Avril Lavigne & Mod Sun’s Relationship Timeline: They’ve Called Off Their Engagement
On Feb. 28, Mod Sun broke his silence since their split, hinting that he didn’t see it coming.
He was a boy, she was a girl, can I make it any more obvious? Avril Lavigne and Mod Sun’s relationship has played out like a classic punk-rock fairytale, not unlike her 2002 hit “Sk8er Boi.” Sadly, like “Sk8er Boi” and many emo pop-rock jams, their relationship has reportedly also ended with a breakup. On Feb. 28, Mod Sun spoke out for the first time since their reported split. “In 1 week my entire life completely changed,” he wrote in a long Instagram caption. “I just know there’s a plan for it all. I’ll keep my head up + always listen to my heart, even when it feels broken.”
It’s not known exactly when the artists first began dating, but they started working together musically in December 2020, when Lavigne confirmed she was working on a new album with several punk-rock producers, including Mod Sun. The next month, they released a duet, and somewhere along the way, they found love.
The couple made their red carpet debut in September 2021 at the MTV VMAs. Over six months later, Lavigne announced that she was engaged to Mod Sun, before they reportedly split in February 2023. Lavigne and Mod Sun’s relationship timeline proves their punk-rock fantasy was a total whirlwind, and while their romance may now be over, there still could be more musical collaborations to come.
January 2021: Avril & Mod Sun Collab
Before they were a couple, they were collaborators. In December, Lavigne confirmed that she was working on new music with Mod Sun, Travis Barker, and Machine Gun Kelly, among other new producers. The following month, she lent her talents to Mod Sun’s upcoming album Internet Killed the Rockstar. Lavigne duetted with Mod Sun on “Flames,” which was co-written by the duo and released on Jan. 8, 2021. “Flames” quickly became his most-streamed song on Spotify, showing that they made magic even before becoming an item.
February 2021: Dating Rumors Swirl
Lavigne and Mod Sun (born Derek Ryan Smith) first sparked dating rumors when they were seen having dinner together in West Hollywood on Feb. 5, 2021. Outlets like Us Weekly and Entertainment Tonight started reporting they were officially an item. What raised even more eyebrows is that a TMZ producer noticed that Mod Sun had Lavigne’s name tattooed across the back of his neck, with the “A” designed in an anarchy font style. And according to the outlet, the ink was 100% real, with their source saying Mod Sun would “never” get a temporary tattoo.
The couple initially kept quiet about the rumors, but on the same day, Mod Sun explained that they first met through mutual friend Machine Gun Kelly. “We linked up through just talking about music,” he told Metro. “She’s such a music lover, she keeps her ear to what’s happening now, and she caught wind of my music through my brother Machine Gun Kelly.” They started working together in the studio quickly after connecting. “It’s hard to even say because it’s f*cking Avril Lavigne but she was like, ‘I really like your song, I really like your music,’ and she was like, ‘Send me some other stuff that you’re working on’,” he explained.
March 2021: Double Date With Megan Fox & MGK
While they still hadn’t confirmed that they were dating, Lavigne and Mod Sun’s dinner with Machine Gun Kelly and his girlfriend Megan Fox said it all. In March, the foursome returned to BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood, where the “Flames” collaborators were first seen together, for what looked to be a double date.
April 2021: They Go Instagram Official
On April 16, Lavigne and Mod Sun posted photos to promote the acoustic version of their duet “Flames,” in which they just happened to be holding hands. Considering how the couple stayed silent on the romance rumors beforehand, it’s safe to say this was their way of going Instagram official.
If their joint Instagram posts didn’t confirm their relationship, then an interview promoting the song surely did. In an April interview with PEOPLE, Lavigne gushed about her duet partner, saying they had an “immediate connection in the studio,” and promised that more collabs were on the horizon. “He’s an incredible artist and producer,” she said. “This is the first of many. Proud of what we made with ‘Flames.’”
June 2021: Mod Sun Learns His Place
After going Instagram official, the couple refrained from getting too lovey-dovey on social media, but Mod Sun’s few posts about Lavigne give fans a sweet (and at times hilarious) look into their relationship. On June 29, the singer reposted a paparazzi photo of them walking through a parking lot. “Always carry her purse for her,” he captioned the post.
September 2021: Their Red Carpet Debut
On Sept. 12, Lavigne and Mod Sun finally made their red carpet debut at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards, where the “Sk8er Boi” singer presented the Video for Good trophy to noted Lavigne fan Billie Eilish. The couple not only posed on the red carpet but locked lips and held hands for the cameras, making it clear how happy they were together. Mod Sun even shared some red carpet snapshots on his Instagram, proudly showing off their punk-rock looks. “Everything is a dream when I’m with her,” he captioned the post.
April 2022: Avril & Mod Sun Get Engaged
On April 7, Lavigne announced on Instagram that she was engaged to Mod Sun, sharing photos from his romantic proposal. The musician popped the question in front of the Eiffel Tower on a romantic trip to Paris, and Lavigne revealed their engagement date in French. “Oui! Je t’aime pour toujours. Dimanche. 27. Mars. 2022,” she captioned the post, which translates into English to “Yes! I love you forever. Sunday. 27. March. 2022.”
In his own Instagram post, Mod Sun shared more photos from their Parisian adventure and even wrote a poem for his new fianceé. “The day we met I knew you were the one. Together forever til our days are done,” he captioned the post. “I had a dream where I proposed in Paris. I pulled out a ring + asked you to wear it. I was on one knee as I looked in your eyes. You’re too beautiful for my words to describe. I grabbed your hand + took one last breath… I said ‘will you marry me?’ + she said ‘yes.’”
February 2023: Avril & Mod Sun Reportedly Split
The punk-rock fairytale apparently came to an end on Feb. 19, when TMZ reported that Lavigne and Mod Sun had split 10 months after getting engaged. The outlet reports that Lavigne called off the engagement after trying to make things work, but they decided to end their relationship overall. “Avril and Mod Sun have been on and off for the past two months, but are no longer together as a couple,” an insider told PEOPLE. Prior to their reported split, the duo was last seen together at the Recording Academy’s Pre-Grammy Gala, posing with Diplo and other celeb guests.
Split rumors sparked after TMZ published photos of the “Complicated” singer hugging rapper Tyga after dinner at Nobu with a group of friends. The outlet reported that the two are “good friends and have been for some time,” but their relationship is not romantic. Additionally, a source asserted to PEOPLE that “there was absolutely no third party involved in the split.”
Lavigne has yet to comment on their split, but a week after it was reported, Mod Sun spoke out for the first time in an Instagram post, hinting that he didn’t see the breakup coming. “In 1 week my entire life completely changed,” he wrote, captioning a slideshow of concert photos. “I just know there’s a plan for it all. I’ll keep my head up + always listen to my heart, even when it feels broken.” For now, the singer plans to take solace on tour. “Being surrounded by love every night on tour has been an absolute blessing,” he said. “I have the best friends in the entire world, thanks for always having my back. See you on stage.”
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