Avril Lavigne
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Avril Ramona Lavigne (born September 27, 1984) is a Canadian pop singer, Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter and occasional actress. She was originally known for her "skater punk" persona, but has since shed that image in favour of a more sophisticated and feminine style. Her two albums, Let Go (2002) and Under My Skin (2004), have topped charts in several countries.

Although her surname is of French origin, she does not speak French and her name is pronounced in an anglicized way, somewhat as [l?'vi?n] ("La-veen"), rather than [la'vi??]. Lavigne in French means the vine or the vineyard. Her first name, Avril, is French for April, but is also pronounced in an anglicized way as ['ævr?l] ("Av-ril"), rather than [a'vril].

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 Canucks in Hollywood, grabbing the seventh position.

Avril was born in Belleville, Ontario, to Franco-Ontarian Roman Catholic parents John and Judy Lavigne. 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 . At age five she moved with her family to Napanee, Ontario, Canada, where she sang in a church choir and taught herself to play the guitar.

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 folksinger Steve 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.

Let Go (2002)After attempts to capture Lavigne's sound, Arista A&R head Josh Saurbin reached out to producer-songwriters Curt Frasca and Sabelle Breer (Madonna, Ryan Cabrera, Stacie Orrico) to help with the album.[citation needed] Lavigne eventually moved to Los Angeles, California and co-wrote with Cliff Magness and the songwriting team The Matrix. They have also worked with singers such as Sheena Easton and Christina Aguilera. Lavigne described her first release Let Go as an album with "a couple of rock songs on it" and has voiced a desire to write more rock-oriented songs in the future.[citation needed] Let Go was released in June 2002 in the United States, reaching number two 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.[citation needed] The RIAA certified it four times platinum less than six months later, and it had sold fifteen million copies worldwide as of December 2004.[citation needed]

Four singles from the album were released, all of them number-one hits in Canada. "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. "Sk8er Boi" reached the top ten in the U.S. and Australia, "I'm with You" reached the top ten in the UK, and "Losing Grip" reached the top ten in Taiwan, and the top twenty in Chile. The media have often compared Lavigne to Alanis Morissette, who is also Canadian, as well as singer-songwriters such as Vanessa Carlton and Michelle Branch. These two emerged at about the same time and were popularly credited, with Lavigne, as part of a trend towards more creativity in the teen pop-music market.[citation needed]

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 eight Grammy Awards.

Under My Skin (2004)Lavigne's second album Under My Skin was released in May 2004 in the U.S. It debuted at number one in the U.S., the UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada, Spain, Ireland, Thailand, Korea and Hong Kong and sold more than 380,000 copies in U.S. in its first week. 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 Marvelous 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, 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, though it reached the number one spot in Canada. The fourth single from the album, "He Wasn't", became her eighth consecutive number-one release in Canada since her debut single, but failed to make the UK top twenty and was not released in the U.S.

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 Favorite 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). It was later included on Clarkson's second album Breakaway, being released as the album's first single. It peaked in the U.S. top ten and provided Clarkson with a substantial hit.

Lavigne performing in Geneva in June 2005.Her third album currently does not have a release date or a title, and it is being produced by Butch Walker.On July 10, 2006, Avril Lavigne answered a Q&A on her official website stating that her next CD will be released in the first half of next year, 2007. Avril says that her new album will contain love songs since 'that's what I'm feeling at the moment'.

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.

Lavigne made her film debut in the animated film Over the Hedge, which is based on the comic strip of same name, alongside William Shatner, Bruce Willis, and Garry Shandling. She is also acting in the Richard Gere film The Flock, and her third project is Fast Food Nation, based on her favourite book.

Lavigne's band currently includes Devin Bronson (lead guitar), Craig Wood (rhythm guitar), and Charlie Moniz (bass). Former members include Matt Brann (drums, 2002 – 2005), Evan Taubenfeld (lead guitar, 2002 – 2004), Mark Spicoluk (bass, 2002) and Jesse Colburn (rhythm guitar, 2002 – 2003). In 2003, it was reported that Lavigne was romantically involved with Colburn.

Until 2003, Lavigne traveled 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. 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 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 or not her music style is punk. The reason for the confusion appears to be for her punk-like appearance early in her career. There have been several occasions where she has stated "I'm not punk," and other occasions where she stated she was a "skater punk."

It has been speculated that Lavigne is a vegetarian, but she has said many times that she is not. In the January 2003 issue of Seventeen magazine, she admitted to "snagging a bite of Matt's cheeseburgers every now and again." 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.

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. She has also bought a house with him in Beverly Hills.

On July 15, 2006, Lavigne married long-time boyfriend Deryck Whibley, the lead singer of Sum 41. The couple were married in a mostly traditional ceremony at a private estate in the California coastal city of Montecito, located 87 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Lavigne wore a Vera Wang gown, carried white roses and was walked down the aisle by her father. There were about 110 guests in attendance, and helicopters carrying photographers could be seen circling in the sky above the ceremony, which took place outside.

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