Did Avril Lavigne Die in 2003?: An Internet Conspiracy, Explained

“Hi fellow Avril Rangers”: This is the innocuous beginning to what is, perhaps, the best written statement on Canadian pop-punk Nickelback divorcee Avril Lavigne that the internet has ever produced.

Vice’s Noisey blog offered a nice little crash course on the theory that Avril Lavigne had previously died and been replaced by a doppelgänger, but the internet trail—as always—goes much, much deeper. On ATRL.net in 2012, user Vulps eases us in to what is (apparently) common knowledge:

As we all know, it is a popularly believed*** that Canadian pop singer Avril Lavigne took her own life in 2003 shortly after her parents divorce and was replaced by a doppelgänger who left several clues about the death of the original Avril Lavigne in the lyrics of her follow-up album.

As we all know.

Vulps goes on to explain how the Avril Rangers were forced to accept the fact that the original Avril (henceforth referred to as Avr1l) was officially gone after New Avril released 2007’s The Best Damn Thing. Then again, Vulps tells us, it wasn’t like they really had a choice.

But! But. This enterprising Avril Ranger may have discovered a ray of light in this morbid tale of Avrils past: Avr1l, our original Avril, might still be alive after all.

Not only is the Avril in question buying cheese, of all things, but Vulps notes several missing wrist tattoos, before going on to question: “So could it be? Is the original Avril Lavigne still alive and well? And if so, why did she construct such an elaborate lie to deceive her fans? Was it because we didn’t take Complicated to number one? The Grammy losses to Norah Jones?? Or did her record label have a part to play in this?”

Good and valid questions all. But there’s still one, much larger question looming—why the hell do people think Avril Lavigne died in the first place?

The earliest trace we can find of the original theory comes from the Portuguese AvrilEstaMuerta.com, which has several extensive posts detailing Avril’s death and subsequent reincarnation. What’s more, apparently even New Avril is a mere pawn in this sick game of pop-punk deceit:

And while the two Avril’s may seem similar, the nose is a dead giveaway.

Conspiracy forum Godlike Productions did some of their own investigating a few years ago. On a thread titled “Probably nobody will give a fuck, but I came across a website that claims the singer AVRIL LAVIGNE SUICIDED and was REPLACED,” the most damning bit of evidence seems to be in the lyrics to “Slipped Away,” which were purportedly written by New Avril about Avr1l’s death:

Some, of course, were inclined to disagree. According to user Epicbiscuit “…there’s little chance they could keep something like Avril Lavigne hanging herself secret and completely out of the media. It would have been a shit show like Kurt Cobain. Not that Avril is as influential.”

Except that he was deadly wrong. As user UndercoverAlien countered, “You’re deadly wrong! By the time of her first album, Avril Lavigne was A LOT influential among 15, 16 yo skaters and free-style bikers and all that generation of useless teenagers who spent all day in urban parks watching skaters and bikers.” And then, of course, there’s the matter of her teeth.

What do the teeth prove? Hard to say other than the fact that the video is 100% REAL. But they are provided as evidence nonetheless

And even as years pass—the rumors subsist. Just this past February, the cryptically named website AvrilLavigneDied.blogspot.com offered the following bits of evidence, among others:

As well as the fact that:

But perhaps most damning of all:

While you may not be immediately inclined to believe an anonymous, partially Portuguese website with only four entries, three of which are the exact same entry posted in immediate succession—with just a little digging, you’ll find that their conclusions are indisputable:

Then, just 9 months ago, a YouTube account called “Avril may be dead” posted a series of videos comparing Avr1l to New Avril, most of which are hard to follow (partially due to the fact that they largely fail to specify exactly which Avril it is we’re looking at but also because they’re written entirely in Portuguese).

One video, however, consists of an interview clip in which New Avril is confronted about the conspiracy at hand—and according to the surely impartial Avril may be dead, our imposter is lying through her morphing, pointy teeth. Thanks to friend of Gawker and resident Portuguese conspiracy enthusiast Veronica de Souza, the translated text follows:

Slide 1 [0:00]: Did Avril tell the truth or lie? There are specialists that detect bodily signals that indicate when a person is lying. Here are some signals that were picked up during the her interview.

Slide 2 [0:18]: The signs were the following: “Putting your hands on your face, hair or ears when you talk. When a person is lying, they tend to look at the floor or close their eyes for a long time. Another non-verbal sign of a lie is a forced smile, which involves your mouth muscles, and not the rest of your face muscles.”

Slide 3 [0:45]: Now watch the part of the interview where Avril is asked about the event in question. “Pay attention to her eyes.”

Slide 4 [2:20]: Now let’s look at the replies: Confused reply, first she said she knew about the story but then says she learned it from the hosts.

Note the moment when she really responds to a question, but only says “Well, I’m here. I’m here in Brazil,” and when she’s called a clone, she stays quiet. Then theres a pause and the interviewers change the subject

The rest of the videos mostly consist of clips of Avr1l’s original singing compared to that of New Avril. As you can see below, our modern-day sk8er girl’s voice is ever-so-slightly higher:

But wait—all was, once again, not quite as it seemed. This past July, the alleged creator of the site and resulting Facebook group posted the following message (translated from Portuguese to English by Google):

But of course, the masses had already decided. And (at least to them) Avril Lavigne was dead:

Was the Facebook page hacked? Is Avril Lavigne dead or not? What does New Avril have to say about all this? And can she make it any more obvious? We’ve reached out to Avril Lavigne and Avr1l’s husband of three years, former Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley. At the time of publication, both parties have declined to comment. But if you have any information about Avr1l, New Avril, or any possible third Avrils, please do reach out.

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