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Avril Lavigne

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Avril Lavigne in her music video for the song "Complicated" (2002)

Avril Ramona Lavigne (born September 27 1984) is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She was one of the most popular new pop punk artists of 2002, when she released her first album, and is well-known for her "skater punk" persona.

Born in Belleville, Ontario to conservative, French-Canadian parents (John and Judy Lavigne), Lavigne grew up in Napanee singing country music and in a church choir and taught herself guitar. She was discovered by her first professional manager while singing country covers at a Chapters bookstore in Kingston, Ontario. By the age of sixteen, she was signed by Arista Records head L.A. Reid, and she subsequently moved to New York City to work on her first album.

Contents

Let Go — career breakthrough

Lavigne on the cover of Let Go
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Lavigne on the cover of Let Go

Apparently, early attempts to co-write songs for her failed to meet her approval, and she eventually moved to Los Angeles, California and co-wrote her album with Clif Magness and songwriting team The Matrix, whose previous work included songs for Sheena Easton and Christina Aguilera. Her first album, Let Go, was released by Arista on June 4, 2002, and was certified "Quadruple Platinum" less than six months later by the Recording Industry Association of America. She was named "Best New Artist" at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards and at the 2003 Juno Awards, where she led all musicians with six nominations, winning four Junos. She also has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards but has not won any to date.

By December 2004, Let Go had sold fifteen million albums and reached the number one spot in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, and number two in the United States. In the UK, Lavigne was the youngest female artist ever to have a number one album, although this record was later broken by Joss Stone. Also, Avril is the youngest Canadian to ever sell a million copies in Canada. Let Go spawned four hit singles (the first three with The Matrix), in various parts of the world:

  • "Complicated" went to number one on the US adult charts and in Australia while reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100;
  • "Sk8er Boi" (Skater Boy) went top ten in the US and Australia and number one in Canada;
  • "I'm With You" reached number one on the US and world adult charts (based on the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, and Australia), and number four on the Billboard Hot 100;
  • "Losing Grip" reached number one in Canada, number ten in Taiwan, number twenty in Chile, and the top fifty on a composite European chart.

"Weird Al" Yankovic did a parody of "Complicated" on his Poodle Hat album called "A Complicated Song" — a sure sign of her impact on popular culture.

The media has often compared her to Alanis Morissette, though she has been criticized for not being as strong a lyricist as Morissette at the same age. She has also often been compared with singers like Vanessa Carlton and Michelle Branch, who emerged at about the same time and were popularly credited, with Lavigne, as part of a trend towards more earnestness and genuine creativity in an often vacuous and pre-fabricated teen pop music market.

While her marketing has been every bit as sophisticated as, for instance, that of Britney Spears and her competitors, a profile in the Washington Post found that in the flesh, her personality reflected the marketing and found her, if anything, something of a wide-eyed innocent, citing the fact that she was intending to purchase her first Ramones CD. In another interview, she listed her current listening tastes as including Blink 182, Sum 41, and System of a Down. Lavigne had a close friendship with Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 and hired a former member of that band Mark Spicoluk as a member of her backing band.

She describes her first album as a pop album with "a couple of rock songs on it", and has indicated a desire to write more rock-oriented songs in the future.

Under My Skin

Lavigne on the cover of Under My Skin
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Lavigne on the cover of Under My Skin

Lavigne wrote most of her second album, Under My Skin, with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk. She also co-wrote one track, "Nobody's Home", with Ben Moody, formerly of Evanescence, and the rest with her former lead guitarist Evan Taubenfeld. Lavigne used three producers for Under My Skin, notably:

Under My Skin was released on May 25 2004 and went to number one around the world, notably in the U.K., USA, Canada, and Australia, and on the Billboard Internet charts. The first single, "Don't Tell Me", was released early, and by June 2004, has gone to number one in Argentina, top five in the U.K. and Canada, and top ten in Australia, Brazil, and a European composite chart.

The second single, "My Happy Ending", reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, making it her third biggest hit to date. She made the music video to the track in Actor/Singer Eric West's neighborhood. The third single, "Nobody's Home", only managed to reach number forty-one on the Billboard Hot 100, but due to the fans and people's acceptance for the song, it easily became a hit.

Under My Skin's fourth single, "He Wasn't", peaked at number one in Canada, making the song her eighth number one release since "Complicated". However, the chart trajectory was sort of weak in the UK, and "He Wasn't" only peaked at number twenty-three. The song was not released in the United States.

Avril won a World Music Award in 2004 for favourite pop/rock artist, and also, once again led all the Juno nominees at the 2005 Juno Awards (five nominations), picking up three, adding to her previous four, making seven.

Avril's band

Lavigne's current band consists of the following: Devin Bronson (lead guitar), Craig Wood (rhythm guitar), Charlie Moniz (bass) and Matt Brann (drums).

Departed members from Lavigne's band consist of the following: Evan Taubenfeld (lead guitar, 2002–04), Mark Spicoluk (bass, 2002) and Jessie Colburn (rhythm guitar, 2002–03).

Criticism

Some members of the old school, hardcore punk community have an intense dislike for Lavigne and her style of music, which they believe waters down what punk is really all about. Comments she has made, showing a lack of knowledge/interest in the seventies punk movement and the luminaries of that movement, has led some to label her a poseur.

Personal life and trivia

Lavigne has a star tattooed on the inside of her left wrist, applied 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 boyfriend Deryck Whibley.

She has admitted to Rollingstone.com that she got into some fights one night. "The other night, I got into three fights", says Lavigne. "I was at a club and some girl was giving me attitude. She pushed me and I got her down on the floor. Security came, and because I was on top, they threw me out."

Lavigne formerly traveled with a bag full of about thirty neck ties. Some of them she bought, and the rest of them she just took from her dad.

Lavigne stopped wearing neckties completely in 2003, as she was horrified at the constant media references to them overshadowing her music and that she was starting a fashion trend amongst her fans.

Avril Lavigne broke a record set by Madonna. Her song "Complicated" held the number one spot on the Contemporary Hit Radio chart (which tracks air play on the radio) for eleven weeks in a row. Madonna previously held the record with her song "Music", which held onto number one for ten weeks.

The pants that Lavgine wears in her video for "Complicated" are the same pants she wears in the video for "Losing Grip".

Her "skater chick" fashion style was one of the most imitated of 2002.

She is a smoker.

In March 2004, she became involved in a celebrity feud with Hilary Duff: Duff reportedly criticized Lavigne after she apparently got mad at her fans for dressing like her. Duff called her "mean-spirited" and said: "You should be happy that these people like you and look up to you." During an interview for a Boston radio station, Lavigne then said that Duff was a "mommy's girl" and a "goody two-shoes". She then said to Duff (who was not present during that interview), "You can go screw yourself". Reportedly, Lavigne also said about Duff, "I'm sure she's really nice and sweet. I'm sure she's all smiles." During that same interview, she spotted a picture of herself and ripped it up, allegedly saying, "I hate that fucking photo!" All this happened while on air. According to Lavigne, she had permission to take the picture down — station personnel encouraged her to take it down.

"Complicated" was one of the best-selling Canadian singles of 2002.


Avril Lavigne has made the list of FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2003 and the FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2004.

In 2003, it was reported that Lavigne was romantically involved with then band member Jessie Colburn.

She is currently dating Deryck Whibley from the pop punk band Sum 41. She also bought a house with him in Beverly Hills. It was reported in September 2004 that she was engaged to him, but this was subsequently denied by Sum 41's management.

"Nobody's Home" was Avril's favourite video to shoot to date.

Deryck Whibley has recently stated that, in fact, he would be marrying Avril. Sum 41's management still adamantly denies the allegations which has led to conflict.

Her nickname is Avie.

Discography

Studio albums

  • 2002: Let Go#1 CAN; #2 US; #1 UK — Worldwide sales: 15 million
  • 2004: Under My Skin#1 CAN; #1 US; #1 UK — Worldwide sales: 7 million

Singles

  • from Let Go
    • 2002: "Complicated" — #1 CAN (3 weeks); #2 US; #3 UK
    • 2002: "Sk8er Boi" — #1 CAN (3 weeks); #10 US; #8 UK
    • 2002: "I'm With You" — #1 CAN (2 weeks); #4 US; #7 UK
    • 2003: "Losing Grip" — #1 CAN (2 weeks); #64 US; #22 UK
  • from Under My Skin
    • 2004: "Don't Tell Me" — #1 CAN; #22 US; #5 UK
    • 2004: "My Happy Ending" — #1 CAN (2 weeks); #9 US; #5 UK
    • 2004: "Nobody's Home" — #1 CAN (2 weeks); #41 US; #24 UK
    • 2005: "He Wasn't" — #1 CAN; #23 UK
    • 2005: "Fall to Pieces" — set for U.S. release only, June 2005

Live covers

See also

External links

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cs:Avril Lavigne cy:Avril Lavigne de:Avril Lavigne es:Avril Lavigne fi:Avril Lavigne fr:Avril Lavigne id:Avril Lavigne it:Avril Lavigne nl:Avril Lavigne no:Avril Lavigne ja:アヴリル・ラヴィーン pl:Avril Lavigne pt:Avril Lavigne sv:Avril Lavigne

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