Born: 1984, Belleville, ON
Genres: Pop, Rock, Punk
• Has sold 30 million records worldwide
• Diamond album (Let Go)
• 3 diamond albums in Japan
• Song “Girlfriend” was #1 in at least 7 countries around the world
• Domestically: 12 Top 30 singles, including 7 top tens, and 1 number ones
• Internationally: 17 Top 30 singles, including 11 top tens, and 3 number ones
• 7 songs in the Billboard Top 100 year-end charts
• 2 songs in the Billboard Top 100 of the decade (#83 “Complicated” and #94 “Girlfriend”)
• Garnered 18 Juno award nominations in five years
• Won 7 of 18 Juno nominations
Major Juno Awards
2003: Song of the Year, “Complicated”
2003: Album of the Year, Let Go
2005: Artist of the Year
Studio Albums and Hit Singles*
2002: Let Go
• Diamond in Canada, Italy, and Japan
• 17 million copies sold worldwide
• Album of the Year Juno
• Singles: “Complicated” (#1 AL & NZ; #11 Billboard year-end chart; song of the year Juno), “Sk8er Boi” (#1 IL; #96 Billboard year-end chart), “I’m with You” (#4 US; #18 Billboard year-end chart), “Losing Grip” (#18 IL), “Mobile” (#26 NZ)
2004: Under My Skin
• 5x Platinum
• Diamond in Japan
• 10 million copies sold worldwide
• Singles: “Don’t Tell Me” (#5 CA & UK; #92 Billboard year-end chart), “My Happy Ending” (#5 UK; #54 Billboard year-end chart), “Nobody’s Home” (#4 CA), “He Wasn’t” (#23 UK), “Fall to Pieces” (#7 CA)
2007: The Best Damn Thing
• 2x Platinum
• Diamond in Japan
• 6 million copies worldwide
• Singles: “Girlfriend” (#1 CA, AL, AT, IL, NZ, SD, & US; #21 Billboard year-end chart), “When You’re Gone” (#3 UK), “Hot” (#10 CA; #42 CA year-end chart of 2008), “Keep Holding On” (#14 CA; #64 Billboard year-end chart)
2011: Goodbye Lullaby
• Singles: “What the Hell” (#5 NZ; #63 CA year-end chart 2011), “Alice” (#19 AT), “Smile” (#25 AL), “Wish You Were Here” (new)
Legend: CA-Canada, AL-Australia, AT-Austria, NZ-New Zealand, IL-Ireland, US-United States, UK-United Kingdom, SD-Sweden
* Western countries with the highest chart position reported only.
Avril Lavigne was born as a middle child in Belleville, Ontario on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. When she was five, the family moved east to the small town of Napanee (40 km west of Kingston). She played hockey with the boys, sung in her church choir, and taught herself the guitar. Impressed with her singing skills her father bought her musical equipment: microphone, drum kit, keyboard, and guitars. Eventually, their basement was converted into a studio. Her parents took her to sing karaoke during her teens.
In 1997, 14-year-old Lavigne entered a radio contest to perform with Shania Twain at a concert in Ottawa attended by 20 thousand people. She won. Before she knew it, she was up on stage with the country diva. Avril corrected Shania by saying she was from Napanee not Nepean (suburb of Ottawa). The two sang a duet: “What Made You Say That”. Later on, when Avril became an international superstar, Shania mentioned in an interview, in a vivid state of shock, that this was the same teenage girl who appeared with her on stage and had told her that she wanted to be a famous singer. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” Twain said in disbelief.
Close to Christmas in 1999, while singing country songs in karaoke at Kingston’s Chapters bookstore, Lavigne was discovered by Cliff Fabri of Romanline Entertainment who became her manager. She took part in a number of music festivals and singing contests, performing songs by Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, and The Dixie Chicks. She also began composing her own songs. After a performance with the Lennox Community Theatre, she was invited by folk artist Steve Medd, to contribute vocals on two of his albums.
Fabri shepherded Avril through practice sessions in her parents’ basement and sent out VHS tapes of her home performances to several record companies. Nettwerk Records’ Mark Jowett, the man who had discovered Sarah McLachlan, invited Avril to work with Peter Zizzo in New York during the summer of 2000.
In 2001, Fabri took Avril on her second trip to New York to meet with executives of Arista Records. After a three-song audition, Antonio Reid and Ken Krongard were so impressed that they immediately signed her.
Lavigne was sent to Los Angeles to co-write songs with expert songwriting team “The Matrix”, among others. The result was 2002′s Let Go. Spawning three Top 5 singles, the album went diamond in three countries, including Canada, and sold 17 million copies worldwide. It was declared album of the year at the Junos, and the single “Complicated”, which appeared on the year-end Billboard chart at #11 and the decade-end chart at #83, won the song of the year Juno. “Weird” Al Yankovic did a parody of the song. In a piece of trivia, Lavigne became the youngest artist to score a #1 album in the United Kingdom. In the U.S. she was nominated for eight Grammy awards. The following year, she made the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and cover of Maxim in 2004.
Lavigne co-wrote the song “Breakaway” for the winner of the first season of American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, a #3 hit in Canada and #6 in the U.S.
In 2004, fellow Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk joined the team, and her husband Raine Maida co-produced Under My Skin. It topped the charts in several countries and sold 10 million copies, including half a million at home. To promote the album, Avril embarked on her first world tour. As with her debut, the album spawned three Top 5 singles. She was proclaimed artist of the year at the Junos.
The Best Damn Thing, Lavigne’s third album, was released under RCA in 2007. “Girlfriend” became her biggest hit internationally, topping the charts in many countries. In the U.S. it became the 94th biggest song of the entire decade. She recorded the song in several different languages including English, French, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, German, and Portuguese. It was ranked as the most downloaded song of the year. The English music video on Youtube has been viewed over 160 million times. Lavigne scored a diamond hat trick in Japan as this was her third album to sell a million copies there.
It took four years before Avril released a new album. After ending her marriage, performing at the Vancouver Olympics, and writing a song for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (“Alice”), Goodbye Lullaby hit store shelves in March, 2011. She appeared on many chat, variety, and reality shows performing the first single “What the Hell”, a Top 5 hit (see below). She went on a world tour to promote the album, tackling one continent at a time.
Copyright 2011 by the Canadian Music Blog