It’s time to dust off your ties and checkered Vans, Avril Lavigne fans.
The noughties pop-rock singer hasn’t been in the spotlight recently, but she is resurfacing with an upcoming album and says she wants to be “open” about her struggle with Lyme disease.
The Canadian has announced that 19 September will be the release date for the first song, Head Above Water. This will mark Lavigne’s return to music after her last album was released in 2013.
She penned a letter to her fans on her website, where she opened up about her struggle with the disease, which has been the main reason for her hiatus from music.
“I have decided to be truthful about my struggle, open and more vulnerable than ever before,” she wrote. “And to be honest, part of me doesn’t want to talk about being sick because I want it to all be behind me, but I know I have to.
“Because not only is it a part of my life, I need to bring awareness to the severity of Lyme Disease.”
I have decided to be truthful about my struggle, open and more vulnerable than ever before
Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria spread by bites from infected ticks. Symptoms include tiredness, aches and loss of energy that can last for years. It can be treated with antibiotics if caught early, when a red rash often appears on the skin. If left untreated, it can attack heart and nervous system tissue, and trigger an immune response that can lead to Lyme arthritis.
“A single bug bite can fuck you up hard. People aren’t aware that Lyme must be treated almost immediately. Often if they are aware, they go untreated simply because they can’t get a Lyme diagnosis! And even when they do get a diagnosis, a lot of times they simply can’t afford the treatment.”
Lavigne added that the foundation she has launched in her name is now focusing on providing Lyme’s disease prevention and information.
Lavigne catapulted to stardom in the early 2000s with hits Complicated and Sk8er Boi, and the 2007 track Girlfriend cemented her place in pop history with pink hair dye, smudgy black eyeshadow and “No one understands me” teen-rebellion vibes.