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Avril Ramona Lavigne (/ˈævrɪl ləˈvn/; French: [avʁil laviɲ]; born September 27, 1984)[1] is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actress. By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain and by 16, she had signed a two-album recording contract with Arista Records worth more than $2 million.

Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne in Brasilia - 2014 - 2 (cropped).jpg
Lavigne performing in Brasília in 2014
Born
Avril Ramona Lavigne

(1984-09-27) September 27, 1984 (age 34)
Citizenship
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active1999–present
Home townGreater Napanee, Ontario, Canada
Spouse(s)
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • drums
Labels
Associated actsEvan Taubenfeld
Website
Signature
Avril Lavigne's signature.svg

Her debut studio album, Let Go (2002), emphasized a skate punk persona in which she has since been often referred by critics and music publications as the "Pop Punk Queen", due to her achievement and impact in the industry.[2][3][4][5][6] Lavigne is considered a key musician in the development of pop punk music, since she paved the way for female-driven, punk-influenced pop music.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13] Since her professional debut, Lavigne has sold more than 40 million albums and over 50 million singles worldwide, making her the third-best-selling Canadian female artist of all time, behind Celine Dion and Shania Twain.[14][15][16][17][18][19]

Lavigne's breakthrough single, "Complicated", reached number one in several countries worldwide and led to Lavigne becoming the youngest female soloist to have a number-one album in the United Kingdom. Her second studio album, Under My Skin (2004), became Lavigne's first album to reach the top of the Billboard 200 chart in the United States, going on to sell 10 million copies worldwide. The Best Damn Thing (2007), Lavigne's third studio album, reached number one in seven countries worldwide and saw the international success of its lead single "Girlfriend", which became her first single to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. Her fourth and fifth studio albums, Goodbye Lullaby (2011) and Avril Lavigne (2013), saw continued commercial success and were both certified gold in Canada, the United States, and other territories.[20][21][22]

In addition to music, Lavigne voiced Heather, a Virginia opossum, in the animated film Over the Hedge (2006), and made her screen acting debut in Fast Food Nation (2006). In 2008, Lavigne introduced her clothing line, Abbey Dawn, and in 2009, she released her first perfume, Black Star, which was followed by Forbidden Rose in 2010, and Wild Rose in 2011. Lavigne has been married twice: to Deryck Whibley from 2006 to 2010, and Chad Kroeger from 2013 to 2015.

Contents

Life and career

1984–1999: Childhood

Lavigne was born in 1984 at Belleville, Ontario, Canada. Her mother is of English, Scottish, and German descent, and her father, Jean-Claude Joseph Lavigne, is of French-Canadian origin.[23] She was named "Avril" by her father[24] after the French word for the month of April. He and Lavigne's mother, Judith-Rosanne "Judy" Lavigne (née Loshaw),[25][26] recognized their child's vocal abilities when she was two years old and sang "Jesus Loves Me" on the way home from church.[27] Lavigne has an older brother, Matthew, and a younger sister, Michelle,[28] both of whom teased her when she sang. "My brother used to knock on the wall because I used to sing myself to sleep and he thought it was really annoying."[27] She is the sister-in-law of Japanese band One OK Rock bassist Ryota Kohama.[29]

When Lavigne was five years old, the family moved to Greater Napanee, Ontario,[30] a town with a population of approximately 5,000.[31][32][33] In school, she was sometimes kicked out of class for misbehaving. Her parents supported her singing. Her father bought her a microphone, a drum kit, a keyboard, and several guitars, and converted their basement into a studio; following his own love for music Jean-Claude led the family to church at Third Day Worship Center in Kingston, Ontario, where he often played bass. When Lavigne was 14 years old, her parents took her to karaoke sessions.[34] Lavigne also performed at country fairs, singing songs by Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks, and Shania Twain. She also began writing her own songs. Her first song was called "Can't Stop Thinking About You", about a teenage crush, which she described as "cheesy cute".[35]

Music

1999–2001: Early performances and record deal

In 1999, Lavigne won a radio contest to perform with the Canadian singer Shania Twain at the Corel Centre in Ottawa, before an audience of 20,000 people.[36][30][31] Twain and Lavigne sang Twain's song, "What Made You Say That",[30] and Lavigne told Twain that she was going to be "a famous singer".[31] During a performance with the Lennox Community Theatre, Lavigne was spotted by local folksinger Stephen Medd. He invited her to contribute vocals on his song, "Touch the Sky", for his 1999 album, Quinte Spirit. She later sang on "Temple of Life" and "Two Rivers" for his follow-up album, My Window to You, in 2000.

In December 1999, Lavigne was discovered by her first professional manager, Cliff Fabri, while singing country covers at a Chapters bookstore in Kingston, Ontario.[30][31] Fabri sent out VHS tapes of Lavigne's home performances to several industry prospects, and Lavigne was visited by several executives.[37] Mark Jowett, co-founder of a Canadian management firm, Nettwerk, received a copy of Lavigne's karaoke performances recorded in her parents' basement.[38] Jowett arranged for Lavigne to work with producer Peter Zizzo during the summer of 2000 in New York, where she wrote the song "Why". Lavigne was noticed by Arista Records during a trip to New York.[37]

In November 2000,[32] Ken Krongard, an A&R representative, invited Antonio "L.A." Reid, then head of Arista Records, to Zizzo's Manhattan studio to hear Lavigne sing. Her 15-minute audition "so impressed" Reid that he immediately signed her to Arista with a deal worth $1.25 million for two albums and an extra $900,000 for a publishing advance.[33][30] By this time, Lavigne had found that she fit in naturally with her hometown high school's skater clique, an image that carried through to her first album, but although she enjoyed skateboarding, school left her feeling insecure. Having signed a record deal, and with support from her parents, she left school to focus on her music career.[32][39][35] Lavigne's band was chosen by Nettwerk, as they wanted young performers who were up and coming from the Canadian punk rock scene who would fit with Lavigne's personality.[40]

2002–2003: Let Go

 
Lavigne performing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in September 2002

Reid gave A&R Joshua Sarubin the responsibility of overseeing Lavigne's development and the recording of her debut album. They spent several months in New York working with different co-writers, trying to forge an individual sound for her. Sarubin told HitQuarters that they initially struggled; although early collaborations with songwriter-producers including Sabelle Breer, Curt Frasca and Peter Zizzo resulted in some good songs, they did not match her or her voice. It was only when Lavigne then went to Los Angeles in May 2001 and created two songs with The Matrix production team—including "Complicated", later released as her debut single—that the record company felt she had made a major breakthrough. Lavigne worked further with The Matrix and also with singer-songwriter Cliff Magness. Recording of Lavigne's debut album, Let Go, finished in January 2002.[41]

Lavigne released Let Go in June 2002 in the US, where it reached number two on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It peaked at number one in Australia, Canada, and the UK—this made Lavigne, at 17 years old, the youngest female soloist to have a number-one album on the UK Albums Chart at that time.[42] By the end of 2002, the album was certified four-times Platinum by the RIAA, making her the bestselling female artist of 2002 and Let Go the top-selling debut of the year.[43] By May 2003, Let Go had accumulated over 1 million sales in Canada, receiving a diamond certification from the Canadian Recording Industry Association.[44] By 2009, the album had sold over 16 million units worldwide.[45] By March 2018, the RIAA certified the album seven-times Platinum, denoting shipments of over seven million units in the US.[46]

Lavigne's debut single, "Complicated", peaked at number one in Australia and number two in the US. "Complicated" was one of the bestselling Canadian singles of 2002, and one of the decade's biggest hits in the US,[47] where subsequent singles "Sk8er Boi" and "I'm with You" reached the top ten.[citation needed] With these three singles, Lavigne became the second artist in history to have three top-ten songs from a debut album on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 chart.[48] Lavigne was named Best New Artist (for "Complicated") at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards,[49] won four Juno Awards in 2003 out of six nominations,[50] received a World Music Award for "World's Bestselling Canadian Singer", and was nominated for eight Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for "Complicated".[51]

In 2002, Lavigne made a cameo appearance in the music video for "Hundred Million" by the pop punk band Treble Charger.[52] In March 2003, Lavigne posed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine,[25] and in May she performed "Fuel" during MTV's Icon tribute to Metallica.[53][54] During her first headlining tour, the Try to Shut Me Up Tour, Lavigne covered Green Day's "Basket Case".[55]

2004–2005: Under My Skin

 
Lavigne in Vancouver during her promotional tour for Under My Skin in 2004

Lavigne's second studio album, Under My Skin, was released in May 2004 and debuted at number one in Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK, and the US.[56] The album was certified five-times Platinum in Canada[57] and has sold 10 million copies,[58] including 3.2 million in the US.[59] Lavigne wrote most of the album's tracks with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, and Kreviazuk's husband, Our Lady Peace front man Raine Maida, co-produced the album with Butch Walker and Don Gilmore. Lavigne said that Under My Skin proved her credentials as a songwriter, saying that "each song comes from a personal experience of mine, and there are so much[sic] emotions in those songs".[60] "Don't Tell Me", the lead single off the album, reached the top five in the UK and Canada and the top ten in Australia. "My Happy Ending", the album's second single, was a top five hit in the UK and Australia. In the US, it was a top ten entry on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a number-one pop radio hit. The third single, "Nobody's Home", did not manage to make the top 40 in the US and performed moderately elsewhere.

During early 2004 Lavigne went on the 'Live and By Surprise' acoustic mall tour in the US and Canada to promote Under My Skin, accompanied by her guitarist Evan Taubenfeld. In late 2004, Lavigne embarked on her first world tour, the year-long Bonez Tour. Lavigne won two World Music Awards in 2004, for 'World's Best Pop/Rock Artist' and 'World's Bestselling Canadian Artist', and won three Juno Awards from five nominations in 2005, including 'Artist of the Year'.[61] She also won in the category of 'Favorite Female Singer' at the eighteenth annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.[62]

Lavigne co-wrote the song "Breakaway", which was recorded by Kelly Clarkson for the soundtrack to the 2004 film The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.[63] "Breakaway" was released as a single in mid 2004 and subsequently included as the title track on Clarkson's second album, Breakaway. Lavigne performed the Goo Goo Dolls song "Iris" with the band's lead singer John Rzeznik at Fashion Rocks in September 2004,[64] and she posed for the cover of Maxim in October 2004.[65] She recorded the theme song for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (released in November 2004) with producer Butch Walker.[66]

2006–2008: The Best Damn Thing

In February 2006, Lavigne represented Canada at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics.[67] Fox Entertainment Group approached Lavigne to write a song for the soundtrack to the 2006 fantasy-adventure film Eragon; her contribution, "Keep Holding On", was released as a single to promote the film and its soundtrack.[68][69][70]

 
Lavigne performing during The Best Damn World Tour in 2008

Lavigne's third album, The Best Damn Thing, was released in April 2007 and debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200,[71] and subsequently achieved Platinum status in Canada.[57] The album sold more than 2 million copies in the US.[46] Its lead single, "Girlfriend", became Lavigne's first number-one single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and one of the decade's biggest singles.[71][72] The single also peaked at number one in Australia, Canada, and Japan, and reached number two in the UK and France. As well as English, "Girlfriend" was recorded in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Japanese, and Mandarin. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry ranked "Girlfriend" as the most-downloaded track worldwide in 2007, selling 7.3 million copies, including the versions recorded in eight different languages.[73][74] "When You're Gone", the album's second single, reached the top five in Australia and the United Kingdom, the top ten in Canada, and the top forty in the US. "Hot" was the third single and charted only at number 95 in the US, although it reached the top 10 in Canada and the top 20 in Australia.

Lavigne won two World Music Awards in 2007, for 'World's Bestselling Canadian Artist' and 'World's Best Pop/Rock Female Artist'. She won her first two MTV Europe Music Awards, received a Teen Choice Award for 'Best Summer Single', and was nominated for five Juno Awards.[61] In December 2007, Lavigne was ranked number eight in Forbes magazine's list of 'Top 20 Earners Under 25', with annual earnings of $12 million.[75] In March 2008, Lavigne undertook a world tour, The Best Damn World Tour, and appeared on the cover of Maxim for the second time.[76] In mid-August, Malaysia's Islamic opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, attempted to ban Lavigne's tour show in Kuala Lumpur, judging her stage moves "too sexy". Her concert on August 29 was thought that it would promote wrong values ahead of Malaysia's independence day on August 31.[77] On August 21, 2008, MTV reported that the concert had been approved by the Malaysian government.[78]

2009–2011: Goodbye Lullaby

In January 2010, Lavigne worked with Disney clothing designs inspired by Tim Burton's feature film Alice in Wonderland. She recorded a song for its soundtrack, "Alice", which was played over the end credits and included on the soundtrack album Almost Alice.[79][80][81] In February, Lavigne performed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony.[82] Lavigne's song "I'm with You" was sampled by Rihanna on the track "Cheers (Drink to That)", which is featured on Rihanna's fifth studio album, Loud (2010).[83][84] "Cheers (Drink to That)" was released as a single the following year, and Lavigne appeared in its music video.[85] In December 2010, American singer Miranda Cosgrove released "Dancing Crazy", a song written by Lavigne, Max Martin and Shellback. It was also produced by Martin.[86]

Lavigne began recording for her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby, in her home studio in November 2008, its opening track, "Black Star", was written to help promote her first fragrance of the same name.[87][88] Lavigne described the album as being about her life experiences rather than focusing on relationships, and its style as less pop rock than her previous material, reflecting her age.[88][89] The release date for Goodbye Lullaby was delayed several times, which Lavigne said was because of her label.[90][91] Goodbye Lullaby was released in March 2011,[92][89] and its lead single, "What the Hell", premiered in December 2010.[92] Goodbye Lullaby received Juno Award nominations for Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year.[61] By March 2018, Goodbye Lullaby sold more than 500,000 copies in the US, and it was certified one Gold by the RIAA.[46]

2012–2015: Avril Lavigne

 
Lavigne performing at Brasília in 2014

Three months after the release of Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne announced that work on her fifth studio album had already begun, describing it as the musical opposite of Goodbye Lullaby[93] and "pop and more fun again".[94][95][96] In late 2011, she confirmed that she had moved to Epic Records, headed by L. A. Reid.[97][98] Lavigne contributed two cover songs to the 2012 Japanese animated film One Piece Film: Z: "How You Remind Me" (originally by Nickelback) and "Bad Reputation" (originally by Joan Jett).[99]

The lead single from Lavigne's fifth studio album, "Here's to Never Growing Up" (produced by Martin Johnson of the band Boys Like Girls), was released in April 2013[100] and reached top 20 positions on the Billboard Hot 100, Australia and the UK. The second single, "Rock n Roll", was released in August 2013[101] and the third, "Let Me Go" (featuring Lavigne's then-husband Chad Kroeger of Nickelback), was released in October 2013.

The album, eponymously titled Avril Lavigne, was released in November 2013; in Canada, it was certified gold and received a Juno Award nomination for Pop Album of the Year.[102][103] The fourth and last single from Avril Lavigne, "Hello Kitty", was released in April 2014. The music video sparked controversies.[104] During mid 2014, Lavigne opened for boy band the Backstreet Boys' In a World Like This Tour and played at the music festival Summer Sonic in Tokyo, Japan.[103][105] By March 2018, the album sold more than 500,000 copies in the US, and it was certified one Gold by the RIAA.[46]

In an April 2015 interview with Billboard, Lavigne announced a new single titled "Fly", which was released on April 26 in association with the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.[106]

2016–present: Head Above Water

Lavigne features in the song "Listen" from Japanese rock band One Ok Rock's eighth studio album, Ambitions, released on January 11, 2017.[107] Lavigne also features in the song "Wings Clipped" by Grey with Anthony Green for the duo's debut EP Chameleon, released on September 29, 2017.[108]

On September 19, 2018, Lavigne released "Head Above Water" as the lead single from her upcoming sixth studio album of the same name.[109][110]

Acting

Lavigne became interested in appearing on television and in feature films. The decision, she said, was her own. Although her years of experience in making music videos was to her advantage, Lavigne admitted her experience in singing removed any fear of performing on camera. She specifically mentioned that the video "Nobody's Home" involved the most "acting".[111] Her first television appearance was in a 2002 episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,[112] performing "Sk8er Boi"[113] with her band in a nightclub.[114] She later made a cameo appearance in the 2004 film Going the Distance. The main characters bump into her backstage at the MuchMusic Video Awards[115] after her performance of "Losing Grip".[116]

She moved into feature film acting cautiously, choosing deliberately small roles to begin with. In November 2005, after going through an audition to land the role, Lavigne travelled to New Mexico[117] to film a single scene in the 2007 film, The Flock.[118] She played Beatrice Bell, the girlfriend of a crime suspect, appearing alongside Claire Danes and Richard Gere. Gere gave Lavigne acting tips between takes.[118] On her role in The Flock, Lavigne said, "I did that just to see how it was and to not jump into [mainstream acting] too fast".[111] The Flock was not released in American theatres, and because it was not released in foreign markets until late 2007, it is not considered Lavigne's debut. The film made $7 million in the foreign box office.[119]

Lavigne's feature film debut was voicing an animated character in the 2006 film Over the Hedge, based on the comic strip of the same name. She voiced the character Heather, a Virginia opossum. Recording the characters' voices was devoid of interaction with other actors. Lavigne stated, "All the actors went in individually, and [director] Tim and [screenwriter Karey] and directors were there with me every time I went in, and they made it go so smoothly; they made me feel comfortable.... That was the interesting part, going in by yourself, with no one else to kind of feed off of."[120] Lavigne found the recording process to be "easy" and "natural", but she kept hitting the microphone as she gestured while acting. "I'd use my hands constantly and, like, hit the microphone stand and make noises, so Tim and Karey had to tell me to hold still.... It's hard to be running or falling down the stairs and have to make those sounds come out of your mouth but keep your body still." Lavigne believed she was hired to perform Heather because of her rock-star status. "[The director] thought I'd give my character... a bit of attitude".[111] The film opened on May 19, 2006, making $38 million over its opening weekend. It went on to gross $336 million worldwide.[121]

In December 2005, Lavigne signed to appear in Fast Food Nation, based on the book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal.[122] The fictionalized adaptation, directed by Richard Linklater, traces fast-food hamburgers contaminated with cow feces back to the slaughterhouses.[123] Lavigne played Alice, a high school student intent on freeing the cows.[124][125] The film opened on November 17, 2006 and remained in theatres for 11 weeks, grossing $2 million worldwide.[126]

Both Over the Hedge and Fast Food Nation opened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, which Lavigne attended. Lavigne felt honoured to be able to attend and was proud of her work. When asked if she would pursue her film career, she stated that she wanted to take her time and wait for the "right parts and the right movies." Lavigne was aware of the roles she had chosen. "I wanted to start off small and to learn. I wouldn't just want to throw myself into a big part."[111] In August 2006, Canadian Business magazine ranked her as the seventh top Canadian actor in Hollywood in their second-annual ranking Celebrity Power List. The results were determined by comparing salary, Internet hits, TV mentions, and press hits.[127]

Fashion

In July 2008, Lavigne launched the clothing line Abbey Dawn, featuring a back-to-school collection. It is produced by Kohl's, which is the brand's exclusive US retailer. Named after Lavigne's childhood nickname, Abbey Dawn is designed by Lavigne herself.[128][129] Kohl's describes Abbey Dawn as a "juniors lifestyle brand",[74] which incorporates skull, zebra, and star patterns, purples and "hot pinks and blacks". Lavigne, who wore some of the clothes and jewellery from her line at various concerts before its official launch, pointed out that she was not merely licensing her name to the collection. "I actually am the designer. What's really important to me is that everything fits well and is well-made, so I try everything on and approve it all."[130] The clothing line incorporates Lavigne's musical style and lyrics, "after the release of my first album, I realized how much fashion was involved in my musical career".[85]

The designs were also featured on the Internet game Stardoll, where figures can be dressed up as Lavigne.[131] On September 14, 2009, Lavigne took her then latest collection for her clothing line to be a part of the New York Fashion Week,[132] returning in 2011.[85] In December 2010, the clothing line was made available to over 50 countries through the line's official website.[133][134] "It's fun to be a chick and design clothes and things I'd like for myself. I design things I [can't] find."[82]

Lavigne released her first fragrance, Black Star, created by Procter & Gamble Prestige Products. The fragrance was announced on Lavigne's official website on March 7, 2009. Black Star, which features notes of pink hibiscus, black plum and dark chocolate, was released in summer 2009 in Europe, and later in the US and Canada.[135] When asked what the name meant, Lavigne replied, "I wanted [the bottle] to be a star, and my colors are pink and black, and Black Star resembles being different, and standing out in the crowd, and reaching for the stars; the whole message is just about following your dreams, and it's okay to be unique and be who you are."[136] Black Star won the 2010 Best "Women's Scent Mass" by Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW).[137] Black Star was followed by a second fragrance in July 2010, Forbidden Rose, which took two years to develop.[138] It features notes of red apple, winepeach, black pepper, lotusflower, heliotrope, shellflower, praline agreement, sandalwood, and vanilla.[139] Its message is an extension of Black Star's "follow your dreams",[140] though the tagline for the new perfume is "Dare to Discover".[141] The commercial takes place in a gothic garden setting,[140] where Lavigne, upon entering the garden, finds a single, purple rose.[141] Lavigne launched a third fragrance, Wild Rose, in August 2011 and filmed the commercial for it in late 2010.[134] The tagline for the fragrance is "Dare to discover more".[142] It features notes of mandarin, pink grapefruit, plum, orange blossom, frangipani, blue orchid, musk, sandalwood and crème brûlée.[143]

In January 2010, Lavigne began working with Disney to incorporate Alice in Wonderland-inspired designs into her Abbey Dawn line of clothing.[81] Her designs were exhibited at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in California beginning in May through September, alongside Colleen Atwood's costumes from the 2010 film.[144]

Artistry

Musical style and songwriting

Themes in Lavigne's music include messages of self-empowerment from a female or an adolescent view.[145] Lavigne believes her "songs are about being yourself no matter what and going after your dreams even if your dreams are crazy and even if people tell you they're never going to come true."[111] On her debut album, Let Go, Lavigne preferred the less mainstream songs, such as "Losing Grip", instead of her more radio-friendly singles, such as "Complicated", saying that "the songs I did with the Matrix ... were good for my first record, but I don't want to be that pop anymore."[146] Lavigne's second album, Under My Skin, had deeper personal themes underlying each song, saying that "I've gone through so much, so that's what I talk about ... Like boys, like dating or relationships".[147] Musically, it's considered her heaviest album that showcased ballads and rocker songs with a more post-grunge sound that verged on nü-metal style.[148][149][150][151] In contrast, her third album, The Best Damn Thing, was not personal to her. "Some of the songs I wrote didn't even mean that much to me. It's not like some personal thing I'm going through."[152] Her objective in writing the album was simply to "make it fun".[153] The style has been praised for her ability to combine bubblegum pop melodies with punk rock riffs.[154] Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne's fourth album, was much more personal than her earlier records,[87] with Lavigne describing the album as "more stripped down, deeper. All the songs are very emotional".[134] Ian McKellen defined her as "a punk chanteuse, a post-grunge valkyrie, with the wounded soul of a poet and the explosive pugnacity of a Canadian" on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in 2007.[155][156]

I know my fans look up to me and that's why I make my songs so personal; it's all about things I've experienced and things I like or hate. I write for myself and hope that my fans like what I have to say.

Most critics and publications, such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NME, MusicMight, IGN and PopMatters, have identified Lavigne as a mix of alternative rock, pop punk and pop rock,[157][158][159][160][161][162][163] influenced by a post-grunge sound.[164][165][166][158][167][168]

While Lavigne denied being angry, her interviews were still passionate about the media's lack of respect for her songwriting. She said "I am a writer, and I won't accept people trying to take that away from me", adding that she had been writing "full-structured songs" since she was 14.[60] Despite this, Lavigne's songwriting has been questioned throughout her career. The songwriting trio the Matrix, with whom Lavigne wrote songs for her debut album, claimed that they were the main songwriters of Lavigne's singles "Complicated", "Sk8er Boi" and "I'm with You". Lavigne denied this, asserting that she was the primary songwriter for every song on the album, saying that "[N]one of those songs aren't from me".[146]

In 2007, Chantal Kreviazuk, who wrote with Lavigne on her second album, accused Lavigne of plagiarism[169] and criticized her songwriting, saying that "Avril doesn't really sit and write songs by herself or anything."[170] Lavigne also disclaimed this, and considered taking legal action against Kreviazuk for "clear defamation" against her character.[171] Kreviazuk later apologized, saying that "Avril is an accomplished songwriter and it has been my privilege to work with her."[169] Shortly after that, Tommy Dunbar, founder of the band the Rubinoos, sued Lavigne, her publishing company, and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald for allegedly stealing parts of "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" for her song "Girlfriend".[172] Gottwald defended Lavigne, stating, "me and Avril wrote the song together... It has the same chord progressions as ten different Blink-182 songs, the standard changes you'd find in a Sum 41 song. It's the Sex Pistols, not the Rubinoos."[171] In January 2008, the lawsuit was closed after a confidential settlement had been reached.[173]

Influences

Lavigne's earlier influences came from country music acts such as Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain;[146][35] and alternative singer-songwriters such as Alanis Morissette, Lisa Loeb, Natalie Imbruglia and Janis Joplin.[147] By the time she left school to focus on her music career, Lavigne was musically more influenced by skate punk, pop punk and punk rock acts such as blink-182, Sum 41, NOFX, Pennywise, Dashboard Confessional, Green Day, the Ramones, the Distillers and Hole. She also enjoyed metal bands such as Marilyn Manson, System of a Down, Incubus and the Used; as well as alternative bands such as Nirvana, No Doubt, the Goo Goo Dolls, Radiohead, Coldplay, Oasis, Third Eye Blind and Matchbox Twenty.[174][175][176][177][178][179][180]

Because of these influences, musical genres, and Lavigne's personal style, the media often defined her as punk, something she denied being. Lavigne's close friend and guitarist, Evan Taubenfeld, said, "It's a very touchy subject to a lot of people, but the point is that Avril isn't punk, but she never really pretended to claim to come from that scene. She had pop punk music and the media ended up doing the rest".[181] Lavigne commented on the matter: "I have been labeled like I'm this angry girl, [a] rebel ... punk, and I am so not any of them."[60] However, she has also said that her music has punk influences: "I like to listen a lot to punk rock music, you can notice a certain influence of punk in my music. I like an aggressive music, but pretty enough heavy pop-rock, which is what I really do."[174][182]

Awards and achievements

In 2003, Lavigne won an International Achievement Award for the song "Complicated" at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto.[183] Lavigne received eight Grammy Awards nominations in two years, including Best New Artist. She has also received three American Music Awards nominations, one Brit Award nomination, and one MTV Video Music Award. She has received a total of 221 awards and 301 nominations.

By 2013, Lavigne had sold more than 50 million singles and 40 million copies of her albums worldwide,[184] becoming one of the top-selling artists releasing albums in the US, with over 12.4 million copies certified by the RIAA.[185] In 2009, Billboard named Lavigne the number 10 pop artist in the "Best of the 2000s" chart.[186] She was listed as the 28th overall best act of the decade based on album and single chart performance in the US.[187][183]

Lavigne is considered a highlight in the pop-punk and alternative pop-rock scene since she helped to paved the way for the success of female-driven punk-influenced pop music, such as Paramore, Skye Sweetnam, Fefe Dobson, Lillix, Kelly Osbourne, Krystal Meyers, Tonight Alive, Courage My Love and Hey Monday.[188][10][189][11][12][190] She has been compared to alternative female singer-songwriters of the 1990s such as Alanis Morissette, Liz Phair and Courtney Love and earned a reputation as the greatest female representative of pop-punk music, and has been called one of the female singers who best represent 2000s rock music.[8][9][191] Lavigne also was seen as a fashion icon for her skatepunk and rocker style.[13][192] "Sk8er Boi", "He Wasn't" and "Girlfriend" are frequently listed among the best pop-punk songs of all time by critics.[193][194][195][196][197]

Lavigne holds a Guinness World Record as being the youngest female solo artist to top the UK album chart, on January 11, 2003 at the age of 18 years and 106 days. The album Let Go reached number one in its 18th chart week.[198] She also was the first to reach 100 million views on a YouTube video, with her 2007 single "Girlfriend".[199] Lavigne was the first western artist to do a full tour in China, with The Best Damn Tour in 2008; and is considered the biggest western artist in Asia, especially in Japan where her first three albums have sold more than 1 million copies, being the only Female Western Artist since the 2000s to achieve it.[200] Avril Lavigne is the only artist to have performed on three different multi-sport event, such as two closing ceremonies of Winter Olympic Games (Torino 2006[201] and Vancouver 2010[202]) and in the opening ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.[203]

The singer's influences extend beyond rock and pop to include acts such as Aly & AJ,[204] Busted,[205] Billie Eilish,[206] Hilary Duff,[207] Rob Halford (Judas Priest),[208] Courage My Love,[209] Ed Sheeran,[210] Miley Cyrus,[211] Vanessa Hudgens, Jessie J,[212] Jonas Brothers,[213] Brie Larson,[214] Lesley Roy,[215] Selena Gomez,[216] Ashley Tisdale,[217] Ariana Grande,[218] Paramore,[219] Amy Studt,[220] Meghan Trainor,[221] Hey Monday, Kelly Osbourne, Amanda Palmer, Misono,[222] YUI,[223] Demi Lovato, Kirstin Maldonado,[224] and PVRIS.[219] Lavigne also has fueled a ferocity influence on indie rock singer-songwriters, such as, Soccer Mommy,[225] Snail Mail and Liz Phair.[226]

On the rise of mid-to-late 2010s emo hip hop and emo rap, Lavigne have been noted as an influence of various musicians from that scene, like: Lil Uzi Vert, Princess Nokia, Lloyd Banks, Vic Mensa, Nipsey Hussle, John River, Baly Baby, Noname and Rico Nasty. American rapper Fat Tony, explained that Lavigne's traces of influences on hip hop and rap music comes because "she [Avril] delivered a great visual catchy package [punk music, pop music and skater culture] that describes all of them". Rico Nasty named one of her alter egos, Trap Lavigne, citing "She is a perfect representation of being hard and soft [...] she hated the term punk, but she was so punk rock".[227]

Other media

Lavigne was featured in the 2003 game The Sims: Superstar as a non-playable celebrity.[228]

In mid-2007, Lavigne was featured in a two-volume graphic novel, Avril Lavigne's Make 5 Wishes. She collaborated with artist Camilla d'Errico and writer Joshua Dysart on the manga, which was about a shy girl named Hana who, upon meeting her hero, Lavigne, learned to overcome her fears. Lavigne said, "I know that many of my fans read manga, and I'm really excited to be involved in creating stories that I know they will enjoy." The first volume was released in April 2007, and the second followed in July 2007. The publication Young Adult Library Services nominated the series for "Great Graphic Novels for Teens".[229]

In September 2011, Lavigne appeared on the Hub Network televised singing competition Majors & Minors as a guest mentor, alongside other singers including Adam Lambert and Leona Lewis.[85]

Activism and charity work

 
Avril performing in 2011

Lavigne has been involved with many charities, including Make Some Noise, Amnesty International, Erase MS, AmericanCPR.org, Special Olympics, Camp Will-a-Way, Music Clearing Minefields, US Campaign for Burma, Make-A-Wish Foundation and War Child. She has also appeared in ALDO ads with YouthAIDS to raise money to educate people worldwide about HIV/AIDS. Lavigne took part in the Unite Against AIDS concert presented by ALDO in support of UNICEF on November 28, 2007 at the Bell Centre in Montréal, Québec, Canada.[230] In November 2010, Lavigne attended the Clinton Global Initiative.[231]

Lavigne worked with Reverb, a non-profit environmental organization, for her 2005 east coast tour.[232] She covered "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" for War Child's Peace Songs compilation, and she recorded a cover of the John Lennon song "Imagine" as her contribution to the compilation album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Released on June 12, 2007, the album was produced to benefit Amnesty International's campaign to alleviate the crisis in Darfur.[233]

On December 5, 2009, Lavigne returned to the stage in Mexico City during the biggest charity event in Latin America, "Teleton". She performed acoustic versions of her hits "Complicated" and "Girlfriend" with Evan Taubenfeld and band member, Jim McGorman.[234] In 2010, Lavigne was one of several artists who contributed their voices to a cover of K'naan's "Wavin' Flag" as a benefit single to help raise money for several charity organizations related to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[235]

On September 14, 2010, Lavigne introduced her charity, "The Avril Lavigne Foundation", which aims to help young people with serious illnesses and disabilities[231][236] and works with leading charitable organizations.[133] The foundation partners with the Easter Seals, Make-A-Wish foundation and Erase MS,[237] Lavigne has worked with the latter two. Her work with the Make-A-Wish foundation was the inspiration behind her own charity, with Lavigne stating, "I just really wanted to do more".[236] Lavigne said on the foundation's website, "I have always looked for ways to give back because I think it's a responsibility we all share".[238] Philanthropist Trevor Neilson's 12-person firm, Global Philanthropy Group, advises Lavigne with her foundation as well as several other celebrities, including musician John Legend.[231]

In September 2014, she launched a personal fundraising campaign for Special Olympics as part of her birthday celebration. Proceeds from her "Team Rockstar" event helped sponsor athletes from around the world competing in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.[239][240] According to an ABILITY Magazine interview with Lavigne, the athletes were the stars of the music video for "Fly", which was shot in Canada.[241]

Public image

I have to fight to keep my image really me ... I rejected some gorgeous publicity shots because they just didn't look like me. I won't wear skanky clothes that show my booty, my belly or my boobs. I have a great body.

When Lavigne first gained publicity, she was known for her tomboyish style,[242] in particular her necktie-and-tank-top combinations.[243][244] She preferred baggy clothes, skater shoes or Converses,[82] wristbands, and sometimes shoelaces wrapped around her fingers.[34] During photo shoots, instead of wearing "glittery get-ups", she preferred wearing "old, crumpled T's".[32] In response to her fashion and musical influences, the media called her the "pop punk princess"[245][246] and the female answer to Blink-182.[247] Press and fans regarded her as the "anti-Britney", in part because of her less commercial and "real" image, but also because she was noticeably headstrong. "I'm not made up and I'm not being told what to say and how to act, so they have to call me the anti-Britney, which I'm not."[34] By November 2002, however, Lavigne stopped wearing ties, claiming she felt she was "wearing a costume".[33] Lavigne made a conscious effort to keep her music, and not her image, at the forefront of her career.[248]

Lavigne eventually took on a more gothic style as she began her second album, Under My Skin, trading her skating outfits for black tutus[246] and developing an image marked by angst.[249] During The Best Damn Thing years, Lavigne changed directions. She dyed her hair blonde with a pink streak, wore feminine outfits,[250] including "tight jeans and heels",[82] and modelled for magazines such as Harper's Bazaar.[242] Lavigne defended her new style: "I don't really regret anything. You know, the ties and the wife-beaters and all ... It had its time and place. And now I'm all grown up, and I've moved on".[250]

Lavigne has been the subject of a conspiracy theory that states that she committed suicide in 2003, and was replaced by a body double who had previously been recruited to distract paparazzi. This originated as a joke on a Brazilian blog, but has since been embraced by some theorists.[251] In an interview with Australia's KIIS 106.5 in November 2018, Lavigne responded to the rumour, dismissing it as weird.[252]

Personal life

Tattoos

Everything is always spur-of-the-moment. All of my tattoos, I decide that second and do it.
 
Lavigne's XXV and star tattoos on her right forearm, and 30, lightning bolt, and star tattoos on her left wrist

Only a few of Lavigne's tattoos are unique to her; the rest are matched with those of her friends.[82] Lavigne had a star tattooed on the inside of her left wrist that was created at the same time as friend and musical associate Ben Moody's identical tattoo.[253] In late 2004, she had a small pink heart around the letter "D" applied to her right wrist, which represented her then-boyfriend, Deryck Whibley.[82][254] Lavigne and then-husband Whibley got matching tattoos in March 2010, in celebration of his 30th birthday.[82] In April 2010, Lavigne added another tattoo on her wrist, that of a lightning bolt and the number 30.[255]

Her love of tattoos, however, gained media attention in May 2010, after Lavigne and Brody Jenner each got matching tattoos of the word "fuck" on their ribs.[256][257] Lavigne appeared in the June/July cover story for Inked magazine, where she discussed and showed off her tattoos, including an "Abbey Dawn" on her left forearm and an "XXV" and star on her right. Although she confirmed the "fuck" tattoo verbally in the article (calling it her "favorite word"[82]) she had it applied after the magazine's photo shoot.[258] She added that she eventually wanted to get a "big-ass heart with a flag through it with a name ... I'm going to wait a few years and make sure I still want it then. I have to wait for that special someone to come back into my life."[82] In July 2010, Lavigne had her boyfriend's name, "Brody", tattooed beneath her right breast.[259] The couple announced that they broke up in January 2012.[260]

French citizenship

Lavigne has been legally French from birth, because her father is French and France applies jus sanguinis.[261] She applied for her French passport and received it in February 2011.[262] In January 2012, Lavigne's house in Bel-Air, on the market since May 2011,[263] sold,[264] and Lavigne moved to Paris, France, to study the French language. She rented an apartment and attended a Berlitz school.[23][265] She later held her second wedding in the South of France.[266]

Relationships

Deryck Whibley

Lavigne and Sum 41 lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Deryck Whibley began dating when Lavigne was 19 years old, after being friends since she was 17.[267] In June 2005, Whibley proposed to her.[268] The couple married on July 15, 2006 in Montecito, California. On October 9, 2009, Lavigne filed for divorce, releasing the statement, "I am grateful for our time together, and I am grateful and blessed for our remaining friendship."[267] The divorce was finalized on November 16, 2010.[269]

Brody Jenner

Lavigne started dating The Hills star Brody Jenner in February 2010.[270] After almost two years of dating, the couple split in January 2012.[270]

Chad Kroeger

Lavigne began dating fellow Canadian rocker Chad Kroeger, frontman of the band Nickelback, in July 2012.[271][272][273][274] The relationship blossomed after they began working together in March 2012 to write and record music for Lavigne's fifth album.[272][275][274] Lavigne and Kroeger became engaged in August 2012, after one month of dating.[275][271] The couple married at the Château de La Napoule, a reconstructed medieval castle on the Mediterranean in the South of France, on July 1, 2013 (which is Canada Day), after a year of being together.[274][276] They had their honeymoon in Portofino, Italy.[277] On September 2, 2015, Lavigne announced her separation from Kroeger via her official Instagram account.[278]

Health

In April 2015, she revealed to People magazine that she had been diagnosed with Lyme disease after her 30th birthday in 2014.[279] In an interview with Billboard that same month, Lavigne said that she was in the recovery process and that she wanted to increase awareness of the disease.[106]

Backing band

Timeline

 

Filmography

Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Herself Cameo appearance; performed "Sk8er Boi"
2003 Saturday Night Live Herself Season 28, episode 9
2004 Going the Distance Herself Cameo appearance; performed "Losing Grip"
2004 Saturday Night Live Herself Season 29, episode 19
2006 Fast Food Nation Alice
2006 Over the Hedge Heather Voice only
2007 The Flock Beatrice Bell
2010 American Idol Herself Guest judge (Los Angeles auditions)
2011 Majors & Minors Herself Guest mentor
2018 Charming Snow White Voice

Discography

Tours

See also

References

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    Female frontpeople like Courtney Love and Alanis Morrissette must have been a huge deal for you when you were younger, we suggest.
    "Well, I didn't start listening to Hole until recently", says Avril, "so y'know, I only recently really know who she is, but I listened to Alanis quite a lot. She was really inspiring."
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