Avril Lavigne has been enjoying something of a revival recently thanks to the general pop-punk resurgence happening in music right now. She appeared on Willow’s latest album Lately I Feel Everything and reigning pop princess Olivia Rodrigo paid her respects with a cover of “Complicated” on her Sour tour.
Lavigne herself is now signed to Travis Barker’s label and released a very spunky, acclaimed new album called Love Sux. Unlike her album’s title, love certainly doesn’t suck for Lavigne: She recently announced her engagement to Mod Sun with a not-at-all-staged photo shoot for People magazine where she was given a heart-shaped diamond ring.
The news generated one big question: Who the fuck is Mod Sun?
Lavigne’s less-famous fiancé has had his own brush with tabloid celebrity in the past. After leaving behind his pop-punk and hardcore roots, he turned to rapping, making a genre of music that was apparently referred to as “hippy hop.” During this era, he began building a fandom and found himself enmeshed with a very specific type of internet-famous LA denizens.
Mod Sun dated actress Bella Thorne from 2017 to 2019, during a significant era in Thorne’s life when she was beginning to establish herself as a bit of a controversy-making former Disney kid. Their relationship was somehow both significant because of and overshadowed by the fact that Thorne was also dating YouTuber Tana Mongeau, putting the trio into a throuple.
The relationships both went up in flames in early 2019, leading to public feuds between Thorne and both of her ex-partners. Mod Sun and Mongeau eventually dated briefly. Thorne and Mod Sun later revealed that they may or may not have been married at some point. They did throw a wedding, but the legality of the nuptials seems to be unclear. Maybe it was just practice, like Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker’s Las Vegas trip down the aisle?
Like many other white rappers of that particular era, Mod Sun is now making pop-punk music (again). He’s collaborated with Machine Gun Kelly and Blackbear often. He worked with his new fiancé on Love Sux. The pair even released an underrated duet last year called “Flames.”
Lavigne is no stranger to having a wacky romantic history: she was married to Sum-41’s Deryck Whibley, dated The Hills’ Brody Jenner, and most recently wed Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger. Maybe two extremely strange romantic histories are just what is needed to make Lavigne and Mod Sun’s union their most lasting yet.
On this week’s Don’t Let This Flop, Rolling Stone’s podcast about internet culture, co-hosts Brittany Spanos and Ej Dickson host a very special episode dedicated to their recurring Straight People segment. Along with Lavigne and Mod Sun’s engagement, the hosts also discuss the cursed horniness of Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani’s relationship as chronicled on Hulu’s The Dropout, Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker’s annoying “practice” wedding, and the extremely cringe post-break-up Instagram post by Andrew Garfield’s former girlfriend Alyssa Miller. Plus, the pair re-crown hot lumberjack Thoren Bradley as Himbo of the Week, just after he’s gone viral once more for grunting while chopping wood.