Famous Like Me > Singer > L > Avril Lavigne
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Profile of Avril Lavigne
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|Also Know As:
|Date of Birth:
||27th September 1984
|Place of Birth:
||Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Avril Ramona Lavigne (born September 27, 1984) is a Canadian pop punk singer-songwriter who is well-known for her "skater punk" persona.
Born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada to conservative Franco-Ontarian Catholic parents (John and Judy Lavigne), Lavigne grew up in Napanee singing country music and in a church choir and taught herself guitar. The usual anglicized pronunciation of her French name is /ˈævrəl ləˈviːn/. 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 then A&R rep Ken Krongard of Arista Records who invited his boss, Arista head, L.A. Reid, to hear her sing in a New York studio. She then completed work on her first album. Both her albums to date have topped the charts worldwide.
Let Go — career breakthrough
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.
By December 2004, Let Go had sold fifteen million albums and reached the number one spot in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom (At that time, Lavigne was the youngest female solo act ever to have a number one album in the UK charts, a record now held by Joss Stone). Let Go also peaked at number two in the United States.
It is sometimes claimed she is the youngest Canadian to ever sell a million copies in her homeland; however that record is held by Ottawa-born crooner Paul Anka. His single, "Diana", was recorded when he was only sixteen, and is still regarded as the fastest selling 45rpm single in history.
Let Go was the source of four hit singles (the first three with the Matrix), in various parts of the world:
- "Complicated" went to number one on the U.S. adult charts and in Australia while reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100;
- "Sk8er Boi" went top ten in the U.S. and Australia and number one in Canada;
- "I'm with You" reached number one on the U.S. and world adult charts (based on the U.S., 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 did not reflect the marketing, and instead 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 is currently engaged to 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.
Awards for 'Let Go'
Avril 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. She has also won a World Music Award for World's Best Selling Canadian Singer in 2003
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.
Under My Skin
Avril's second Album 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. Lavigne wrote most of her second album, with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk. She also co-wrote some track with other song writers like "Nobody's Home", with Ben Moody, formerly of Evanescence, "My Happy Ending" with Butch Walker of Marvelous 3, and the rest with her former lead guitarist Evan Taubenfeld. Lavigne used three producers for Under My Skin: Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace (also Kreviazuk's husband), Butch Walker and Don Gilmore, who has produced Good Charlotte and Linkin Park.
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", reached number one in Canada, making the song her eighth number-one release since "Complicated". However, the chart trajectory was somewhat weak in the U.K., and "He Wasn't" only reached number twenty-three. The song was not released in the United States.
Awards for 'Under My Skin'
Lavigne won two World Music Award in 2004 for World's Best Pop/Rock Artist and World's Best Selling Canadian Artist. She 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 also won Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards for Favourite Female Singer.
One source reports that Lavigne will release a new album some time in the spring of 2006.
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 – 2004), Mark Spicoluk (bass, 2002) and Jesse Colburn (rhythm guitar, 2002 – 2003).
Personal life and trivia
- Lavigne became the victim of Punk'd when Ashton Kutcher and his crew members convinced her that she'd blown up a car and a bike.
- 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 took from her father.
- 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 Lavigne 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.
- 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.
- 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 Jesse Colburn.
- "Nobody's Home" was Lavigne's favourite video to shoot to date.
- She is currently engaged to Deryck Whibley from the pop punk band Sum 41. She also bought a house with him in Beverly Hills. Whibley has recently stated that he would be marrying Lavigne; recent news reports have also stated that the two would be moving to Toronto, Canada, in order to remain closer to each other.
- Her nickname is Avie.
- Like other young, female entertainers, Lavigne has appeared on many magazine covers
- She once admitted to never having heard of the Sex Pistols.
- "Don't expect the album any time soon. I'm going to get off the road, take my time, be with my little sweetheart and have a life — and then get back to business." (talking about taking a break from music during a phone interview with Newsday).
- Avril was last seen, with a new look, on Jay Leno on August 31, 2005. She performed "He Wasn't".
- 2002: Let Go #2 USA; #1 CAN ; Worldwide sales: 15 million, United States sales: 6.4 million
- 2004: Under My Skin #1 USA; #1 CAN; Worldwide sales: 8 million, United States sales: 2.8 million
- from Let Go
- 2002: "Complicated" — #1 CAN (3 weeks); #2 U.S.; #3 UK; #1 AUS (4 weeks); #1 MEX (5 weeks)
- 2002: "Sk8er Boi" — #1 CAN (3 weeks); #10 U.S.; #8 UK; #3 AUS; #5 MEX
- 2002: "I'm With You" — #1 CAN (2 weeks); #4 U.S.; #7 UK; #1 MEX (3 weeks)
- 2003: "Losing Grip" — #1 CAN (2 weeks); #64 U.S.; #22 UK; #20 AUS; #14 MEX
- 2003: "Mobile" — Australian radio release only
- from Under My Skin
- 2004: "Don't Tell Me" — #1 CAN (1 week); #22 U.S.; #5 UK; #10 AUS; #4 MEX
- 2004: "My Happy Ending" — #1 CAN (2 weeks); #9 U.S.; #5 UK; #6 AUS; #1 MEX (2 weeks)
- 2004: "Nobody's Home" — #1 CAN (2 weeks); #41 U.S.; #24 UK; #24 AUS; #4 MEX
- 2005: "He Wasn't" — #1 CAN (1 week); #23 UK; #24 MEX
- 2005: "Fall to Pieces" — #1 (U.S radio only)
- 2005: "Take Me Away" — Australian radio release only
- "All the Small Things" — blink 182
- "American Idiot" — Green Day
- "Basket Case" — Green Day
- "Baby One More Time" — Britney Spears
- "Chop Suey!" — System of a Down
- "Fat Lip" — Sum41
- "Fuel" — Metallica
- "Hey Ya!" — Outkast
- "Iris" — Goo Goo Dolls
- "Ironic" — Alanis Morissette
- "Kiss Me" — Sixpence None the Richer
- "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" — Bob Dylan
- "Song 2" — Blur (on which Lavigne plays drums; vocals by Butch Walker/Craig Wood/David Desrosiers)
- "Smells Like Teen Spirit" — Nirvana
- "Temple of Life"
- "No One Needs to Know"
- "Touch the Sky" (first recorded song from the album Quinte Spirit)
- "Two Rivers"
- 2002: "I Don't Give a Damn" (bonus track from Let Go)
- 2002: "I Don't Give a Shit" (demo available on several bootleg releases — alternative version of the above)
- 2002: "Why" (B-side from "Complicated" single.)
- 2002: "Falling Down" (from the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack)
- 2002: "Get Over It" (B-side from "Sk8er Boi" single)
- 2004: "Daydream" (unfinished demo available on several bootleg releases)
- 2004: "I Always Get What I Want" (bonus track from Under My Skin)
- 2004: "Take It" (B-side from "My Happy Ending" single)
- 2005: "Sponge Bob" (from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie soundtrack)
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