Lavigne at The Best Damn Tour 2008, Beijing Wukesong Arena, October 2008
Avril Ramona Lavigne
September 27, 1984 (1984-09-27) (age 24)
Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Pop rockPop punkAdult alternativePost-grunge
Singer, songwriter, actress, model, Designer
Vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, drums
Arista (2002–2005)RCA (2006–present)
Evan Taubenfeld, Deryck Whibley
Squier Signature Telecaster model
1 Early years
2 Music career
2.1 Let Go (2002–2003)
2.2 Under My Skin (2004–2005)
2.3 The Best Damn Thing (2006–2008)
3 Film career
4 Other works
5 Personal life
6 Musical style and public image
6.1 Controversy and criticisms
7 Backing band
Avril Lavigne Whibley (born September 27, 1984), better known by her birth name Avril Lavigne, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, fashion designer, and actress. Lavigne has sold more than 30 million copies of her albums worldwide. She is currently one of the top-selling artists releasing albums in the United States, with over 10.25 million copies certified by the Recording Industry Association of America. She has been dubbed as the 'pop-punk princess' by various sources.
Lavigne broke into the recording industry with her debut album, Let Go, released in 2002. As of 2009, over 16 million copies were sold worldwide, more than 6 million of which were sold in the United States. Her second and third album, Under My Skin and The Best Damn Thing, reached number one on the Global charts. Lavigne has scored five number-one singles worldwide, including "Complicated", "Sk8er Boi", "I'm With You", "My Happy Ending" and "Girlfriend".
Avril Ramona Lavigne was born to a French-born father, John, and a Franco-Ontarian mother, Judy, in Belleville, Ontario, Canada on September 27, 1984. Her father named her Avril after the month "April" in French. She has an older brother, Matthew, and a younger sister, Michelle. Lavigne's mother was the first to spot young Lavigne's talent. At the age of two, Lavigne began singing church songs along with her mother. The family moved to Napanee, Ontario, when Lavigne was five years old.
In 1998, Lavigne won a competition to sing with fellow Canadian singer Shania Twain on her first major concert tour. She appeared alongside Twain at her concert in Ottawa, appearing on stage to sing "What Made You Say That". She was discovered by her first professional manager, Cliff Fabri, while singing country covers at a Chapters bookstore in Kingston, Ontario. During a performance with the Lennox Community Theatre, Lavigne was spotted by local folk singer Steve Medd, who invited her to contribute vocals on his song, "Touch the Sky", for his 1999 album, Quinte Spirit. She also sang on "Temple of Life" and "Two Rivers" for his follow up 2000 album, My Window to You.
In November 2000, Lavigne was signed by Ken Krongard, an A&R representative to Arista Records, who invited the head of Arista, Antonio "L.A." Reid, to hear her sing at the Manhattan studio of producer Peter Zizzo. Signed as a singer, Lavigne was pitched with songs written by others. However, she dismissed them, insisting she wanted to write herself. For a year, Lavigne and Arista had conflicts in musical direction. She collaborated with the production team The Matrix, and the ensuing album is called Let Go.
Let Go (2002–2003)
Lavigne released her debut album, Let Go, on June 4, 2002 in the United States, where it reached number two. It peaked at number one in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This made Lavigne, at seventeen, the youngest female soloist to have a number-one album in the United Kingdom until that time. By the end of 2002, the album was certified four-time platinum by the RIAA, making her the best-selling female artist of 2002 and Let Go as the top-selling debut of the year. By May 2003, Let Go had accumulated over 1,000,000 sales in Canada, receiving a diamond certification from the Canadian Recording Industry Association. As of 2009, the album has sold over 16 million worldwide. RIAA has certified the album six-time platinum, denoting shipments of over six million.
Lavigne's debut single and the album's lead single, "Complicated", went to number one in Australia and number two in the United States. "Complicated" was one of the best-selling Canadian singles of 2002. Subsequent singles "Sk8er Boi" and "I'm With You" reached the top ten in the United States. Lavigne was named Best New Artist at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, won four Juno Awards in 2003 out of six nominations, received a World Music Award for "World's Best-Selling Canadian Singer", and was nominated for eight Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year for "Complicated" and Best New Artist.
Lavigne appeared in the video to "Hundred Million" by the pop-punk band Treble Charger and "Bethamphetamine (Pretty, Pretty)" by the hard rock singer Butch Walker. Lavigne covered Green Day's "Basket Case", which she performed at the Try To Shut Me Up Tour.
Under My Skin (2004–2005)
Lavigne co-wrote "Breakaway" with Matthew Gerard, and was recorded by Kelly Clarkson for the soundtrack to the 2004 film The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. "Breakaway" was later included on Clarkson's second album, Breakaway, and released as the album's lead single. Lavigne has also covered The Goo Goo Dolls' mega-hit "Iris", produced by Eric Book, and performed with the band's lead singer John Rzeznik at the Fashion Rocks concert in 2004. She also recorded the theme song for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
Lavigne in Vancouver, Canada during the "Live and by Surprise" mall tour
Lavigne's second album, Under My Skin, was released on May 25, 2004, debuting at number one in several countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan,the United Kingdom, and the United States. Lavigne wrote most of the album's tracks with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk. Kreviazuk's husband, Our Lady Peace front man Raine Maida, co-produced the album with Butch Walker and Don Gilmore. Lavigne went on a "Live and by Surprise" twenty-one city mall-tour in the U.S. and Canada, starting on March 4, 2004, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to promote Under My Skin. Each performance consisted of a short live acoustic set of songs from the new album. She was accompanied by her guitarist, Evan Taubenfeld.
Lead single "Don't Tell Me" went to number one in Argentina and Mexico, the top five in the UK and Canada, and the top ten in Australia and Brazil. "My Happy Ending" went to number one in Mexico and it reached the top ten in the U.S. making it her third-biggest hit there, but third single "Nobody's Home" did not make the top forty in the U.S., and it only went to number one in Mexico and Argentina. The fourth single from the album, "He Wasn't", reached top forty positions in the UK and Australia, and was not released in the U.S. "Fall to Pieces" was released as the final single from the album, but did not do as well as previous singles.