Avril Lavigne (born 27 September 1984) is a Canadian singer-songwriter. She was born in Belleville, Ontario, but spent most of her youth in the small town of Napanee. By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain; by 16, she had signed a two-album recording contract with Arista Records worth more than $2 million. In 2002, when she was 17 years old, Lavigne broke onto the music scene with her debut album Let Go.
Let Go made Lavigne the youngest female soloist to reach No. 1 in the UK, and the album was certified four-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. By 2009, over 18 million copies had been sold worldwide. Her breakthrough single, "Complicated", peaked at No. 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 No. 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, becoming her third No. 1 album in the UK Albums Chart and featuring her first U.S. Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single, "Girlfriend". Lavigne has scored five number-one singles worldwide, including "Complicated", "Sk8er Boi", "I'm with You", "My Happy Ending" and "Girlfriend".
With more than 30 million copies of her albums sold worldwide, Lavigne is one of the top-selling artists releasing albums in the U.S., with over 10.25 million copies certified by the RIAA. Her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby, was released in March 2011. Goodbye Lullaby gave Lavigne her fourth top 10 album on the U.S. Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart and her third No. 1 album in both Japan and Australia. Three months after the release of Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne began work on her fifth album which will be released on Epic Recordsfollowing her departure from RCA Records.
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 and her third perfume, Wild Rose, in 2011. 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 continued to work together, with Whibley producing her fourth album, as well as Lavigne's single, "Alice", written for Tim Burton's film Alice in Wonderland.
Avril Ramona Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario. Her father, Jean-Claude Lavigne, named her "Avril" after the French word for the month of April. At the age of two, she began singing church songs with her mother, Judith-Rosanne "Judy" (née Loshaw). Judy recognized her two-year-old daughter's talents after hearing her sing "Jesus Loves Me" in church.
Lavigne has an older brother, Matthew, and a younger sister, Michelle, both of whom teased her when she sang. "My brother used to knock on the wall because I used to sing myself to sleep and he thought it was really annoying."
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 being kicked out of class for misbehaving, her parents supported 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 by Garth Brooks, The Dixie Chicks, and Shania Twain.