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Avril Lavigne

Avril Ramona Lavigne (born September 27, 1984) is a Juno Award-winning, Grammy-nominated Canadian pop/rock singer, songwriter, model, and occasional actress. She was originally known for her "skater" persona, but has since shed that image in favour of a more feminine style since about 2005, although she has stated she is still a "rock chick" at heart. "I'm not punk", she claimed about her music genre as well. Her first two albums, Let Go (2002) and Under My Skin (2004), have topped charts in several countries. Her third album The Best Damn Thing (2007) is to be released on April 17, 2007.

Although her surname is of French origin, her name is usually pronounced in an anglicised way, somewhat as , rather than . Lavigne, or rather la vigne, which in French means the vine or the vineyard. Her first name, Avril, is French for April, but is also pronounced in an anglicised way as , rather than ("A-vreel").

Avril Lavigne is featured in Maxim magazine's Girls of Maxim gallery. In 2006, she was included in Canadian Business Magazine's ranking of the most powerful Canadians in Hollywood, grabbing the seventh position. She has sold over 26 million albums worldwide.

Biography

Avril Ramona Lavigne was born in the ZooCustoms Ranch of Napanee, Ontario, Canada to a French-born father, John, and a Franco-Ontarian mother, Judy. Both parents are Catholic and she had a Roman Catholic upbringing. Avril's musical talent was first spotted at the age of two when her mother says Avril began singing along with her on church songs.

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, Avril was spotted by local folk singer Steve Medd (a relation of the influential Canadian journalist, Ben Medd), who invited her to sing 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 album, My Window To You, in 2000.

At the age of sixteen she was signed by Ken Krongard, the artists-and-repertoire A&R representative of Arista Records, who invited the head of Arista, Antonio "L.A." Reid, to hear her sing in a New York City studio. She then completed work on her first album. Avril is extremely close to her younger sister Michelle Lavigne and her older brother Matthew Lavigne. Michelle is two years younger than Avril while Matt (Matthew) is three years older than Avril. On July 15, 2006, Avril married fellow Canadian singer Deryck Whibley, the lead singer/songwriter of pop punk band Sum 41.

Music career

Let Go (2001-2003)

Let Go was released on June 4, 2002 in the United States, reaching number two there and number one in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This made Lavigne the youngest female soloist to have a number-one album in the UK up until that time. In 2003, 17-year-old English singer Joss Stone broke Avril Lavigne's record.

Just over one month after its release, "Let Go" reached multi-Platinum status in late-August, and was certified 3x Platinum two weeks after. Before the end of 2002, just six months after its debut, it was certified 4x Platinum by the RIAA. It sold a total of 13,197,000 copies worldwide. It was the best selling album of the year for a female artist and for a debut album in 2002.

Four singles from the album were released. "Complicated" went to number one in Australia, while reaching number two on the U.S. Hot 100, and it was also one of the best-selling Canadian singles of 2002. Avril Lavigne tied a record set by Natalie Imbruglia when "Complicated" held the number one spot on the Contemporary Hit Radio chart (which tracks air play on the radio) for 11 weeks in a row. Natalie Imbruglia previously held the record with her song "Torn", which also held onto number one for 11 weeks. "Sk8er Boi" reached the top ten in the U.S. and Australia, "I'm With You" reached the top ten in the U.S and the UK, and "Losing Grip" reached the top ten in Taiwan, and the top twenty in Chile.

Avril Lavigne was named "Best New Artist" at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, won four Juno Awards in 2003 (out of six nominations), a World Music Award for World's Best-Selling Canadian Singer, and was nominated for 8 Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year for "Complicated" and Best New Artist.

Under My Skin (2004-2005)

Avril Lavigne's second album Under My Skin was released on May 25, 2004 in the U.S. It debuted at number one in the U.S., the UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Ireland, Thailand, Korea and Hong Kong and sold more than 380,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week. Avril Lavigne wrote most of the album with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, though some tracks were co-written by Ben Moody (formerly of Evanescence), Butch Walker of Marvellous 3, and her former lead guitarist Evan Taubenfeld. Kreviazuk's husband, Our Lady Peace front man Raine Maida, co-produced the album with Butch Walker and Don Gilmore.

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" reached the top ten in the U.S., and was her third-biggest hit there, but third single "Nobody's Home" did not make the top forty. The fourth single from the album, "He Wasn't", reached a fair twenty-three in the UK and twenty-five in 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.

Avril Lavigne won two World Music Awards in 2004 for World's Best Pop/Rock Artist and World's Best-Selling Canadian Artist. She received five Juno Award nominations in 2005, picking up three, including Fan Choice Award, Artist of the Year, and Pop Album of the Year. She also won the award for Favourite Female Singer at the eighteenth Annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. Lavigne co-wrote "Breakaway" with Matthew Gerard, which was recorded by Kelly Clarkson for the soundtrack to the film The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004). "Breakaway" was later included on Clarkson's second album Breakaway, being released as the album's first single. "Breakaway" peaked in the U.S. top ten and provided Clarkson with a substantial hit.

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. The venue in each city was not announced until forty-eight hours before the show. The tour was very popular and was successful in promoting the album. The set at Indianapolis on March 25, 2004 at Glendale mall included "He Wasn't", "My Happy Ending", "Don't Tell Me", "Take Me Away", "Nobody's Home", "Sk8er Boi", and "Complicated". Selections of this tour were released on the Avril Lavigne Live Acoustic EP Single, which was released in US Target stores

Touring and co-writing (2005-2006)

Avril was touring throughout most of 2005, and pursuing her acting and modelling careers. Lavigne represented Canada at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. She performed her song, "Who Knows", during the eight minutes of the Vancouver 2010 portion. She also was the voice of Heather the possum in the DreamWorks motion picture, Over The Hedge.

Avril Lavigne co-wrote (with Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald), "Keep Holding On", for the soundtrack to the motion picture Eragon (2006). It has peaked at #17 in Billboard Hot 100.

The Best Damn Thing (2007)

Her third album The Best Damn Thing is currently set for release on April 17, 2007 and is produced by Dr. Luke (Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, Lady Sovereign and Daughtry), her husband Deryck Whibley (Sum 41), Rob Cavallo (Green Day, The Goo Goo Dolls, My Chemical Romance, Jewel), Butch Walker and herself. The album was leaked onto the internet on March 14, 2007. Travis Barker (Box Car Racer, blink-182, +44) has also recorded drums for Lavigne's new album. Avril says that her new album will contain love songs since "That's what I'm feeling at the moment", and that she enjoys being able to write songs with Butch Walker. It is said on the message board on her official website that her new album will contain 15 songs. "Of course, I still have my boy-bashing songs, but they're very playful. So the record is really fun and cool and different and honestly, I think it's my best record yet. I can say that with confidence." Posted on her MySpace blog she revealed that the first single from the album will be "Girlfriend". "Girlfriend" was supposed to be released on January 29 but the date has changed due to "Keep Holding On"'s increasing popularity on the radio. Avril debuted her video for "Girlfriend" on February 26 and her single premiered on Ottawa radio station HOT 89.9 with evening personality Cash Conners February 6, 2006. Evan, her former guitarist made a cameo in her video, confirmed in his Myspace blog.

On February 18, 2007, clips of "Everything Back But You", "I Can Do Better" and "When You're Gone" were released on AOL Music and received a mixed reaction from fans.

"Girlfriend" made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at an astonishing #5 in early March 2007. This is Avril's highest debut ever on the chart and has already sold over 122,000 downloads on iTunes. "Girlfriend" also debuted at #3 on Billboard's Top Digital Songs which is Avril's second appearance on that chart. "Keep Holding On" being the first.

The song "Girlfriend" is also available in seven other languages in the iTunes Store. Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese, Italian, German and French. They can each be bought either Clean or Explicit. The only difference from the English version being the chorus translated into the language of each version.

Movie career

Avril Lavigne made her film debut in the animated film Over the Hedge, which is based on the comic strip of same name. She worked with some of the biggest names in hollywood for the movie. She worked alongside William Shatner, Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Wanda Sykes, Nick Nolte and Steve Carell. She is also acting in the Richard Gere film The Flock, and her third project is Fast Food Nation, based on her favorite book. Avril wrote and recorded a new song titled "Keep Holding On" with Dr. Luke, for the Eragon movie soundtrack, which will be included on her third album, The Best Damn Thing. The song was released for digital download on November 28, and made its worldwide debut on radio on November 17. It later got the top spot on the canadien top 20. Also, she made a cameo in the movie National Lampoon: Going the Distance.

Media image

Until 2003, Avril Lavigne travelled with a bag full of about 30 neckties. Some of them she bought, and the rest she took from her father; some were sent to her by fans. Avril Lavigne stopped wearing neckties in 2003, as she was horrified at the media references to her style overshadowing her music, and that she was starting a fashion trend.

The classification of Avril Lavigne's style of music has been debated. All Music Guide and other reviewers consider her to be "teen pop" or "adult/alternative pop-rock". It is questioned whether her music style is punk. The reason for the confusion appears to be for her punk-like appearance early in her career, probably started by her record company in the beginning of her career as the punky alternative to Britney Spears, along with statements made by the songstress herself that she is "as punk as they come". However, there have been several occasions where she has stated "I'm not punk." Avril told Vainquer Magazine in April 2005, that she considered her music to be pop rock.

Avril Lavigne spoke about her new look in a September 2006 interview. She explains, "When I was in high school I was a little f****, hanging out with the guys, getting drunk, getting in fights, playing hockey. My band were all guys, so I was only around guys, but when I got older I started being more of a chick. I broke out on the scene looking like the 17-year-old that I was. And from then to now I look really different—but that's called growing up."

On September 26, 2006, Avril Lavigne was caught spitting on paparazzi photographer's face outside of Hyde nightclub in Los Angeles after being caught kissing her husband Deryck Whibley in her car. On September 27, 2006, which happened to be Avril Lavigne's 22nd birthday, Avril Lavigne exited a club with her husband and a few friends only to find herself surrounded by paparazzi and autograph-seekers. She gave her autograph along with some profanity to the seekers. After she got into her car, she leaned out the window and spat on the camera lens of the nearest photographer. Avril Lavigne later issued a public apology for spitting on the photographers, claiming "It's trying at best dealing with their insistent intrusions. I meant no offense to my fans, whose relationship I truly value." No detailed explanation was offered for the incident.

Personal life

It has been revealed that Avril Lavigne is a vegetarian. In the January 2003 issue of Seventeen magazine, she admitted to "snagging a bite of Matt's cheeseburgers every now and again." Also in a recent interview, she said she prefers not to eat meat, but will not say she's a vegetarian "in case anyone caught her eating meat".

As a teenager she would hang out at the La Pizzeria restaurant in Napanee, Ontario. In her Under My Skin Bonez Documentary, she has stated that pizza with olive toppings is her favourite food, although she doesn't eat it too much because pizza is not good for her voice. Since her rise to fame, the restaurant has named a pizza after Avril that contains her favourite toppings and there is a guest book for fans to sign which is picked up by Avril when she visits friends and family in her home town.

Avril Lavigne has a star tattooed on the inside of her left wrist that matches the style of the one used for her first album artwork. It was created at the same time as friend and musical associate Ben Moody's identical tattoo. In late 2004, she had a small pink heart-shaped tattoo featuring the letter 'D' applied to her right wrist — thought to be a reference to husband Deryck Whibley, with whom she has bought a house in Beverly Hills.

Avril Lavigne was romantically linked to her former guitarist Jesse Colburn but despite rumours, she did not have a relationship with another former guitarist Evan Taubenfeld. However, Evan still considers Avril to be his "dearest friend in the whole world" as said on a recent Q&A on his band's official website. In a J-14 magazine from 2004, she talks about her first kiss being when she was 14 years old. In M magazine in 2003, an article was published about an ex-boyfriend selling her love letters on eBay.

In February 2004, she began dating fellow Canadian singer, Deryck Whibley, the lead singer/guitarist of pop punk band Sum 41. On June 27, 2005 (which also happened to be ex-guitarist Evan Taubenfeld's 22nd birthday), Avril Lavigne and Deryck Whibley became engaged. Whibley proposed to Avril Lavigne by surprising her with a trip to Venice, a gondola ride, and then a romantic picnic.

The couple married in Catholic ceremony that began at 5 p.m., lasted only 20 minutes on Saturday, July 15, 2006 at a private estate in the California coastal city of Montecito. Avril Lavigne wore a Vera Wang gown, carried pearl white Australian roses and was walked down the aisle by her father. Deryck Whibley wore a Hugo Boss suit and was accompanied by four best men. They were Steve Jocz and Cone McCaslin http://www.bestweekever.tv/bwe/images/2006/07/avril%20wedding%202.jpg from Sum 41, Matthew Lavigne (Avril's older brother), and Sum 41's close friend Robb Dipple. Avril's younger sister Michelle Lavigne was one of Avril's bridesmaids. There were about 110 guests in attendance.

The hit song Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls was played as their wedding song. When asked if they were ready for kids they said "not right now but somewhere down the road."

Backing band

Current members

  • Al Berry - bass guitar, backing vocals (2007-present)
  • Rodney Howard - drums, percussion (2007-present)
  • Stephen Anthony Ferlazzo Jr. - electronic keyboard (2007-present)
  • Jim McGorman - rhythm guitar (2007-present)
  • Devin Bronson - lead guitar, backing vocals (2004-present)

Past members

  • Mark Spicoluk - age 27 - bass guitar, backing vocals (April 2002 - September 2002)
  • Jesse Colburn - age 25 - rhythm guitar (2002 - October 2003)
  • Evan Taubenfeld - age 23 - lead guitar, backing vocals (2002 - July 2004)
  • Craig Wood - age 25 - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2003 - January 2007)
  • Matt Brann - age 26 - drums, percussion(2002 - February 2007)
  • Charlie Moniz - age 26 - bass guitar (2002 - February 2007)

Trivia

- Her trademark is the bitter lyrics in her songs.

- Parents are Judy & John Lavigne, French-Canadians.

- Dropped out of high school after the 11th grade when she secured a record deal.

- Her first video, "Complicated", cost over $1 million.

- She has a younger sister, Michelle and an older brother, Matthew

- Her younger sister appeared in her 'SK8R BOI' Video.

- Her CD, "Let Go", was the third best selling album of 2002.

- Announced that her song 'Sk8er Boi' will be turned into a movie.

- Has a pizza named after her at a restaurant in her home town, Napanee, Ontario.

- Debut album "Let Go" is 6x platinum and her second album "Under My Skin" has gone 2x platinum.

- The song "Slipped Away" on her second album is about the death of her grandfather.

- Wrote the song "Breakaway" which was sung by Kelly Clarkson.

- Is good friends with Pink, Vanessa Carlton, and Fefe Dobson.

- She was kind enough to donate many items to Rocky Stone to be given to less fortunate kids as part of the Toy Mountain Campaign 2004.

- Married Sum 41 lead singer Deryck Whibley on July 15th 2006 in an outdoor, non-denominational ceremony at a private estate in Montecito, California. She wore a Vera Wang gown and held a bouquet of white roses. Their first dance was "Iris" by The Goo Goo Dolls.

- Decided to perform in Dublin, Ireland the same day her grandfather died. After receiving the news, she knew he would have wanted her to continue on. Although all but breaking down on stage, she continued to perform in his memory.

- Named #36 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2005 list.

- Avril has claimed to have taught herself the guitar at the age of 12 even though her guitar is not audible in concerts.

- Auditioned for the role of Tifa and Aries the CGI movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children but was considered too whiny.

Quotes

"I liked being a minor because you can't get into trouble. Now I just have to try and behave myself."

"I might look like a tough chick - and I am - but I'm also a hopeless romantic inside."

"Why should I care what other people think of me? I am who I am. And who I wanna be."

"I'd like to be a little more hard-rocking on my next album. But I hate the whole label thing."

People ask me if I regret wasting my last teen years on becoming a singer. You know something? I don't. Because singing is my life. When and if you want something so badly you'll see. I mean, I'm just so blessed to be doing what I love to do and to have been given this opportunity. I thank God because there are so many more talented people out there that will never even come close to getting a record deal.

"To understand me, you have to meet me and be around me. And then only if I'm in a good mood - don't meet me in a bad mood."

"My mom wouldn't let me sing 'Strawberry Wine' because it had 'wine' in it."

"When I was 2 my mom said she knew I was going to be a singer. I've been performing ever since I was a young kid. So I've known I wanted to do this for awhile. I always knew in my heart that I'd be singing."

"I'm just coming out and I'm going to clearly be myself - I write what I feel, I never worry what others think."

"I can write a song a day."

"My dream was always to hop up on stage in front of my fans every night and perform."

"Actually, I know for a fact there are some young female artists who don't even sing on their own records and who don't sing live. And that is pathetic." (about lipsynching)

Discography

Main article: Avril Lavigne discography
  • Let Go (2002)
  • Under My Skin (2004)
  • The Best Damn Thing (2007)

Filmography

YearFilmRoleOther notes
2007The FlockYoung LadyGirlfriend of crime suspect
2006Over the HedgeHeatherVoice
2006Fast Food NationAliceCollege activist
2004Going the DistanceHerselfCameo, perform "Losing Grip"
2002Sabrina, the Teenage WitchHerselfGuest-star, perform "Sk8er Boi"

Awards and nominations

ASCAP Award: Most Performed Song from a Motion Picture for: Bruce Almighty For the song "I'm With You". (2003)

Main article: Awards and nominations for Avril Lavigne

Charities

This cunuck cutie has been involved in a number of charities, such as Make Some Noise, Amnesty International, Camp Will-A-Way, Music Clearing Minefields, US Campaign for Burma, Make-A-Wish Foundation and War Child (charity). She has also appeared in Aldo (shoes) ads with YouthAIDS to raise money in order to educate people worldwide about HIV/AIDS. ALDO sells tags featuring the phrases "HEAR", "SEE", and "SPEAK" and limited edition tote bags that are now being sold at ALDO stores and online, to help fund YouthAIDS HIV-prevention initiatives around the world.