Avril Lavigne is happy to be alive. To celebrate her 34th birthday today, Lavigne has debuted the music video for her comeback single “Head Above Water,” a song the Canadian singer wrote during her near-death experience with Lyme disease.
Writing the song from her bed, Lavigne said in a letter to fans that she created her new single during a time in her life when she didn’t know whether she would live. “I had accepted death and could feel my body shutting down. I felt like I was drowning. Like I was going under water and I just needed to come up for air. Like I was in a river being pulled in a current. Unable to breathe,” writes Lavigne.
“Praying to God for Him to help me just keep my head above the water. To help me see through the stormy weather. I grew closer to Him. My mother held me. In her arms, I wrote the first song that I am releasing to tell my story.”
Releasing “Head Above Water” on September 19, fans welcomed Avril back with open arms, sending the soaring ballad to No. 1 on iTunes worldwide. Now Lavigne has debuted her cinematic music video for “Head Above Water,” giving the emotional and personal track a worthy visual accompaniment.
Partnering with director Elliott Lester, the pair travelled to Iceland to shoot “Head Above Water,” which could double as a lost scene from Game of Thrones. Lavigne looks ethereal while wearing her long blond hair in braids and running along cliffs while her white lace gown trails behind her. Filming half of the video underwater, Lavigne’s hair and dress create a beautiful cascade around the singer as she fights to reach the surface.
Forced to step away from her career for five years while she battled the disease, Lavigne is now using her platform to help educate others on how to prevent and treat Lyme disease. The video ends with a title card promoting Lavigne’s new foundation and website, which aims to help educate people and raise funds to help fight Lyme disease.
Sharing the video on her Instagram page, Lavigne praised Lester and thanked her co-writers Stephan Moccio and Travis Clark, as well as Nickelback’s Chris Baseford and Lavigne’s ex-husband Chad Kroeger, who helped record the song.
“From the very first day I started writing this song, I have been inspired and gathering visuals and imagining what the music video could look like,” writes Lavigne. Speaking of Lester, Avril says “I respect you so much. You are insanely talented. Thank you for working closely with me and hearing my ideas. You not only completely captured my vision, but took this video to an entirely new level, even when it meant going all the way to Iceland. You are my hero. I loved every moment of working on this video with you.”
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It makes my heart so unbelievably full to premiere the #HeadAboveWater music video for you all today, on my birthday. From the very first day I started writing this song, I have been inspired and gathering visuals and imagining what the music video could look like. @ElliottLester88, I respect you so much. You are insanely talented. Thank you for working closely with me and hearing my ideas. You not only completely captured my vision, but took this video to an entirely new level, even when it meant going all the way to Iceland. You are my hero. I loved every moment of working on this video with you. Thank you to my co-writers @traviswethekings, I know God brought you to me to work with me and @Stephanmoccio, You slayed on this track. I’m obsessed with the production. Chad Kroeger and @CBaseford, thank you for recording my vocals. You all worked together so well. You all took such good care of me and had my back though this experience. I can’t thank you enough. Watch the music video for Head Above Water at link in bio.
In addition to today’s new video, Lavigne also had her first performance of “Head Above Water” during Tuesday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Lavigne has yet to confirm when she plans on releasing her sixth studio album, her first since 2013’s Avril Lavigne, but after “Head Above Water,” you can bet we’re eagerly anticipating more new music from the pop punk princess.