How “Motherf–king Princess” Avril Lavigne Saved Mod Sun’s Life

Mod Sun shared with E! News how fiancé Avril Lavigne has made him “a better person” and spilled on why he’s determined to give her the wedding of her dreams.


“She blew me a kiss and I didn’t want to blow my brains out anymore. She is everything. I’m not without her. I am lost.”

Those are lyrics from “Avril’s Song” off of hip-hup musician Mod Sun‘s new album, God Save the Teen, which has multiple tracks dedicated to his fiancé Avril Lavigne.

Inspired by a real moment that happened in the recording studio, “Avril’s Song” is “dark and sweet at the same time,” Mod Sun described to E! News’ Francesca Amiker in an exclusive interview, “and a total metaphor” for what the impact their relationship has had on his life.

“I have found such a partner in this world to go through the chaos that life gives you,” he continued . “I have found that person. I’m with a real grown woman who has gone through it all 10 times over and she makes me a better person.”

Mod Sun (real name Derek Ryan Smith) and Avril met in 2020 while working on music together and began dating that November. By March 2022, the 35-year-old had decided to make the “Girlfriend” singer his wife, 38, 

Aside from marriage, Mod Sun also has another “mind-blowing” milestone to celebrate soon: “I’m about to hit four years sober.”


Mod Sun, Avril LavigneTaylor Hill/FilmMagic

The key for the pop-punk singer in his sobriety journey was to “finally learn how to transfer” his addiction to drugs to healthy practices, including therapy and running. 

“An addict in a lot of ways has some of the best self-discipline in the world,” Mod Sun explained. “It’s been doing these things that make me feel accomplished. One of those things happens to be working out and whether I wrote a song that day or I created a piece of art that allows me to fall asleep at night and feel good about myself.”


After getting sober, Mod Sun’s outlook on what it means to be a true musician also shifted.

“There was a certain time where I’m like, ‘You have to be this tortured artist to be brilliant,’ and I’m really trying to redefine that to the people who listen to me that that’s not true,” he shared. “A lot of the greatest things that I’ve accomplished have been since trying to break the addiction from chaos.”

Avril Lavigne, Mod Sun, 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, Arrivals, Couples
Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

And the one he holds most dear is his relationship with Avril, who also inspired the track “Shelter.” The singer is featured on the song, which is about “when you find someone that you want to go through life with,” Mod Sun explained, “they become that protection for you.”

Avril has become like armor for Mod Sun “from the idea of self-destruction,” he said, and their relationship has reframed his view of what a fulfilled life can entail.

“When you realize that success can be defined in growing old and creating a family and passing on these traits that you have and teaching someone that you brought into this world,” he shared. “This is the first time in my life that I’ve started to think about defining success in that way. I want to grow old. I want to be a dad and then I want to be a grandpa.”

While the Minnesota native used to be consumed by how many streams or concert tickets he could amass, Mod Sun is prioritizing a different metric. “There’s no, ‘I only want one number,'” he said. “I want the person that I’m with and I want a child. I don’t know how many children we are going to have. But those are the numbers that matter to me.”

 Avril Lavigne, Mod Sun

In addition to their future children, Mod Sun, whose God Saves the Teen tour kicks off on Feb. 19, is looking forward to the couple’s impending wedding, though he admitted he thinks “it’s beautiful to let the engagement last, so we’re still living in that moment.”

But when it comes time to plan the ceremony, Mod Sun is “definitely going to be involved” in the decision-making process, he vowed, as he and Avril “are very similar in the way we love to curate things.” Still, he made it clear who the day will be about. 

“She’s a princess, she really is,” he gushed. Referencing her famed song, he added, “She’s a motherf–king princess. That’s real shit, so we’re going to have we’re going to have a very special wedding. I can’t wait for that time to come.”

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