Hi there, it's me, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, just here to make sure that you're up-to-date on the latest conspiracy theories. The question of who Melissa Vandella is might not be first on your mind when you heard about that bizarre theory about Avril Lavigne, but it will definitely come up because she's a pretty huge part of it. This theory stretches back quite a ways, and has gathered more than its fair share of threads over the years, but the baseline version is that there's a group of people who think that Avril Lavigne died in the early 2000s, and that someone named Melissa Vandella replaced her.
According to these conspiracy theorists, Vandella is an actress that Lavigne's team hired in 2002 due to her strong resemblance to the singer. The singer was allegedly struggling with depression at the time and having trouble meeting the publicity obligations for her debut album, Let Go, so the claim is that Vandella was brought on and the two became close friends. The press was supposedly none the wiser, so, when Lavigne allegedly took her own life in 2003 after the death of her grandfather, the theory says that Vandella just took over her entire life and continued Lavigne's career.
Which is... dark. To say the least.
While you can read all about the theory in a variety of places, it's harder to find is information about Vandella, starting with whether or not she actually exists as a real person. None of the social media accounts that can be found for this alleged person are verified — including a Twitter account, under the very subtle handle @AvrilIsDead.
There, you can find claims that she is the one who has appeared in Lavigne's videos since her supposed death — most notably the video for "Hello Kitty," which was a particularly confusing change of direction for fans of the singer. (Not to mention extremely culturally insensitive.)
However, it's worth noting that the account has been silent since 2015, which is also when she joined Twitter. And that it spells her name differently than it's listed on the Facebook account — "Vandela" instead of "Vandella."
One thing that it's not possible to find for Vandella, however, is an IMDb page, which strikes me as unusual for someone who's allegedly been in the industry for the past decade or so. It makes it pretty tricky to determine whether she is a real person who's gotten tangled up in this conspiracy theory or a persona invented by it. Regardless, there's very little information about her on the internet.
That said, it hasn't deterred believers in this conspiracy theory, which has been making its first resurgence since 2015 of late. Fans like @givenchyass, who revitalized the theory with a 50-post tweetstorm about it, are as convinced as ever that Vandella not only exists, but that she has replaced the woman she was once hired to act as a lookalike for. The internet is a vast and marvelous place, so just try to keep up.