Avril Lavigne (Again) Debunks Imposter Conspiracy Theory

Avril Lavigne did not secretly die in 2003. A replicant or whatever did not replace her.

For years, the world has heard the fairly hilarious Avril Lavigne conspiracy theory that the “real” singer died, only to receive a clone or lookalike replacement.

But … how does Avril feel about it? In a sense, she feels like she kind of lucked out, as far as conspiracy theories go.

Avril Lavigne in December of 2023.
Avril Lavigne, 2023 Inductee, attends the Canada’s Walk of Fame 25th Anniversary Celebration at Metro Toronto Convention Centre on December 02, 2023. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Chan/Getty Images)

There is the silliest conspiracy theory about Avril Lavigne

During the May 15 episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast, Avril Lavigne addressed a truly bonkers conspiracy theory.

This unhinged claim alleges that the “real” Avril died in 2003 just after the release of her hit album, Let Go.

Record execs, in a panic, then secured a body double (named Melissa Vandella) to impersonate Avril. For the rest of her life.

Avril Lavigne in February of 2024.
Avril Lavigne attends the 66th GRAMMY Awards Pre-GRAMMY Gala & GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Jon Platt at The Beverly Hilton on February 03, 2024. (Photo Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Obviously, that conspiracy theory is not how anything works. If anything, a singer’s death boosts album sales. So, even if music execs had the power to do all of that, it would be strange for them to try.

The current Avril has the same face as she did in 2003, except for the (very graceful) passage of about two decades of time. Successful human cloning does not exist. And as “celebrity lookalike” plastic surgeries illustrate, neither does the ability to perfectly replicate another human face.

But this conspiracy is inherently unreasonable … which means that you cannot reason with the people espousing it.

Avril Lavigne on April 1, 2024.
Avril Lavigne poses in the press room during the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards at Dolby Theatre on April 01, 2024. (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Just for the record, Avril Lavigne is the real Avril Lavigne

“Obviously, I am me,” Avril emphasized — with a laugh — during the podcast episode. “It’s so dumb.”

She added: “It’s just funny to me. On one end, everyone’s like, ‘You look the exact same. You haven’t aged a day.’ But then other people are like, ‘There’s a conspiracy theory that I’m not me.’”

Avril acknowledged that the bizarre lies “could be worse.” In fact, compared to many other famous folks, she “got a good one.”

“I don’t feel like it’s negative,” Avril expressed. “It’s nothing creepy.”

For example, QAnon — a dangerous conspiracy theory alleging government puppeteers serving the literal actual devil and harvesting Illuminati drugs from children — has targeted celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Tom Hanks.

Almost no one is accusing Avril Lavigne of worshiping any devils. They’re just saying that she looks conspicuously young, or slightly different than she did in 2003. And then making up unhinged explanations for it.

Avril Lavigne in May of 2024.
Avril Lavigne attends the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards at Omni Frisco Hotel at The Star on May 16, 2024. (Photo Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Why would anyone believe this bonkers conspiracy theory?

This untethered claim about Avril has been circulating since the 2000s.

The psychology of conspiracy theories is interesting. Some of them are literally just jokes — such as people jesting about the British royal family. (Not to be confused with people who think that King Charles’ portrait has a “hidden Baphomet”)

In the case of the “swapped celebrity” conspiracies, the idea is rooted in a couple of major things: ignorance and creativity. People who don’t understand the dramatic differences in someone’s look (after pregnancy, cosmetic surgery, swapping makeup artists) look for answers, and “creatives” conjure up absurd explanations.

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