Songs like “Complicated”, “I’m With You” or “Girlfriend” make Avril Lavigne a rather snotty counterpart to fellow Britney Spears. But in 2014, the Canadian will be ill. Now, after years of silence, she returns with a new song.

The diagnosis of Lyme disease completely reversed the life of Avril Lavigne in 2014. Now the Canadian singer can finally go back to her passion. After five years of musical absence, she has released the ballad “Head Above Water”.

Due to the infectious disease, which is transmitted by a tick bite, the singer had to spend five months straight in the hospital. For a long time the doctors disagreed about what the musician suffered from the symptoms of tiredness and headache. In an open letter to her fans, Lavigne recently published on her website, she tells of the emergence of the song in the hospital bed.

“Do not let me drown”

“I accepted death, it felt like I was drowning,” the musician writes. At this stage, she prayed a lot and wrote, in the arms of her mother, the first single of her new album. “God, keep my head above water, do not let me drown” (“Dear God, keep my head above water, do not let me drown”) is the refrain of the song with which Lavigne alludes to her desperation.

Apart from their previous Poppunk works, the song is a soulful ballad. The new single is just a harbinger: After her recovery, the singer is now working on a whole album.

Lavigne has sold more than 40 million albums in her career, which began in 2002 with the song “Complicated” and the album “Let Go”. Eight times she was nominated for a Grammy. The 33-year-old has meanwhile founded a foundation named after her. This supports people who suffer from Lyme disease or other serious diseases.