Lavigne at the 2007 MuchMusic Video Awards.Background informationBirth nameAvril Ramona LavigneBorn27 September 1984
Belleville, Ontario, CanadaOriginNapanee, Ontario, CanadaGenresPop rock, power pop, pop punkOccupationsSinger, songwriter, actress,fashion designer, philanthropistInstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano, drumsYears active2002–presentLabelsArista, RCAAssociated actsEvan Taubenfeld, Deryck WhibleyWebsitewww.avrillavigne.comNotable instrumentsSquier Signature Telecaster model
Avril Ramona Lavigne (pronounced /ˈævrɨl ləˈviːn/; born 27 September 1984) is a Canadiansinger-songwriter, fashion designer, actress and philanthropist. She was born in Belleville, Ontario, but spent the majority of her youth in the small town, Napanee, Ontario. By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain, and by 16, Lavigne had signed a recording contract with Arista, now RCA Records. Record executive Antonio “L.A.” Reid offered her a two-album deal worth more than $2 million. When she was 17 years old, Lavigne broke onto the music scene with her debut album, Let Go, released in 2002.
Let Go made Lavigne the youngest female soloist to reach #1 in the UK, and the album was certified four-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. As of 2009, over 16 million copies had been sold worldwide, more than 6 million of which were sold in the United States. Her breakthrough single, “Complicated”, peaked at #1 in many countries around the world, as did the album Let Go. Her second album, Under My Skin, was released in 2004 and was her first album to peak at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 , eventually selling more than 10 million copies worldwide. The Best Damn Thing, Lavigne’s third album, was released in 2007. This album gave Lavigne her third #1 album in the UK Albums Chart and featured her first U.S.Billboard Hot 100 single, “Girlfriend”. Lavigne has scored a total of five #1 singles worldwide, including “Complicated”, “Sk8er Boi”, “I’m With You”, “My Happy Ending" and "Girlfriend". Lavigne has sold more than 30 million copies of her albums worldwide and is currently one of the top-selling artists releasing albums in the U.S., with over 10.25 million copies certified by the RIAA. Billboard named Lavigne the #10 pop artist in the “Best of the 2000s” chart, and she was listed as the 28th overall best act of the decade based on album sales, chart success, and cultural relativity in the U.S. Her fourth studio album is expected to be released in 2011, with the first single to be released in January 2011.
Lavigne branched out from recording music, pursuing careers in feature film acting and designing clothes and perfumes. She voiced a character in the animated film, Over the Hedge, in 2006. That same year, she made her on-screen feature film debut in Fast Food Nation. In 2008, Lavigne introduced her clothing line, Abbey Dawn; and in 2009, she released her first perfume,Black Star, which was followed by her second perfume, Forbidden Rose, in 2010.
In July 2006, Lavigne married her boyfriend of two years, Deryck Whibley, lead singer and guitarist for Sum 41. The marriage lasted a little over three years, and in October 2009, Lavigne filed for divorce. Whibley and Lavigne have continued to work together after the divorce, with Whibley producing her upcoming fourth album, as well as Lavigne’s single, “Alice”, written forTim Burton's film Alice in Wonderland.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Music career
- 3 Other work
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Backing band
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Discography
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Avril Ramona Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario, the daughter of Judith-Rosanne “Judy” (née Loshaw) and Jean-Claude Lavigne. Her father, who is of French Canadian descent, named her Avril after the French word for the month of April. She has an older brother, Matthew, and a younger sister, Michelle. A daughter of a working-class family, Lavigne, at the age of two, began singing church songs along with her mother. When Lavigne was five years old, the family moved to Napanee, Ontario, a town with an approximate population of 5,000. Although she struggled with paying attention in school, sometimes kicked out of class for misbehaving, her parents were supportive of her singing. Her father bought her a microphone, a drum kit, a keyboard, several guitars, and converted their basement into a studio. When Lavigne was 14, her parents would take her to karaoke sessions. Lavigne also performed at country fairs, singing songs byGarth Brooks, The Dixie Chicks, and Shania Twain. She also began writing her own songs. Her first song was called “Can’t Stop Thinking About You”, about a teenage crush, which she described as “cheesy cute”.
“I’ve known all my life that this is what I was supposed to do…. Visualizing like what it would be like to be famous with my music. And always just dreaming, always daydreaming.”
—Avril Lavigne, NBC News
In 1998, Lavigne won a radio contest to perform with fellow Canadian singer Shania Twain at the Corel Centre (now Scotiabank Place) in Ottawa, before an audience of 20,000 people. Twain and Lavigne sang “What Made You Say That”, and Lavigne told Twain she was going to be “a famous singer”. During a performance with the Lennox Community Theatre, Lavigne was spotted by local folk singer Stephen Medd. He invited her to contribute vocals on his song, “Touch the Sky”, for his 1999 album, Quinte Spirit. She later sang on “Temple of Life” and “Two Rivers” for his follow-up album, My Window to You, in 2000. In December 1999, Lavigne was discovered by her first professional manager, Cliff Fabri, while singing country covers at a Chapters bookstore in Kingston, Ontario. Fabri sent out VHS tapes of Lavigne’s home performances to several industry prospects, and Lavigne was visited by several executives. Mark Jowett, co-founder of the Canadian management firm Nettwerk, received a copy of Lavigne’s karaoke performances recorded in her parents’ basement, and arranged for Lavigne to work with Peter Zizzo in New York during the summer of 2000, where she wrote the song “Why?”. It was on a subsequent trip to New York that Lavigne was noticed by Arista Records.
2000–03: Let Go
In November 2000, Ken Krongard, an A&R representative, invited Antonio “L.A.” Reid, then-head of Arista Records, to producer Peter Zizzo’s Manhattan studio to hear Lavigne sing. Her 15-minute audition “so impressed” Reid, he immediately signed her to Arista with a deal worth $1.25 million for two albums and an extra $900,000 for a publishing advance. By this time, Lavigne had found that she fit in naturally with her hometown high school’s skater clique, an image that carried through to her first album, but although she enjoyed skateboarding, school left her feeling insecure. Armed with a record deal, she dropped out to focus on her music career, but she still had to inform her parents of her decision. “I wasn’t going to turn [the record deal] down. It’s been my dream all my life. They knew how much I wanted this and how much I’ve put into it.”
Lavigne released her debut album, Let Go, on 4 June 2002 in the U.S., where it reached #2 on the Billboard 200. It peaked at #1 on the Australian, Canadian and United Kingdom charts. This made Lavigne, at 17 years old, the youngest female soloist to have a #1 album in the UK until that time. By the end of 2002, the album was certified four-times platinum by the RIAA, making her the bestselling female artist of 2002 and Let Go the top-selling debut of the year. By May 2003, Let Go had accumulated over 1,000,000 sales in Canada, receiving a diamond certification from the Canadian Recording Industry Association. As of 2009, the album has sold over 16 million units worldwide, and the RIAA has certified the album six-times platinum, denoting shipments of over six million units in the U.S.
“I don’t get overwhelmed, just because I feel like I’ve kind of prepared myself for it. All my life this is what I’ve wanted, what I’ve dreamed about, and I knew this would happen. I’ve been singing ever since I was really young and I’ve wanted this so bad, and I told myself I would do it.”
—Avril Lavigne on her success, MTV
Lavigne’s debut single and the album’s lead single, “Complicated”, peaked at #1 in Australia and #2 in the U.S. “Complicated” was one of the bestselling Canadian singles of 2002, and it was also featured on the teen television show, Dawson’s Creek. “Complicated” later ranked on the Hot 100 Singles of the Decade list at #83.
Subsequent singles, “Sk8er Boi” and “I’m With You” reached the top ten in the U.S.Thanks to the success of her first three singles, Lavigne was the second artist in history to have three #1 songs from a debut album on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40. For the music video to “Complicated”, Lavigne was named Best New Artist at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. She won four Juno Awards in 2003 out of six nominations, received aWorld Music Award for “World’s Bestselling Canadian Singer”, and was nominated for eightGrammy Awards, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for “Complicated” (2003).
In 2002, Lavigne made a cameo appearance in the music video to “Hundred Million" by the pop punk band Treble Charger. In March 2003, Lavigne posed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and, later in May, performed “Fuel" during MTV’s Icon tribute to Metallica.During her first headlining tour, the Try To Shut Me Up Tour, Lavigne covered Green Day's “Basket Case”.
2004–05: Under My Skin
Lavigne co-wrote “Breakaway" with Matthew Gerard, which was recorded by Kelly Clarkson for the soundtrack to the 2004 film The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. ”Breakaway” would later be included on Clarkson’s second album and released as the album’s lead single. Lavigne covered the Goo Goo Dolls song “Iris”, performed with the band’s lead singer John Rzeznik at Fashion Rocks, and she posed for the cover of Maxim in October 2004. She also recorded the theme song for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. “I made the song a little more edgy,” Lavigne said. “There are a lot of loud guitars, and we picked the tempo up a little and sang it with a little more attitude.” Lavigne rearranged the song with the help of producer Butch Walker.
Lavigne in Vancouver, Canada during the “Live and By Surprise” mall tour
Lavigne’s second studio album, Under My Skin, was released on 25 May 2004, debuting at #1 in several countries, including Australia, Mexico, Canada, Japan, the UK, and the U.S. The album has sold more than 10 million copies. Lavigne wrote most of the album’s tracks with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk. Kreviazuk’s husband, Our Lady Peace front man Raine Maida, co-produced the album, along with Butch Walker and Don Gilmore. Lavigne went on the “Live and By Surprise” twenty-one city mall tour in the U.S. and Canada to promote the album, accompanied by her guitarist, Evan Taubenfeld. Each performance consisted of a short live acoustic set of songs from the new album. At the end of 2004, Lavigne embarked on her first world tour, the Bonez Tour, with stopovers in almost every continent and which lasted for the entire 2005 year.
“This record definitely proves that I’m a writer and people can’t knock that, because each song comes from a personal experience of mine, and there are so much emotions in those songs.”
“Don’t Tell Me”, the first single off the album, went to #1 in Argentina and Mexico and reached the top five in the UK and Canada and the top ten in Australia and Brazil. “My Happy Ending”, the album’s lead single, went to #1 in Mexico and the top five in the UK and Australia. In the U.S., it reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 and went to #1 in the Mainstream Top 40, making it her fourth-biggest hit there. The third single, “Nobody’s Home”, did not make the top 40 in the U.S., reaching #1 only in Mexico and Argentina. The fourth single from the album, “He Wasn’t”, reached top 40 positions in the UK and Australia 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 Bestselling Canadian Artist”. She received five Juno Award nominations in 2005, and picked up three, including “Artist of the Year”. She won the award for “Favorite Female Singer” at the eighteenth annual Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and was nominated in every MTV Award show shown around the world.
2006–08: The Best Damn Thing
“My songs are about being yourself, no matter what, and going after your dreams, even if your dreams are crazy, and even if people tell you they’re never going to come true.”
—Avril Lavigne, Girl.com.au
While Lavigne was in the studio for her third studio album, Fox Entertainment Groupapproached her to write a song for the soundtrack to the 2006 fantasy-adventure filmEragon. She wrote and recorded two “ballad-type” songs, but only one, “Keep Holding On”, ended up being used for the film. Lavigne admitted that writing the song was challenging, making sure it flowed along with the film. She emphasized that “Keep Holding On”, which later appeared on the album, was not indicative of what the next album would be like.
Lavigne performing during The Best Damn Tour at the Beijing Wukesong Arenain 2008
Lavigne’s third album, The Best Damn Thing, was released on 17 April 2007, which Lavigne immediately promoted with a small tour. Its lead single, “Girlfriend”, topped the Billboard Hot 100 the same week The Best Damn Thing debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. “Girlfriend” was Lavigne’s first single to reach this #1 position. The single was a worldwide hit; it also peaked at #1 in Australia, Canada, Japan, and Italy and reached #2 in the UK and France. “Girlfriend” was recorded in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Japanese, and Mandarin. TheInternational Federation of the Phonographic Industry ranked “Girlfriend” as the most-downloaded track worldwide in 2007, selling 7.3 million copies, including the versions recorded in eight different languages. ”Girlfriend” ranked on the Hot 100 Singles of the Decade list at #94.
“When You’re Gone”, the second single, went to #3 in the UK, the top five in Australia and Italy, the top ten in Canada, and was very close to reaching the top twenty in the U.S. In December 2007, Lavigne, with annual earnings of $12 million, was ranked number eight in the Forbes ”Top 20 Earners Under 25”. ”Hot" was the third single and has been Lavigne’s least successful single in the U.S., charting only at #95. In Canada, "Hot" made the top ten, and in Australia, the top 20.The Best Damn Thing has sold 6 million copies worldwide.
During this era, Lavigne won nearly every award she was nominated for, including two World Music Awards for “World’s Bestselling Canadian Artist” and “World’s Best Pop/Rock Female Artist”. She took her first two MTV Europe Music Awards, received one Teen Choice Awards for “Summer Single”, and was nominated for five Juno awards.
In mid-2007, Lavigne was featured in a two-volume graphic novel, Avril Lavigne’s Make 5 Wishes. She collaborated with artist Camilla D’Errico and writer Joshua Dysart on the manga, which was about a shy girl named Hana who, upon meeting her hero Avril Lavigne, learned to overcome her fears. Lavigne said, “I know that many of my fans read manga, and I’m really excited to be involved in creating stories that I know they will enjoy.” The volumes were released on 10 April (one week prior to the release of The Best Damn Thing) and in July, respectively. The publication Young Adult Library Services nominated the series for “Great Graphic Novels for Teens”.
In March 2008, Lavigne undertook a world tour named The Best Damn Tour to support the album. In that same month, she also appeared on the cover of Maxim for the second time of her career. In mid-August, Malaysia’s Islamic opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, attempted to ban Lavigne’s show in Kuala Lumpur, judging her stage moves “too sexy”. Her concert on 29 August was considered as promoting wrong values ahead of Malaysia’s independence day on 31 August. On 21 August 2008, MTV reported that the concert had been approved by the Malaysian government.
2009–present: Fourth studio album
Only a month after completing The Best Damn Tour, Lavigne began recording in her home studio in November 2008 with “Black Star”. To help promote her first fragrance, Black Star, Lavigne needed a short theme that would be used for the TV spots. “Black Star” was composed in a Malaysian hotel during her tour. The jingle was eventually expanded into a full song, which Rolling Stone later described as “an ethereal lullaby that turns epic with tinkling Coldplay-like pianos and soaring strings.”
“I always had material, but some people that I worked with didn’t really care, because they wanted to write the stuff.”
—Avril Lavigne, Entertainment Weekly
Recording began with minimal instruments, usually starting with Lavigne singing only to acoustic guitar, with additional instruments added later. Lavigne described the process: “It’s stripped down. I love performing that way, so I really felt like it was time to make a record like that. To just make it all about the vocal and the performance, and the vibe, and the emotion.” Because she has a studio in her home, Lavigne was able to compose and record at her leisure. She also used the piano to compose the majority of the songs. “The piano is more of an emotional instrument. It stirs up different emotions for me and moves me in a different way than the guitar can.”
By July 2009, nine tracks had been recorded, including the songs “Fine”, “Everybody Hurts” and “Darlin”. Several of the tracks were written in Lavigne’s youth. “Darlin” was the second song Lavigne wrote as a 15-year-old while living in Napanee, Ontario. Lavigne described the album as being about “life”. She stated, “It’s so easy for me to do a boy-bashing pop song, but to sit down and write honestly about something that’s really close to me, something I’ve been through, it’s a totally different thing.” The album is expected to be a return to Lavigne’s older musical style and may be largely acoustic. Lavigne said, “[For] this record, I just really, really wanted to sing…. I just wanna have silence around me, and have these acoustic songs and really deliver.”
“I write my own music and, therefore, it takes me longer to put out records ‘cause I have to live my life to get inspiration.”
The album’s and lead single’s release dates have been pushed back several times. The album was originally scheduled for release on 17 November 2009. Later, in January 2010, Lavigne stated that the album cover had been photographed and the first single would be released in April, followed by the album in June. In May, Lavigne said that she considered the album too serious and “mellow” and would return to the studio to balance the album out. “With an album, I don’t want to rush it out…. I have a very serious record, so I think I need to put a couple upbeat, fun songs on it.” In August 2010, Lavigne returned to Henson Recording Studios with British producer Alex Da Kid. During these sessions, Lavigne had strep throat, and the people involved were required to wear surgical masks. Despite her doctor’s warning, Lavigne recorded vocals. “I wasn’t able to sing for the last forty-eight hours because I could do permanent damage to the vocal cords. My doctor told me not to, but I sang today.” She revealed that she had been “trying new stuff” and that she was “exploring.” Lavigne also added that she had enough material for two records. In October 2010, Lavigne was featured in Maxim for the November issue. During the interview she revealed that she had finished her fourth studio album after two and a half years. However, in November 2010, Lavigne announced that her album had been completed for a year, citing her record company as the reason for the album’s delays. She described the first single off the album, “What the Hell”, as “a broad message about personal freedom”, calling it her “most pop track on the record”. The video for the single will be shot in November and will be released in January 2011.
Earlier in January, while simultaneously writing and recording for her new album, Lavigne was working with Disney on Alice in Wonderland-themed clothing designs, inspired by Tim Burton's feature film, Alice in Wonderland. She asked the executives if she could write a song for the film. The result was the song “Alice”, which was played over the end credits and included on the soundtrack, Almost Alice.
On 28 February, Lavigne gave a performance at the concert portion of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony, performing “My Happy Ending” and “Girlfriend”. Lavigne was honoured to perform at the ceremonies, but she regretted not being able to attend the U.S. vs. Canada hockey match. “They had us on lockdown. We weren’t allowed to leave our trailers, for security purposes.”
In September, Lavigne’s third single from her debut album, “I’m With You”, was sampled by Rihanna on the track “Cheers (Drink to That)”, which is featured on Rihanna’s fifth studio album, Loud.
Lavigne at the Los Angeles premiere ofOver the Hedge on 30 April 2006.
Lavigne became interested in appearing on television and in feature films. The decision, she said, was entirely her own. Although her years of experience in making music videos would be to her advantage, Lavigne admitted that it was the singing that actually removed any fear of performing before the camera. She specifically mentioned that the video “Nobody’s Home” had the most amount of actual “acting” in it. Her first television appearance was in a 2002 episode ofSabrina, the Teenage Witch, performing “Sk8er Boi” with her band in a nightclub. She later made a cameo appearance in the 2004 film Going the Distance. The main characters bump into her backstage at the MuchMusic Video Awards after her performance of “Losing Grip”.
She moved into feature film acting cautiously, choosing deliberately small roles to begin with. In November 2005, after going through an audition to land the role, Lavigne travelled to New Mexico to film a single scene in the 2007 film, The Flock. She starred as Beatrice Bell, the girlfriend of a crime suspect, appearing alongside Claire Danes and Richard Gere. Gere gave Lavigne acting tips in-between takes. On her role in The Flock, Lavigne said, “I did that just to see how it was and to not jump into [mainstream acting] too fast”. The Flock would not be released in American theaters, and because it would not be released in foreign markets until late 2007, it would not be considered Lavigne’s debut. The film made $7 million in the foreign box office.
Lavigne’s feature film debut was voicing an animated character in the 2006 film Over the Hedge, based on the comic strip of the same name. She voiced the character Heather, a Virginia Opossum. The process of recording the characters’ voices was devoid of interaction with other actors. Lavigne stated, “All the actors went in individually, and [director] Tim and [screenwriter Karey] and directors were there with me every time I went in, and they made it go so smoothly; they made me feel comfortable…. That was the interesting part, going in by yourself, with no one else to kind of feed off of.”Lavigne found the recording process to be “easy” and “natural”, but she kept hitting the microphone as she gestured while acting. “I’d use my hands constantly and, like, hit the microphone stand and make noises, so Tim and Karey had to tell me to hold still…. It’s hard to be running or falling down the stairs and have to make those sounds come out of your mouth but keep your body still.” Lavigne believed she was hired to perform Heather due to her rock star status. “[The director] thought I’d give my character… a bit of attitude”. The film opened on 19 May 2006, making $38 million over its opening weekend. It went on to gross $336 million worldwide.
In December 2005, Lavigne signed on to appear in Fast Food Nation, based on the book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. The fictionalized adaptation, directed by Richard Linklater, traces fast-food hamburgers contaminated with cow feces back to the slaughterhouses. Lavigne starred in her on-screen acting debut as a high school student intent on freeing the cows. The film opened on 17 November 2006 and remained in theaters for 11 weeks, grossing $2 million worldwide.
Both Over the Hedge and Fast Food Nation opened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, which Lavigne attended. Lavigne felt honoured to be able to attend and was proud of her work. When asked if she would pursue her film career, she stated that she wanted to take her time and wait for the “right parts and the right movies.” Lavigne was aware of the roles she had chosen. “I wanted to start off small and to learn [that] I wouldn’t just want to throw myself into a big part.” In August 2006, Canadian Business magazine ranked her as the seventh top Canadian actor in Hollywood in their second-annual ranking Celebrity Power List. The results were determined by comparing salary, Internet hits, TV mentions, and press hits.
In July 2008, Lavigne launched the clothing line Abbey Dawn, featuring a back-to-school collection. It is produced by Kohl’s, which is the brand’s exclusive U.S. retailer. Named after Lavigne’s childhood nickname, Abbey Dawn is designed by Lavigne herself. Kohl’s describes Abbey Dawn as a “juniors lifestyle brand”, which incorporates skull, zebra, and star patterns, purples and “hot pinks and blacks”. Lavigne, who wore some of the clothes and jewellery from her line at various concerts before its official launch, pointed out that she was not merely licensing her name to the collection. “”I actually am the designer. What’s really important to me is that everything fits well and is well-made, so I try everything on and approve it all.” The designs were also featured on the Internet game Stardoll, where figures can be dressed up as Avril Lavigne. On 14 September 2009, Lavigne took her latest collection for her clothing line to be a part of the New York Fashion Week. ”It’s fun to be a chick and design clothes and things I’d like for myself. I design things I [can’t] find.” At the end of 2008, Lavigne signed a contract with Canon Canada to appear in ad campaigns and commercials to promote the latest line of cameras, along with a full range of other accessories.
Lavigne released her first fragrance, Black Star, created by Procter & Gamble Prestige Products. The fragrance was announced via Lavigne’s official website on 7 March 2009. Black Star, which features notes of pink hibiscus, black plum and dark chocolate, was released in summer 2009 in Europe, and later in the U.S. and Canada. When asked what the name meant, Lavigne replied, “I wanted [the bottle] to be a star, and my colors are pink and black, and Black Star resembles being different, and standing out in the crowd, and reaching for the stars; the whole message is just about following your dreams, and it’s okay to be unique and be who you are.” Black Star won the 2010 Best “Women’s Scent Mass” by Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW). Black Star was followed by a second fragrance in July 2010,Forbidden Rose, which took two years to develop. It features notes of red apple, winepeach, black pepper, lotusflower, heliotrope, shellflower, praline agreement, sandalwood, and vanilla. Its message is an extension of Black Star’s “follow your dreams”, though the tagline for the new perfume is “Dare to Discover”. The commercial takes place in a gothic garden setting, where Lavigne, upon entering the garden, finds a single, purple rose.
In January 2010, Lavigne began working with Disney to incorporate Alice in Wonderland-inspired designs into her Abbey Dawn line of clothing. Her designs will be exhibited at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in California beginning in May through September, alongside Colleen Atwood's costumes from the 2010 film.
Lavigne has been involved in a number of charitable activities, such as Make Some Noise, Amnesty International, Erase MS, AmericanCPR.org, Camp Will-a-Way, Music Clearing Minefields, U.S. Campaign for Burma, Make-a-Wish Foundation and War Child. She has also appeared in ALDO ads with YouthAIDS to raise money to educate people worldwide about HIV/AIDS. Lavigne took part in the Unite Against Aids concert presented by ALDO in support of Unicef on 28 November 2007 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Lavigne worked with Reverb, a non-profit environmental organisation, for her 2005 east coast tour. She covered “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door" for War Child’s Peace Songs compilation, and she recorded a cover of the John Lennon song “Imagine" as her contribution to the compilation album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Released on 12 June 2007, the album was produced to benefit Amnesty International's campaign to alleviate the crisis in Darfur.
On 5 December 2009, Lavigne returned to the stage in Mexico City during the biggest charity event in Latin America, “Teleton”. She performed acoustic versions of her hits “Complicated” and “Girlfriend” with Evan Taubenfeld and band member, Jim McGorman. In 2010, Lavigne was one of several artists who contributed their voices to a cover of K’naan's “Wavin' Flag” as a benefit single to help raise money for several charity organisations related to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
On 14 September 2010, Lavigne introduced her charity, “The Avril Lavigne Foundation”. The next day, the foundation’s official website was launched. The foundation aims to help young people with serious illnesses and disabilities. Lavigne stated on the website, “I have always looked for ways to give back because I think it’s a responsibility we all share”. The foundation partners with the Easter Seals, Make-A-Wish foundation and Erase MS, the latter two being charities Lavigne has previously worked with.
Personal style and public image
“I have to fight to keep my image really me…. I rejected some gorgeous publicity shots because they just didn’t look like me. I won’t wear skanky clothes that show my booty, my belly or my boobs. I have a great body.”
—Avril Lavigne, MTV
When Lavigne first gained publicity, she was known for her tomboyish style, in particular her necktie and tank-top combinations. She preferred baggy clothes, skater shoes or Converses, wristbands, and sometimes shoelaces wrapped around her fingers. During photo shoots, instead of wearing “glittery get-ups”, she preferred wearing “old, crumpled T’s”. In response to her fashion and musical influences, the media would call her the “pop punk princess”. Press and fans regarded her as the "anti-Britney", in part because of her less-commercial and “real” image, but also because she was noticeably headstrong. “I’m not made up and I’m not being told what to say and how to act, so they have to call me the anti-Britney, which I’m not.” By November 2002, however, Lavigne stopped wearing ties, claiming she felt she was “wearing a costume”. Lavigne made a conscious effort to keep her music, and not her image, at the forefront of her career. “I’m just saying, I don’t want to sell sex. I feel that’s sort of lame and low. I’ve got so much more to say.”
Lavigne eventually took on a more gothic style as she began her second album, Under My Skin, trading her skating outfits for black tutusand acquiring an overall disposition of angst. ”I have been labeled like I’m this angry girl, [a] rebel… punk, and I am so not any of them.” While Lavigne denied being angry, her interviews were still passionate about the media’s lack of respect for her songwriting. “I am a writer, and I won’t accept people trying to take that away from me”, adding that she’d been writing “full-structured songs” since she was 14.During The Best Damn Thing years, Lavigne changed directions entirely, dying her hair blonde with a pink streak and wearing more feminine outfits, including “tight jeans and heels,” and modelling for magazines like Harper’s Bazaar. Lavigne defended her new style: “I don’t really regret anything. You know, the ties and the wifebeaters and all… It had its time and place. And now I’m all grown up, and I’ve moved on”. She now tries to eat healthy foods and participate in athletic activities, including yoga, street hockey, soccer, rollerblading, and surfing.
Only a few of Lavigne’s tattoos are unique to her; the rest are matching tattoos, shared with friends. Lavigne had a star tattooed on the inside of her left wrist that matched 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 around the letter “D” applied to her right wrist, which represented her boyfriend at the time, Deryck Whibley. Lavigne and Whibley each received matching tattoos again in March 2010, in celebration of his 30th birthday. In April, Lavigne added another tattoo on her wrist, that of a lightning bolt and the number 30, and her boyfriend, Brody Jenner, received a matching lightning bolt tattoo under his ear.
“Everything is always spur-of-the-moment. All of my tattoos, I decide that second and do it.”
—Avril Lavigne, Inked
Her love of tattoos, however, gained media attention in May 2010, after Lavigne and Jenner received matching tattoos of the word “fuck” on their ribs. Lavigne appeared in the June/July cover story for Inked magazine, where she discussed and showed off her tattoos, including an “Abbey Dawn” on her left forearm and an “XXV” and star on her right. Although she confirmed the “fuck” tattoo verbally in the article, calling it her “favorite word”, she had it applied after the magazine’s photo shoot. She added that she wanted to eventually get a “big-ass heart with a flag through it with a name…. I’m going to wait a few years and make sure I still want it then. I have to wait for that special someone to come back into my life.”In July 2010, Lavigne had the name “Brody” tattooed beneath her right breast.
Marriage to Deryck Whibley
Lavigne and Deryck Whibley, lead singer and guitarist for punk band Sum 41, began dating when she was 19 years old, after being friends since she was 17. Only a few weeks before they met, Lavigne had publicly stated that she was having trouble meeting boys because her bodyguards scared them away. In June 2005, Whibley surprised Lavigne with a trip to Venice, including a gondola ride and a romantic picnic, and on 27 June, he proposed to her.
She initially wanted to have a “rock n’ roll, goth wedding”, but she admitted to having doubts about going against tradition. “I’ve been dreaming about my wedding day since I was a little girl. I have to wear the white dress…. People thought that I would [wear a] black wedding dress, and I would have. But at the same time, I was thinking about the wedding pictures, and I wanted to be in style. I didn’t want to be thinking, 20 years later, ‘Oh, why did I wear my hair like that?’”
The wedding was held on 15 July 2006. About 110 guests attended the wedding, which was held at a private estate in Montecito, California. Lavigne, wearing a gown designed by Vera Wangwalked down the aisle with her father, Jean-Claude, to Mendelssohn’s "Wedding March". Lavigne chose a colour theme of red and white, including red rose petals and centerpieces of distinctly coloured flowers. The wedding included cocktails for an hour before the reception and a sit-down dinner. The song “Iris”, by the Goo Goo Dolls, was played during Lavigne and Whibley’s first dance.
Seven months into their marriage, Lavigne stated that she was “the best thing that’s ever happened to him”, and suggested that she helped Whibley stay off drugs since they’d begun dating. “He doesn’t do drugs. Clearly, he used to, because he talked about it, but I wouldn’t be with someone who did, and I made that very clear to him when we first started dating. I’ve never done cocaine in my life, and I’m proud of that. I am 100 percent against drugs.” The marriage lasted a little more than three years. It was announced on 17 September 2009 that Lavigne and Whibley had split up and that divorce papers would soon follow. On 9 October 2009, Lavigne filed for divorce, who later released the statement, “I am grateful for our time together, and I am grateful and blessed for our remaining friendship.”
- Current members
- Al Berry – bass guitar, backing vocals (2007–present)
- Rodney Howard – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2007–present)
- Steve Ferlazzo – electronic keyboard, backing vocals (2007–present)
- Jim McGorman – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2007–present)
- Steve Fekete – lead guitar, backing vocals (2008–present)
- Sofia Toufa – backing vocals, dancer (2007–present)
- Lindsay Bluafarb – backing vocals, dancer (2007–present)
- Past members
- Mark Spicoluk – bass guitar, backing vocals (April–September 2002)
- Jesse Colburn – rhythm guitar (2002–January 2004)
- Evan Taubenfeld – lead guitar, backing vocals (2002–September 2004)
- Craig Wood – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, vocals (2004–January 2007)
- Matt Brann – drums, percussion, vocals on (2002–February 2007)
- Charlie Moniz – bass guitar (2002–February 2007)
- Devin Bronson – lead guitar, backing vocals (2004–08)
YearTitleRoleNotes2002Sabrina, the Teenage WitchHerselfCameo; performed “Sk8er Boi”2004Going the DistanceHerselfCameo; performed “Losing Grip”2006Fast Food NationAliceHigh school activistOver the HedgeHeatherVoice only2007The FlockBeatrice BellSuspect’s girlfriend2010American IdolHerselfGuest judge (L.A. auditions)
Main article: Avril Lavigne discography