Avril Ramona Lavigne (born September 27, 1984) 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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
Early life Edit
Lavigne was born in 1984 at Belleville, Ontario, Canada. She was named "Avril" by her father after the French word for the month of April. He and Lavigne's mother recognized their child's vocal abilities when she was two years old and sang "Jesus Loves Me" on the way home from church. Lavigne has an older brother, Matthew, and a younger sister, Michelle, 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." She is the sister-in-law of Japanese band One OK Rock bassist Ryota Kohama. Lavigne's paternal grandfather Maurice Yves Lavigne was born in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec. A member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, he married Lucie Dzierzbicki, a French native of Morhange, in France in 1953. Their son, Jean-Claude Lavigne was born in 1954 on the RCAF Station Grostenquin in Grostenquin, Lorraine. When Jean-Claude was a child, the family moved to Ontario, Canada, and in 1975, he married Judith-Rosanne "Judy" Loshaw.
When Lavigne was five years old, the family moved to Greater Napanee, Ontario, a town with a population of approximately 5,000. 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. 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".
Music career Edit
1999–2001: Early performances and record deal Edit
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. Twain and Lavigne sang Twain's song, "What Made You Say That", and Lavigne told Twain that she was going to be "a famous singer". 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. Fabri sent out VHS tapes of Lavigne's home performances to several industry prospects, and Lavigne was visited by several executives. Mark Jowett, co-founder of a Canadian management firm, Nettwerk, received a copy of Lavigne's karaoke performances recorded in her parents' basement. 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.
In November 2000, 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. 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. 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.
2002–2003: Let Go Edit
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.
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. 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. By May 2003, Let Go had accumulated over 1 million sales in Canada, receiving a diamond certification from the Canadian Recording Industry Association. By 2009, the album had sold over 16 million units worldwide. By March 2018, the RIAA certified the album seven-times Platinum, denoting shipments of over seven million units in the US.
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, where subsequent singles "Sk8er Boi" and "I'm With You" reached the top ten. With these three singles, Lavigne became the second artist in history to have three top-ten songs from a debut album on Billboards Mainstream Top 40 chart. Lavigne was named Best New Artist (for "Complicated") 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 Bestselling Canadian Singer", and was nominated for eight Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for "Complicated".
In 2002, Lavigne made a cameo appearance in the music video for "Hundred Million" by the pop punk band Treble Charger. In March 2003, Lavigne posed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and in May she performed "Fuel" during MTV's Icon tribute to Metallica. During her first headlining tour, the Try To Shut Me Up Tour, Lavigne covered Green Day's "Basket Case".
2004–2005: Under My Skin Edit
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. The album was certified five-times Platinum in Canada and has sold 10 million copies, including 3.2 million in the US. 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". "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'. She also won in the category of 'Favorite Female Singer' at the eighteenth annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.
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. "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, and she posed for the cover of Maxim in October 2004. She recorded the theme song for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (released in November 2004) with producer Butch Walker.
2006–2008: The Best Damn Thing Edit
In February 2006, Lavigne represented Canada at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics. 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.
Lavigne's third album, The Best Damn Thing, was released in April 2007 and debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, and subsequently achieved Platinum status in Canada. The album sold more than 2 million copies in the US. 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. 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. "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. 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. In March 2008, Lavigne undertook a world tour, The Best Damn World Tour, and appeared on the cover of Maxim for the second time. 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. On August 21, 2008, MTV reported that the concert had been approved by the Malaysian government.
2009–2011: Goodbye Lullaby Edit
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. In February, Lavigne performed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony. 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). "Cheers (Drink to That)" was released as a single the following year, and Lavigne appeared in its music video. 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.
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. 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. The release date for Goodbye Lullaby was delayed several times, which Lavigne said was because of her label. Goodbye Lullaby was released in March 2011, and its lead single, "What The Hell", premiered in December 2010. Goodbye Lullaby received Juno Award nominations for Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year. By March 2018, Goodbye Lullaby sold more than 500,000 copies in the US, and it was certified one Gold by the RIAA.
2012–2015: Avril Lavigne Edit
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 and "pop and more fun again". In late 2011, she confirmed that she had moved to Epic Records, headed by L. A. Reid. 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).
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 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 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. The fourth and last single from Avril Lavigne, "Hello Kitty", was released in April 2014. The music video sparked controversies over racism claims. 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. She released a music video for "Give You What You Like", a song from her self-titled album on February 10, 2015. The song is featured in Lifetime's made-for-TV movie, Babysitter’s Black Book. By March 2018, the album sold more than 500,000 copies in the US, and it was certified one Gold by the RIAA.
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.
2016–present: Head Above Water Edit
Lavigne features in the song "Listen" from Japanese rock band One Ok Rock's eighth studio album, Ambitions, released on January 11, 2017. 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.
On September 19, 2018, Lavigne released "Head Above Water" as the lead single from her sixth studio album of the same name. On December 12, 2018, she released the second single "Tell Me It's Over" along with the album's pre-order. The album was released on February 15, 2019.
Acting career Edit
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". Her first television appearance was in a 2002 episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, performing "Sk8er Boi" with her band in a nightclub. 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 after her performance of "Losing Grip".
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 to film a single scene in the 2007 film, The Flock. She played Beatrice Bell, the girlfriend of a crime suspect, appearing alongside Claire Danes and Richard Gere. Gere gave Lavigne acting tips between takes. 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". 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.
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." 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". The film opened on May 19, 2006, making $38 million over its opening weekend. It went on to gross $336 million worldwide.
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. The fictionalized adaptation, directed by Richard Linklater, traces fast-food hamburgers contaminated with cow feces back to the slaughterhouses. Lavigne played Alice, a high school student intent on freeing the cows. The film opened on November 17, 2006 and remained in theatres for 11 weeks, grossing $2 million worldwide.
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." 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.
Personal life Edit
- 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. In June 2005, Whibley proposed to her. The couple married on 15 July 2006 in Montecito, California. On 9 October 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." The divorce was finalized on 16 November 2010.
- Chad Kroeger
Lavigne began dating fellow Canadian rocker Chad Kroeger, frontman of the band Nickelback, in July 2012. The relationship blossomed after they began working together in March 2012 to write and record music for Lavigne's fifth album. Lavigne and Kroeger became engaged in August 2012, after one month of dating. 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. They had their honeymoon in Portofino, Italy. On September 2, 2015, Lavigne announced her separation from Kroeger via her official Instagram account.
- Phillip Sarofim
Lavigne is currently in a relationship with Phillip Sarofim, son of Texas billionaire and fund manager Fayez Sarofim, as of March 2018.