Avril Lavigne, or so they would have you believe. (Photo: George Pimentel/Getty Images)

Over the weekend, the world learned with great regret that pop-punk icon Avril Lavigne had passed away. This was not announced by authorities or the beloved recording artist’s family, but by Twitter user @givenchyass, who was also forced to inform readers that this actually occurred in 2003 and that a look-alike has been performing as Lavigne ever since.

As far as conspiracy theories go, it’s a good one, and it’s grown more convincing as more users have begun to sniff out evidence. The core of the theory has been kicking around for years among Lavigne fans, but the gist of it is that when Lavigne first became famous, she disliked all the attention and so hired an incredibly convincing look-alike named Melissa Vandella to distract paparazzi. The two became friends, and purportedly Vandella was taught to sing and perform like Lavigne. Shortly before recording her second record, though, Lavigne’s grandfather, with whom she was particularly close, died, leading to a troubled recording session during which Lavigne reportedly cried between takes and even attempted to commit suicide.

It is here that the story breaks with reality—or at least the conventional reality that the mainstream media has been spoon-feeding us sheeple for a decade and a half—by positing that Lavigne succeeded in one of these attempts, hanging herself in 2003. Thus her second album features the original Lavigne, but promotion and performances for the album were done by Vandella. Photos and interviews (some of which are below) back this up. In 2007, “they”—meaning Vandella and whichever handlers have conspired to convince the world that Lavigne is still alive—made a full album, The Best Damn Thing, and the style is markedly different, as one of @givenchyass’s video mock-ups displays:

Since then, though, more and more people have found evidence for the theory, attaining a sort of crowd-sourced legitimacy. There are jawline truthers:

okay but look at the difference of the jawline!! avril in 2002 (left) vs melissa in 2014 (right) @givenchyass CONSPIRACY CONFIRMED pic.twitter.com/FFBnji9emw

— goth princess (@angeldelemuerte) May 14, 2017

Eye-line truthers:

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Handwriting truthers:

Lyrical deep reads:

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Proof from the artist herself:

Red carpet analysis:

Avril always wore pants on red carpets. The dresses started late 2003. Melissa (bottom) loves the attention but Avril (top) clearly doesn’t. pic.twitter.com/rPtIbzsqpH

— goth princess (@angeldelemuerte) May 14, 2017

Go deep enough, and you’ll even find connections to—what else?—the Illuminati.

To be fair, Lavigne and Vandella do really look alike, assuming that the photos below are unaltered and accurately labeled:

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While the Lavigne-impostor theory helps to explain some of these aesthetic changes, so does plastic surgery, and while the theory helps to explain her stylistic changes, so does the career arc of pretty much every major-label pop musician of the past 15 years. However, nothing can explain Lavigne’s supposed two-year marriage with Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger. He is as far from a sk8er boi as can be imagined.