The Avril Lavigne biography is the story of a young star who has sold a remarkable number of records but who has also ruffled a remarkable number of feathers along the way. Avril Lavigne's success came overnight, and unlike many who achieve that kind of success, she has largely been able to maintain it. The story of her success if marred by whispers of plagiarism and a reputation for diva-like behavior.
Avril Lavigne Biography - The Early Years
Avril Lavigne was born September, 24, 1984 in the small town of Bellevue, Ontario, Canada. Her family was French-Canadian and devoutly religious, but despite religious convictions, Lavigne's mother spotted her vocal talents early on and encouraged her daughter to pursue music.
Lavigne's first big break came in 1998. She was the winner of a contest to join fellow Canadian singer Shania Twain on stage during one of her shows. The two sang Twain's song What Made You Say That in Ottawa. Country pop was Lavigne's early music style of choice, and she often appeared on the local music circuit singing covers of Country songs, despite her young age. Her performing paid off by the time she was 16, when manager Cliff Fabri discovered her singing country songs in a bookstore.
After attracting the attention of Fabri, later that year, Lavigne attracted the attention of Arista Records A&R rep Ken Kongard. Kongard arranged an audition for Lavigne with Arista head L.A. Reid, and Lavigne was signed to a deal.
Lavigne's debut album, Let Go, was released June 4, 2002, and was propelled to chart success thanks to the first single Sk8er Boi. The video for Sk8r Bio went into heavy rotation on MTV and the song topped the Contemporary Radio Hits chart (the chart that tracks radio plays) for a record eleven weeks in the U.S. Let Go eventually made it to number 2 on the U.S. Billboard album chart and number 1 in Canada, Australia, and United Kingdom. The album went on to go multi platinum within a month and was the best selling album by a female artist in 2002. Lavigne was nominated for eight Grammy awards that year, won the Best New Artist award at the MTV Video Music Awards and won four Juno awards in her native Canada.
Under My Skin
On the back of the success of Let Go, Lavigne's sophomore release, Under My Skin, debuted at number one in the charts in several countries:
- USA (where it sold almost 400,000 in the week of release)
- Hong Kong
The songs on this 2004 release were co-written by Lavigne and singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk - a name that would come back to haunt Lavigne in the future.
My Happy Ending, the second single from this album, gave Lavigne her biggest hit in the U.S. up to that point (number 2 on the singles chart). Under My Skin earned Lavigne two World Music Awards and three Juno Awards.
The Best Damn Thing
Lavigne spent several years touring in support of Under My Skin as well as trying to get her acting career off the ground. She also married Derek Whibley of Sum 41 in 2006 and took some time off to enjoy married life. It wasn't until 2007 that Lavigne released a new album, called The Best Damn Thing.
The first single from The Best Damn Thing was Girlfriend, which went straight to the top of the US Billboard charts. As of late 2007, the album had sold 5 million units around the world.
Avril Lavigne Biography - Plagiarism Controversy and Bad Attitudes
Lavigne long received credit for the fact that unlike many of her fellow young female pop singers, she wrote her own material and played some of her own instruments. That reputation took a beating in 2007, first from a 1970s power pop band called The Rubinoos. The Rubinoos charged that Lavigne's hit Girlfriend was a direct rip off of their song I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend. That case was eventually dismissed, but Lavigne took fire from her former songwriting partner Chantal Kreviazuk shortly after The Rubinoos filed their claims.
In a June 2007 interview, Kreviazuk told Performing Songwriter magazine that Lavigne never sat down and wrote a song with her and yet received at least partial credit on all songs. She further claimed that she sent Lavigne a song called Contagious but never heard anything about it from her - and then a song by that name surfaced on The Best Damn Thing without any credit.
In recent years, Lavigne has also reportedly earned a reputation among journalists for having a bad attitude. She is constantly in the crosshairs of blogger Perez Hilton.