Avril secretly killed herself at some point after 2002 and a lookalike has been masquerading as the "Sk8er Boi" dark eyeliner enthusiast ever since. Apparently, the proof ranges from the bizarre to the totally bonkers, including pictures analyzing her distinguishing marks, naso-frontal structure and tattoos. Escandalo!
Alongside this, the blog also showed pictures of her supposedly doing things when she was allegedly lying in bed with Lyme disease, as well as theorizing that the new, fake Avril is hinting at the clandestine swap in her song lyrics. For example, here are some words from the song "Slipped Away:"
The day you slipped away / Was the day I found it won't be the same... It wasn't fake / It happened, you passed by / Now you're gone
Is Avril Lavigne Really Dead?
And after Ryan Broderick posted a few tweets about this "theory," the Avril Death Hoax really started to make its rounds around the world — Google interest spiked and even several massive publications investigated the theory, asking over and over, "Is Avril Lavigne really dead?"
Thankfully, the answer to this question was simple all along. If you look carefully at the start of the Avril Esta Morta blog, the very first line exposed that that particular conspiracy was created specifically to prove how easy it is to create a death hoax.
Esse blog foi uma forma de mostrar como teorias da conspiração podem parecer verdadeiras. This blog was created to show how conspiracy theories can look true.
However, just when we were finally coming to terms with the fact that the internet was a swirling morass of misinformation and whispered rumors — with the truth often hidden by a mammoth fog of half-truths, lies and general fluff — the Avril Lavigne Death Hoax rose from the ashes like a fiery phoenix in May 2017.
The Avril Lavigne Death Hoax That Won't Die
Announced by Twitter user @givenchyass in mid-May 2017, the old internet rumor that our sweet Avril was no more resurfaced with a huge amount of convincing evidence.
The claim, which has now been retweeted over 250,000 times, goes a little like this: Avril Lavigne died at the peak of her career in 2003 after her grandfather passed, triggering her breakdown and eventual suicide. To cover this up, Lavigne's record company reportedly hired a lookalike known as Melissa Vandella to impersonate her. Before this, the doppelgänger had already posed as the singer for paparazzi at her request and according to @givenchyass, they had even been great friends who often hung out in the studio together.
This suggestion was then backed up by a host of images, showing inconsistencies in Lavigne's appearance and handwriting over the following years:
Ultimately, these new revelations do provide a lot of unsettling evidence to suggest that Avril Lavigne is most definitely not alive and kicking. And although this Twitter account does acknowledge that all of this imposter madness is probably just a conspiracy, @givenchyass also states:
What do you think?