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Avril Lavigne Is Chill With Those "Melissa" Rumors

In fact, she even thinks it’s funny that the internet is convinced that she used a body double.

by Michelle Santiago Cortés

In anticipation of her greatest-hits album release and a major North American tour, Avril Lavigne went on the podcast Call Her Daddy, where she talked about her Hello Kitty room, secret pole-dancing talents, and her early days playing boys’ hockey. But during their hour-long conversation (over pizza, beer, and champagne), the original tomboy pop star and host Alex Cooper also got granular on all things Lavigne, including those Melissa conspiracy theories. “Honestly,” Lavigne says, “it’s not that bad, it could be worse, right? I feel like I got a good one.”

“It’s funny to me,” she continues, explaining how often people tell her that she looks exactly the same since she was at the height of her career in her early 20s. “But then, on the other end, there is this conspiracy theory that I am not me.”

The rumor has been traced back to this Brazilian fan page, which claims that following the 2002 release of Let Go — which features iconic songs like "Complicated,” “I’m With You,” and “Sk8er Boi” — Lavigne hired a body double named Melissa to pose as her during public appearances. Like all rumors, as it spread across the internet it splintered into many competing narratives, the dominant one being that Lavigne died in 2003 and that her record label hired Melissa to live and work as Avril Lavigne full-time. Perceived changes in Lavigne’s face and her evolving personal style are often cited as “proof,” as are some of her song lyrics.

In a 2021 interview with NYLON, Lavigne explains that she’s always been the one calling the shots when it comes to her image and work, including when and how it changes: “It’s just always been a fight. Fighting to make the music I want to make. Fighting to dress the way I want. Fighting to have things be the way I need them to be.”

This isn’t the first time the Canadian pop star has addressed Melissa conspiracy theories. In 2019, she told Entertainment Weekly that it struck her as a “dumb internet rumor” and was “flabbergasted that people bought into it.” But given her latest take, it seems like time has helped her find the humor in the fan theories.