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Avril Lavigne Whibley (born September 27, 1984), better known by her birth name Avril Lavigne (pronounced /ˈævrɨl ləˈviːn/), 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.

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.

Music career
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 Let Go'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.[28] "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 tourLavigne'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.

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 won the award for "Favorite Female Singer" at the eighteenth Annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.


The Best Damn Thing (2006–2008)
Lavigne represented Canada at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, performing her song "Who Knows" during the eight minutes of the Vancouver 2010 portion.

While Lavigne was in the studio in 2006 for her third studio album, Fox Entertainment Group approached her to write a song for the soundtrack to the 2006 fantasy-adventure film Eragon. She wrote and recorded two "ballad-type" songs, one of which "Keep Holding On" ended up being used for the film. Lavigne admitted that writing the song was challenging, making sure it flows along with the film. She, however, noted that "Keep Holding On" was not indicative of what the next album would be. The song, which later appeared on the album, debuted on radio on November 20, 2006, and later released for digital download on November 28.


Lavigne at a concert in Beijing, 2008Lavigne's third album, The Best Damn Thing, was released on April 17, 2007. Lavigne went into a small tour to promote The Best Damn Thing. The album's lead single, "Girlfriend", topped the Billboard Hot 100, the week The Best Damn Thing debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. "Girlfriend" is Lavigne's first single to have reached number one in the United States. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry ranked "Girlfriend" as 2007's most-downloaded track, selling 7.3 million copies in eight different languages. In December 2007, Lavigne, with annual earnings of $12 million, was ranked number eight in the Forbes "Top 20 Earners Under 25".

In March 2008, Lavigne undertook a world tour named The Best Damn Tour to support the album. In mid August 2008, Malaysia's Islamic opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, attempted to ban Lavigne's show in Kuala Lumpur, judging her stage moves "too sexy". Her concert slated August 29 was deemed promoting 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. Lavigne was reported to be featured on Lil Wayne's seventh studio album Rebirth, which will be released in June 2009.

Film career

Lavigne at the Los Angeles premiere of Over The HedgeLavigne made a cameo in the film Going the Distance and also appeared in an episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, performing "Sk8er Boi" with her band. Lavigne made her film debut in the 2006 animated film Over the Hedge, which is based on the comic strip of same name. She voices the character Heather, a Virginia Opossum. In August 2006, Canadian Business magazine ranked her the seventh top Canadian actor dominating in Hollywood in their second-annual ranking Celebrity Power List. She is ranked second with the most web hits, and sixth in TV mentions.

Lavigne acted in the Richard Gere film The Flock, as the girlfriend of a crime suspect. Lavigne appears in the film Fast Food Nation, which is based on her favorite book, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal.

The British publication The London Paper reported that she recently landed a lead role in an upcoming film. Lavigne revealed, "I've got a film role coming up — something you wouldn't expect from me, something deep and dark."

Other works

Entrepreneurship

Skull patterns similar to The Best Damn Thing's artwork appears on Lavigne's first fragrance, Black Star.Aside from musical and film career, Lavigne ventured into entrepreneurship. Lavigne launched the clothing line Abbey Dawn in July 2008, featuring 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, used as an alias when she started her recording career, Lavigne designs for the company and concepts emanate from her. Kohl's describe Abbey Dawn as a "juniors lifestyle brand", which includes apparel and jewelry with skull and zebra patterns similar to the artwork featured on The Best Damn Thing. Lavigne wore some of the clothes in her line at various concerts before the launch. The designs were also featured on the internet game Stardoll, where figures can be dressed up as Avril Lavigne.

Lavigne will be releasing her first fragrance called Black Star, created by Procter & Gamble Prestige Products. The fragrance was announced via Lavigne's official website on March 7, 2009. Black Star, which contains notes of pink hibiscus, black plum and dark chocolate, will be released on summer in Europe, and later in America and Canada.


Philanthropy
Lavigne has been involved in a number of charitable activities, such as Make Some Noise, Amnesty International, AmericanCPR.org, Camp Will-a-Way, Music Clearing Minefields, U.S. 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 of the Unite Against Aids concert presented by ALDO in support of Unicef on November 28 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec Canada.

Lavigne worked with Reverb, a non-profit environmental organization, for her 2005 east coast tour. She covered 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' for War Child's Peace Songs compilation. Lavigne 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.


Personal life

Lavigne married Deryck Whibley, frontman to the band Sum 41, on July 15, 2006.In the January 2003 issue of Seventeen magazine, she admitted to "snagging a bite of Matt's cheeseburgers every now and again." She said also she prefers not to eat meat, but will not say she's a vegetarian "in case anyone caught her eating meat".

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, which represents her now husband Deryck Whibley, a fellow Canadian singer who is the lead singer/guitarist of punk band Sum 41. They began dating in February 2004 and on June 27, 2005, Lavigne and Whibley became engaged. Whibley proposed to Lavigne by surprising her with a trip to Venice, a gondola ride, and then a romantic picnic.


Lavigne's tattoo on her right wristThe couple married in a Catholic ceremony attended by about 110 guests on July 15, 2006 at a private estate in Montecito, California. When asked if they were ready for kids the couple said "not right now but somewhere down the road."

Lavigne said in a 2004 interview that her favorite party song was Hey Ya, by Outkast. She likes listening to Third Eye Blind, Oasis, Marilyn Manson, System of a Down and Blink-182, and loves especially the track I Miss You. Asked what she would put on a mix tape to a boy she liked, she answered: "Iris, by Goo Goo Dolls. I'd put a few Coldplay and Oasis songs. Radiohead - The Bends is one of my favorite albums".


Musical style and public image
In Lavigne's official MySpace page, she affirms that her music genre includes pop, rock, and the sub-genre punk rock. According to Allmusic, her styles encompass adult alternative, pop rock, pop punk, post-grunge and teen pop. According to Rockdetector she is alternative rock, pop punk, pop rock, post-grunge, punk and teen pop.

Lavigne had been featured in a comic series Avril Lavigne's Make 5 Wishes. She stars as herself, a pop star who is idolized by the protagonist of the story.


Controversy and criticisms

Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, with whom Lavigne co-wrote the majority of Under My Skin, criticized Lavigne's songwriting skills and ethics. Following Lavigne's announcement to take legal actions against her, Kreviazuk publicly retracted her comments.On May 25, 2007, songwriters James Gangwer and Tommy Dunbar sued Lavigne, her co-songwriter Lukasz Gottwald, Almo Music, and RCA Records, claiming that "Girlfriend" contains lyrics plagiarized from their song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend", originally performed by The Rubinoos and released by Beserkley Records in 1978. In January 2008, following a confidential settlement, Dunbar and Gangwer said in a statement that they "are satisfied that any similarities between the two songs resulted from Avril and Luke's use of certain common and widely used lyrics". They completely exonerated Lavigne and Luke "from any wrongdoing of any kind in connection with the claims made by us in our lawsuit".

In June 2007, Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, with whom Lavigne co-wrote the majority of her second album, Under My Skin, spoke to Performing Songwriter magazine about Lavigne's songwriting ability and ethics. Kreviazuk claimed that the song "Contagious", which appears on The Best Damn Thing, was based on a track she had sent to Lavigne in 2005. On July 6, 2007, Lavigne denied both accusations in an open letter on her website, admitting that she had "never heard the [Rubinoos] song in [her] life" and also that she is considering taking legal action against Kreviazuk with regards to her allegations, which she considers "damaging" to her reputation and a "clear defamation" of her character. On July 10, Kreviazuk made a full public apology and retracted the statements made in the aforementioned interview. She said that Lavigne "is an accomplished songwriter and it has been my privilege to work with her". Kreviazuk and Lavigne share the same manager under Nettwerk Management.

The song "I Don't Have to Try" from The Best Damn Thing also stirred up controversy. Gossip blogger Perez Hilton had noted similarities between the song and Peaches' 2003 song "I'm the Kinda" from their album Fatherfucker. Rolling Stone magazine called the similarities "striking".


Backing band
Current members
Al Berry — bass guitar, backing vocals (2007 – present)
Rodney Howard — drums, percussion, backing vocals (2007 – present)
Steve Ferlazzo — electronic keyboard, backing vocals (2007 – present)
Jim McGorman — rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2007 – present)
Steve Fekete — lead guitar, backing vocals (2008 – present)
Sofia Toufa — backing vocals, dancer (2007 – present)
Lindsay Bluafarb — backing vocals, dancer (2007 – present)
Past members
Mark Spicoluk — bass guitar, backing vocals (April 2002 – September 2002)
Jesse Colburn — rhythm guitar (2002 – January 2004)
Evan Taubenfeld — lead guitar, backing vocals (2002 – September 2004)
Craig Wood — rhythm guitar, backing vocals, vocals on Song 2 (2004 – January 2007)
Matt Brann — drums, percussion, vocals on Song 2 (2002 – February 2007)
Charlie Moniz — bass guitar (2002 – February 2007)
Devin Bronson — lead guitar, backing vocals (2004 – 2008)


Soon after departing Lavigne's band, Taubenfeld formed The Black List Club, later signing up Bronson as lead guitarist.


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

Filmography
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Herself Television episode (Bada-Ping!) Guest-star; performed "Sk8er Boi"
2004 Going the Distance Herself Cameo; performed "Losing Grip"
Saturday Live Herself performed
Madtv Herself Cameo; performed
2006 Fast Food Nation Alice College activist
Over the Hedge Heather Voice
2007 The Flock Beatrice Bell Suspect's Girlfriend


Notes
[a] ^ Lavigne was signed to Arista Records in November 2000, according to MTV. An article in Rolling Stone magazine claimed it was on December 2001. For a year following her deal with the label, nothing was working with Lavigne due to artistic differences between her and Arista. She was about to be dropped off the label, until she consulted to the production team The Matrix. The ensuing album, Let Go, was released on June 4, 2002.
[b] ^ "Girlfriend" was rerecorded in eight languages including Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Japanese and Mandarin.

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