Avril Ramona Lavigne (pronounced /ˈævrɨl ləˈviːn/; born 27 September 1984) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, fashion designer, and actress. She was born in Belleville, Ontario, but spent the majority of her youth in the small town, Napanee, Ontario. By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain, and by 16, Lavigne had signed a recording contract with Arista, now RCA Records. Record executive Antonio "L.A." Reid offered her a two-album deal worth more than $2 million. When she was 17 years old, Lavigne broke onto the music scene with her debut album, Let Go, released in 2002.
Let Go made Lavigne the youngest female soloist to reach #1 in the UK, and the album was certified four-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. As of 2009, over 16 million copies had been sold worldwide, more than 6 million of which were sold in the United States. Her breakthrough single, "Complicated", peaked at #1 in many countries around the world, as did the album Let Go. Her second album, Under My Skin, was released in 2004 and was her first album to peak at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 , eventually selling more than 10 million copies worldwide. The Best Damn Thing, Lavigne’s third album, was released in 2007. This album gave Lavigne her third #1 album in the UK Albums Chart and featured her first U.S. Billboard Hot 100 single, "Girlfriend". Lavigne has scored a total of five #1 singles worldwide, including "Complicated", "Sk8er Boi", "I'm With You", "My Happy Ending" and "Girlfriend". Lavigne has sold more than 30 million copies of her albums worldwide and is currently one of the top-selling artists releasing albums in the U.S., with over 10.25 million copies certified by the RIAA. Billboard named Lavigne the #10 pop artist in the "Best of the 2000s" chart, and she was listed as the 28th overall best act of the decade based on album sales, chart success, and cultural relativity in the U.S. She is currently working on her fourth studio album, expected to be released in 2010.
Lavigne branched out from recording music, pursuing careers in feature film acting and designing clothes and perfumes. She voiced a character in the animated film, Over the Hedge, in 2006. That same year, she made her on-screen feature film debut in Fast Food Nation. In 2008, Lavigne introduced her clothing line, Abbey Dawn; and in 2009, she released her first perfume, Black Star, which was followed by her second perfume, Forbidden Rose, in 2010.
In July 2006, Lavigne married her boyfriend of two years, Deryck Whibley, lead singer and guitarist for Sum 41. The marriage lasted a little over three years, and in October 2009, Lavigne filed for divorce. Whibley and Lavigne have continued to work together after the divorce, with Whibley producing her upcoming fourth album, as well as Lavigne's single, "Alice", written for Tim Burton's film Alice in Wonderland.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Music career
o 2.1 2000–03: Let Go
o 2.2 2004–05: Under My Skin
o 2.3 2006–08: The Best Damn Thing
o 2.4 2009–present: Fourth studio album
* 3 Other work
o 3.1 Film career
o 3.2 Entrepreneurship
o 3.3 Philanthropy
* 4 Personal life
o 4.1 Personal style and public image
o 4.2 Tattoos
o 4.3 Marriage to Deryck Whibley
* 5 Backing band
* 6 Filmography
* 7 Discography
* 8 See also
* 9 References
* 10 External links
Avril Ramona Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario, the daughter of Judith-Rosanne "Judy" (née Loshaw) and Jean-Claude Lavigne. Her father, who is of French Canadian descent, named her Avril after the French word for the month of April. She has an older brother, Matthew, and a younger sister, Michelle. A daughter of a working-class family, Lavigne, at the age of two, began singing church songs along with her mother. When Lavigne was five years old, the family moved to Napanee, Ontario, a town with an approximate population of 5,000. Although she struggled with paying attention in school, sometimes kicked out of class for misbehaving, her parents were supportive of her singing. Her father bought her a microphone, a drum kit, a keyboard, several guitars, and converted their basement into a studio. When Lavigne was 14, her parents would take 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".
“ I’ve known all my life that this is what I was supposed to do.... Visualizing like what it would be like to be famous with my music. And always just dreaming, always daydreaming. ”
—Avril Lavigne, NBC News
In 1998, Lavigne won a radio contest to perform with fellow Canadian singer Shania Twain at the Corel Centre (now Scotiabank Place) in Ottawa, before an audience of 20,000 people. Twain and Lavigne sang "What Made You Say That", and Lavigne told Twain she was going to be "a famous singer". During a performance with the Lennox Community Theatre, Lavigne was spotted by local folk singer 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 the Canadian management firm Nettwerk, received a copy of Lavigne's karaoke performances recorded in her parents' basement, and arranged for Lavigne to work with Peter Zizzo in New York during the summer of 2000, where she wrote the song "Why?". It was on a subsequent trip to New York that Lavigne was noticed by Arista Records.
2000–03: Let Go
In November 2000, Ken Krongard, an A&R representative, invited Antonio "L.A." Reid, then-head of Arista Records, to producer Peter Zizzo's Manhattan studio to hear Lavigne sing. Her 15-minute audition "so impressed" Reid, 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. Armed with a record deal, she dropped out to focus on her music career, but she still had to inform her parents of her decision. "I wasn't going to turn [the record deal] down. It's been my dream all my life. They knew how much I wanted this and how much I've put into it."
Lavigne released her debut album, Let Go, on 4 June 2002 in the U.S., where it reached #2 on the Billboard 200. It peaked at #1 on the Australian, Canadian and United Kingdom charts. This made Lavigne, at 17 years old, the youngest female soloist to have a #1 album in the UK until 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 1,000,000 sales in Canada, receiving a diamond certification from the Canadian Recording Industry Association. As of 2009, the album has sold over 16 million units worldwide, and the RIAA has certified the album six-times platinum, denoting shipments of over six million units in the U.S.