Avril Lavigne is alive.
On the 15th anniversary of the pop star’s hit single "Complicated," a conspiracy theory claiming that she died in 2003 and has been replaced by a lookalike has resurfaced. If you aren’t familiar with the theory, the basic idea is that Lavigne, who was at the peak of her career at the time, committed suicide after her grandfather’s death in 2003. Rather than coming to terms with what had happened, Lavigne's record company used Melissa Vandella – Lavigne's doppleganger who was supposedly hired to pose as Lavigne for paparazzi – in her place to profit off of her celebrity.
As the story goes, Vandella then went to record "Under My Skin" as Lavigne ("From here it was no longer the real Avril," the blog post reads, “but ‘Avril Lavigne’ under the skin of the other singer") and left subtle hints along the way about what had really happened. That, along with pictures of how Lavigne’s face and handwriting had changed, was all the proof they needed.
There's just one problem. A Buzzfeed article titled "Here's How I Accidentally Made An Old Avril Lavigne Death Hoax Go Viral," explained that it was created to show "how conspiracy theories can look true." And yet, despite that disclaimer, the theory quickly spread like wildfire thanks to the Buzzfeed writer sharing the conspiracy theory as a joke.