The Conspiracy Theory That Says Avril Lavigne Died And Was Replaced By A Lookalike

Remember that old — and completely untrue — conspiracy theory that Paul McCartney from the Beatles actually died around 1966 and was replaced by a doppelgänger? Turns out, there's a very similar theory about one of the Millennial generation's biggest stars, Avril Lavigne, per Esquire. When Avril reemerged in 2013 with the song "Hello Kitty," we all agree her sound changed quite a lot from the days of her breakout hit "SK8R Boi." Could there be more to the story, though, than just a simple musical change in direction? Could the real Avril Lavigne have died in the early-2000s and been replaced by a different singer?

Of course, that's not actually the case. The real pop-punk singer Avril Lavigne is alive and well. She even released a comeback album of sorts, "Love Sux" in 2022, per AllMusic. But in the misguided opinion of some internet sleuths, that's exactly what happened: Avril Lavigne died around 2003 and we've been faced with an imposter ever since. Here's how the conspiracy theory came about that today's Avril Lavigne is actually fake.

Young Avril Lavigne was beloved

Prior to the first rumblings that all was not well in Avril-land, the young Canadian singer seemed to be living the rock 'n' roll dream, according to Vice Magazine. The first album she released, "Let Go," rocketed up the charts all over the world, and her pop-punk style and aesthetic influenced a generation. Lavigne was so famous, in fact, she hired a body double named Melissa to help manage the paparazzi, further supporting the conspiracy theory that would take root just a short time later, per Vice.

Despite that success, the pop star fairytale Avril Lavigne seemed to live began to turn dark when Lavigne's single "Hello Kitty" premiered, according to those who ascribe to this particular unsubstantiated conspiracy theory. Early on, the rumors started on a variety of unofficial fan sites and message boards dedicated to the star, based all over the world, per Black Bag. Soon enough, the theory caught on in enough before-and-after Youtube videos and blog posts. What exactly about Avril Lavigne 2.0, though, had raised such an alarm?

Avril Lavigne's appearance changed, according to some

The evidence that most Avril fans turned conspiratologists pointed toward at the time were purported differences in how the singer looked, including her nose, various skin blemishes that seemed to have disappeared, and even some tattoos that seem to have evaporated in photographs, among other examples. Supporters of the conspiracy theory even point toward a TV appearance in which the supposed Avril Lavigne fumbled her response and her subsequent performance after she was asked about the outlandish theory that was then making the rounds online, according to Vice Magazine

Some even say neu-Avril tipped her hand with lyrics from the 2004 album "Under My Skin," such as " I can't take it, it wasn't fake, it. It happened, you passed by. Now you're gone, now you're gone." According to the theory, Lavigne was under so much pressure to repeat the success of her debut album, she fell into a deep depression. 

How exactly did Avril reportedly die, according to theory? Here's where the story gets particularly sad: It was allegedly a suicide, and it was all covered up by her family (via Vice).