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
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
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
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. 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. 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. The RIAA
certified it four times platinum less than six months later, and
it had sold fifteen million copies worldwide as of December
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.
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
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.