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Avril Lavigne

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Young, talented and never afraid to speak her mind, Avril Lavigne is a pop-rock princess who, despite her efforts, has become an international superstar with her catchy, radio-friendly lyrics and free-spirited lifestyle. She’s also not a bad looking Canadian, eh? Born in Nappanee, Ontario, Lavigne began singing at the age of two and quickly gained recognition in regional country music competitions by age ten, performing a duet with country music diva Shania Twain only a few years later. By the time the wild child had hit her teen years, Avril was already busy writing her own songs and playing guitar, but it wasn’t until she reached high school that her career would lift off. During her sophomore year at school, Avril began to send in performances to all of the big-time record labels in the U.S. and was shortly signed by Arista Record’s CEO Antonio Reid before even recording a demo. After Arista granted the power to write her own songs, Avril signed with Nettwerk Management (whose clients also include Canadian sensations Barenaked Ladies) and immediately released her album Let Go in 2002, which included the chart-topping hit “Complicated” and debuted on Billboard at number eight.

While Avril insisted that her pop-inspired music wasn’t a reflection of the real-life punk she claimed to be, she offered a refreshing album that strayed away from the mass-manufactured tunes of teeny-boppers like Britney and Jessica Simpson. Following a public criticism on fellow icon Britney, Avril appeared in an interview with Chart Attack to further discuss her problems with the teen diva’s fashion sense and proposed virginity. Clearly drawing numerous comparisons to fellow Canadian rocker Alanis Morissette and recently releasing a sophomore album (Under My Skin) comprised of solid lyrics and a cleaner sound, it will be interesting to see how Avril slowly matures both as a musician and as a celebrity.

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Avril's debut album, Let Go, was released in 2002 and became an instant hit. With chart-topping songs like "Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi," Avril climbed to the top of the ranks with her pop-rock sound and anti-Britney image. In 2004, Avril struck back at the skeptical critics with a much more seasoned album, Under My Skin, that has already begun to share the same success as its predecessor. Avril's hit song "Sk8er Boi" has also been optioned into an upcoming film that follows the story of the tune and is set for release in late 2004.

Avril Says
On her image:
"I have a great body. I could be Britney. I could be better than Britney."

On her songwriting:
"I couldn't go as alternative on this record as I wanted to, but I just didn't want to be bubblegum pop," she says. "I'm happy with the way it turned out. [But] my attitude, my songwriting is constantly always changing. I'm still growing up; I'll be changing."

On being young and famous:
"I like being a minor because you can't get into trouble. Now I just have to try and behave myself."