Avril Lavigne returned with her sixth studio album Head Above Water this year, her first album in six years. While she was away, a conspiracy theory of her having been dead and replaced by a body double named Melissa was all people could talk about. The rumors date back to 2005, and are believed to have originated on a Brazilian fan website according to The Independent. The rumor came back to life in recent years.
Up until recently, Lavigne had kept pretty quiet about the theory. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she responded to the rumor and expressed how she felt about it.
“It’s just a dumb internet rumor and [I’m] flabbergasted that people bought into it. Isn’t that so weird?” she told them.
“It’s so dumb. And I look the exact same. On one hand, everyone is like, ‘Oh my god, you look the same,’ and on the other hand people are like ‘Oh my god, she died.'”
Last year, Avril released her first single since 2015, titled “Head Above Water,” which she named her album after. She followed this up with “Tell Me It’s Over” and “Dumb Blonde,” a collaboration with Nicki Minaj. The album went top 10 in the U.K., being her fifth album to do so. It also went top 3 in Germany and top 5 in her home country of Canada.
Avril’s career skyrocketed in 2002 when she released her debut album Let Go, which catapulted her worldwide. The album sold over 16 million copies. The album contained the hit singles “Complicated,” “Sk8er Boi,” and “I’m With You.” Her follow up album, Under My Skin, matched this success — selling over 10 million records with a little help from singles “Don’t Tell Me” and “My Happy Ending.”
It was three more years until Lavigne released her third studio album, The Best Damn Thing. She rebranded her image with a more feminine look, which was a departure from her skater-tomboy image. The album included the massive hit single “Girlfriend,” which was the first video on YouTube site to reach 100 million views. Her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby, came out in 2011 — and her fifth self-titled record came out two years later, in 2013.
Despite having kept a relatively low profile in recent years, Lavigne still has a large online following. Her Instagram account has 6.7 million followers. Her posts are met with hundreds of thousands of likes and hundreds of comments. Her Twitter account has 21.7 million followers, and she has posted over 3,900 tweets.