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Avril Lavigne Biography and Origins

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Born September 27th, 1984 and raised in Napanee, Ontario, Avril Lavigne began writing and singing her own songs in her teens. She signed with a label before finishing high school and released her first album in 2002. It became the year's biggest pop debut thanks to the song, "Complicated". Lavigne has since continued to churn out songs along the pop punk vein that she gained mainstream success with, including, "My Happy Ending" and "Girlfriend". In this video, takes a look at the musical origins of Avril Lavigne.

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First Songs

Avril Ramona Lavigne was born on September 27th, 1984 and raised in Napanee, Ontario. She began singing church songs with her mother when she was two years old and her parents supported her musical interests by buying her instruments. She started writing her own songs in her early teens and performing at local venues until she caught the attention of her first manager in 1999.

First Album

After signing a deal with Arista Records, Lavigne dropped out of high school to concentrate on her music career. Her first record, Let Go, was released in 2002 and was deemed the biggest pop debut of the year, reaching the second position on the Billboard 200. The pop rock effort spawned successful singles such as the top ten hit, “Sk8er Boi” and Grammy-nominated track, “Complicated.”

Number One Sophomore Record

Lavigne further cemented her pop punk sound with her sophomore album, 2004’s Under My Skin. Debuting at number one on the Billboard 200, the record was a bit darker in tone, with Lavigne co-writing all of the tracks. It generated the top thirty single, “Don’t Tell Me,” and worldwide hit, “My Happy Ending.”

A Movie Soundtrack and a World Tour

That same year, she recorded an edgier version of the theme song for the animated film, “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie”. She also embarked on her first world tour, which lasted through most of 2005.

Third Album and Marriage

The next year, she wrote “Keep Holding On,” the theme song for the fantasy movie, “Eragon,” which found success despite the absence of an accompanying music video. The song appeared on both the film’s soundtrack and Lavigne’s third album, which came out the following year on RCA Records. Lavigne also married Deryck Whibley, lead singer and guitarist of punk band, Sum 41, in 2006.

Another Number One Album

2007’s The Best Damn Thing” was Lavigne’s second consecutive number one record on the Billboard 200 chart. Continuing with the pop punk and rock vein that she was known for, her third album produced the top thirty single, “When You’re Gone.” But it was the catchy power pop of “Girlfriend” that gave Lavigne her first number one U.S. single on the Billboard Hot 100.

Animated Avril

A two-volume manga-style graphic novel called “Avril Lavigne’s Make 5 Wishes” also came out in 2007. Lavigne was featured as a character in the comic books, which were turned into video episodes as well.

Divorce and "Alice in Wonderland"

After touring in support of The Best Damn Thing, she went into the studio to work on her next effort. During this time, she filed for divorce from her husband and Lavigne wrote a song called “Alice” for the motion picture, “Alice in Wonderland”. It played during the film’s end credits and appeared on its soundtrack, Almost Alice, in 2010.

"Goodbye Lullaby"

Several delays pushed back the release of her fourth album, Goodbye Lullaby. It was eventually released in 2011 and contained the lead single, “What the Hell”.

Acting and Other Pursuits

Outside of music, Lavigne has done some acting. Notable film roles include playing a high school student in “Fast Food Nation” and voicing an animated character in “Over the Hedge”. In terms of her business pursuits, Lavigne has two fragrances and her own clothing line called Abbey Dawn. Her philanthropic activities include the creation of her charity, “The Avril Lavigne Foundation” and contributing songs to various charitable compilations.

Pop Punk Princess

Her relatable lyrics and catchy tunes have garnered her fans from all walks of life. With her quick musical success and numerous creative accomplishments, Avril Lavigne is a star and the princess of pop punk.

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