Who Is Avril Lavigne?
Canadian singer Avril Lavigne burst onto the music scene in the early 2000s, becoming a hit with her unique style which blended rock and punk. She spent most of her childhood in Napanee, Ontario. Lavigne began singing in church at a young age, and signed with Arista Records in 2000. Two years later, she released her debut album, Let Go. Thanks to hit singles "Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi," the record sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. Lavigne followed with the albums Under My Skin (2004), The Best Damn Thing (2007), Goodbye Lullaby (2011) and Avril Lavigne (2013).
Avril Ramona Lavigne was born on September 27, 1984, in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, and spent most of her childhood in Napanee, Ontario. For more than a decade, Lavigne has enjoyed huge success with her punk-influenced pop sound. She has also branched out in new directions over the years, including starting her own fashion line.
Lavigne sang all the time as a child, much to the chagrin of her two siblings. Raised by deeply religious parents, she first started performing in church choirs. Lavigne learned to play the guitar and began composing her own music as a teenager. At first, she reportedly focused on country music, eventually changing her tune. Leaving high school, she went first to New York City and then to Los Angeles to work with Arista Records.
In 2002, Lavigne released her first album, Let Go. She scored a No. 1 hit with the single "Complicated," a catchy tale of a difficult relationship. More hits, such as "Sk8er Boi" and "I'm With You," soon followed. In addition to her music, Lavigne was deemed a style icon; fans mimicked Lavigne's multicolored hair and copied her skate-punk fashions.
Lavigne's music took a more contemplative turn with 2004's Under My Skin, which did not fare as well as her first album. However, she had two modest hits, "Don't Tell Me" and "Nobody's Home," and one Top 10 track, "My Happy Ending." While many of her songs explored relationship troubles and woes, Lavigne's personal life seemed to be going well. In 2006, she married fellow musician Deryck Whibley, of Canadian pop-punk band Sum 41.
Returning to her more up-tempo and exuberant pop style, Lavigne released The Best Damn Thing in 2007. She landed a Top 10 hit with the infectious "Girlfriend." A Rolling Stone critic called the song "hypercatchy" and said that the album had "big doses of [Lavigne's] usual sass, anger and vulnerability."
On next album, Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne looked at love from different stages, from joyful togetherness to the pain of breaking up. The subject matter came as no surprise; between the release of The Best Damn Thing and her next record, Lavigne and Whibley had divorced. The split was amicable enough, however, for the pair to work together on Goodbye Lullaby; Whibley served as a producer on several of the album's songs. Not straying too far from her power-pop roots, Lavigne used the incredibly hooky hit "What the Hell" as the album's first single. Goodbye Lullaby enjoyed enormous success abroad, hitting the top of the charts in Japan, Australia and Korea.
Fashion Line and Charitable Work
Music hasn't been Lavigne's only interest. She launched her own fragrance called Forbidden Rose and created her own clothing line, Abbey Dawn, using a childhood nickname given to her by her father. Lavigne has also taken time out to help others. In 2010, she established the Avril Lavigne Foundation, which aims to help young people with disabilities and serious illnesses. "I have always looked for ways to give back because I think it's a responsibility we all share," she wrote on the foundation's website.
After three years of marriage, Lavigne and first husband Whibley split in 2009. She then dated Brody Jenner for a time.
In August 2012, Lavigne became engaged to fellow musician Chad Kroeger, frontman for the rock band Nickelback. The two had been dating since February 2012, when they united to co-write a song for Lavigne's next album, according to People magazine. Lavigne and Kroeger married in July 2013 in a ceremony held in the south of France. However, the couple separated two years later.
That November, Lavigne released her fifth album. Avril Lavigne features the song "Let Me Go," a collaboration between the singer and husband Kroeger. "Rock N Roll" also proved to be another popular track on Lavigne's well-received recording.
In recent years, Lavigne has struggled with her health. She revealed to People magazine in April 2015 that she had been suffering from Lyme Disease. "I was bedridden for five months," she said. That June, Lavigne shared more information about her illness in her first TV interview since her diagnosis. She explained that she saw numerous doctors before getting the help she needed. Lavigne told ABC News that "I'm about halfway through my treatment" and she expects to make a "100 percent recovery."
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