Avril Lavigne announces new music, details battle with Lyme disease
New track Head Above Water set for release Sept. 19
Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne is opening up about her battle with Lyme disease as she prepares to release new music for the first time in five years.
In a statement on her website, the Napanee, Ont.-raised singer-songwriter says she'll put out the song Head Above Water on Sept. 19.
It's the first single off her upcoming album, which she calls "a very strong, triumphant, powerful and true record" that reflects her experiences over the last few years.
Lavigne says her battle with Lyme has been the worst period of her life as it took a physical and emotional toll.
She says she was able to turn that fight into music that she's really proud of and that marks "a victorious moment."
The 33-year-old says she wrote Head Above Water from her bed "during one of the scariest moments" of her life.
"I had accepted death and could feel my body shutting down," Lavigne said in the statement.
"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."
Prayer and her mother helped her, she added.
Lavigne's last studio album, her fifth, was 2013's Here's to Never Growing Up.
Lavigne said she wrote all of the songs for the new album in her bed and on the couch, and recorded there mostly as well. She worked with musicians Travis Clark and Stephan Moccio on the first single.
'My music helped to heal me'
"Truly... by keeping my spirits up, having goals to reach and a purpose to live for, my music helped to heal me and keep me alive," she said.
Lavigne thanked her fans for "waiting so patiently" as she continues to fight Lyme. She said she wants to be back onstage but has to listen to her body and keep a healthy balance.
While it's been tough opening up about her struggle, she knows she has to do it, she said: "Because not only is it a part of my life, I need to bring awareness to the severity of Lyme Disease."
I'm taking my life back into my own hands.- Avril Lavigne
The singer pointed to her Avril Lavigne Foundation, which she said provides Lyme prevention resources and online links to connect with doctors who specialize in the disease. She also said it will soon announce an alliance with top scientific teams that will accelerate Lyme research.
"Please, join us in the fight while I tell the world my story and bring awareness to Lyme Disease," said Lavigne.
"I'm taking my life back into my own hands and doing what it is I know I am meant to be doing in this lifetime. Making music. And sharing my healing and hope, through my music."