Avril was a sad kid before it was cool to be sad. Her fishnet ensembles were unmatched, and she was the only one who could wear plaid with stripes and get away with it. With multiple notable hits throughout her career and a distinct style, Avril Lavigne is a trendsetter who made her mark in the early 2000s. Fast forward about two decades later and we’ve got Avril Lavigne 2.0.
No, not Avril’s alleged clone and body double Melissa. Debuting in 2016, Billie Eilish is notable for her moody vocals and dark boyish ensembles. Avril may have paved the way, but Billie continues to carry the torch.
Eilish grew up listening to Lavigne. She considers her an idol, and has publically thanked and acknowledged Lavigne for “making [her] what [she] is.”
In reference to her admiration for the pop singer, Eilish stated:
“I love Avril Lavigne. I only love her. There’s nothing else there. Just love. Only love. There’s like almost no artists like that. Like Avril Lavigne and Justin Bieber, I only love. Like her, Tyler, Gambino and Bieber, to be honest, made me. I would not be… And Lana, probably. Yeah. There’s no way.”
Lavigne has stated that it’s an honor that Eilish idolizes her, and believes that they are similar because they are both “individuals.”
While speaking to Billboard she said, “We’re in a time now where people want real, and they want authentic and they can read past the bullshit.” She continued, “That was something I always stood my ground on, and I always fought to be true to myself. And she’s an artist who is very much herself, and also extremely talented — and that’s why it’s working for her.”
It’s no shock that Eilish has been influenced by Lavigne when we compare their angsty lyrics and dark apparel.
Let’s take a look at all the similarities between the two pop sensations.
They both got a start at a young age
Lavigne started singing in church at a young age and got signed with Arista Records in 2000. Two years later at just 16, Lavigne released her album Let Go in June of 2002. Her hit singles “Complicated” and “Sk8er Boi” allowed the record to sell more than 15 million copies worldwide.
In 2016 a 14-year-old Billie Eilish uploaded her first song titled “Ocean Eyes” to SoundCloud late at night. The song was only intended for her dance teacher’s ears, but when Eilish woke up the next morning her song had gone viral on the music streaming site. Eventually, Eilish was signed to Darkroom and Interscope Records in 2016.
They’re both known for their broody songs about life
Lavigne helped us think over the complexities of life with her hit “Complicated,” and helped us mourn adolescent relationships with “My Happy Ending.” Similarly, Eilish covers sad themes, allowing us to rethink toxic relationships with her hit song “When The Party’s Over” and purge our negative emotions with “Lovely.”
Relative to her sad songs, Eilish has opened up about her depression in the past and is known for speaking out about mental health issues. In 2019 she revealed to Rolling Stone that at the age of 13 her depression was catalyzed by having to quit dance after being a serious dancer for several years. More recently, she has opened up about being suicidal, with a specific account in Berlin.
Lavigne has struggled with depression herself while trying to overcome Lyme disease.
Boyish ensembles are a signature of both of their looks
Many of Eilish’s fans know the grim reason behind her boyish look — to prevent herself from being sexualized for her body. Eilish has said, “Nobody can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath. Nobody can be like, ‘she’s slim-thick,’ ‘she’s not slim-thick,’ ‘she’s got a flat a**,’ ‘she’s got a fat a**.’ No one can say any of that because they don’t know.”
In the early 2000s, Avril Lavigne had what some would consider a boyish style. Donning high-top converse, neckties, studded belts, and even actual menswear, Lavigne brought out the inner skater out of all of us.
Tomboyish similarities aside, it’s clear that both Eilish and Lavigne have edgy looks marked by dark aesthetics.
We’re glad the two artists are fond of each other in an era where female artists are typically pitted against one another. Yay for eyeliner and female empowerment!