Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Avril Lavigne

From early childhood onward, Avril Lavigne always stood out among the 5,000 residents of Napanee, Ontario -- her 1984 birthplace. At first distinguished from her female peers because of her affinity for the baseball field in the summer and the hockey rink in the winter, Avril became recognizable in the community on the basis of her musical performances.

avril lavigne sings with shania twain
By age 10, she had graduated from the local church choir to the regional fairgrounds, singing country music in competitions. Three years later, Avril Lavigne began making her impact outside of Napanee, as her vocal skill won her the grand prize in a radio station contest: a trip to the city of Ottawa, to perform a duet in concert with another Ontario native, country music star Shania Twain. While this probably ranked as the pinnacle of pubescence for any other 13-year-old girl, Avril Lavigne went on to accomplish far greater things before leaving adolescence.

avril lavigne gets a record deal
By the time Avril Lavigne reached high school, her vocal prowess seemed rivaled only by her ability to play the guitar, and she began sending videotapes of her stage performances to labels and management companies throughout North America. Following a host of rejections, her talent finally caught the eyes of Nettwerk Management, an organization that fostered other such Canadian acts as Sarah McLachlan, Sum 41 and the Barenaked Ladies.

Nettwerk arranged for Avril Lavigne to fly down to New York City to meet with some other songwriters and begin work on a demo tape. As it turned out, Avril Lavigne was signed before she even had a chance to complete the demo. An Arista Records representative came to visit Avril Lavigne at her studio, and was sufficiently impressed with her voice to return with Arista CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid, who immediately signed the 16-year-old to a contract.

avril lavigne moves to new york city
After briefly returning to Canada, Avril Lavigne made the move to Manhattan to embark on her professional career, accompanied by her older brother Matt as an escort. Although she had been signed to Arista strictly as a vocalist, Avril Lavigne balked at the notion of singing someone else's songs and insisted on having a hand in the writing process. When she failed to click with any New York-based songwriters, Avril Lavigne made her third move of the year, this time to Los Angeles.

It was on the West Coast that she met producer/songwriter Cliff Magness, with whom she immediately developed a rapport. The two began composing together, and within a few months' time, Avril Lavigne's debut album had begun to take shape.

avril lavigne releases complicated and the album let go
Avril Lavigne's first single, "Complicated," was released in the early spring of 2002, and immediately began scaling the charts across the continent. By the summer, the track had reached the top spot among Canadian singles, and was in the top 15 on the Billboard Adult 40 list. The popularity of "Complicated" paved the way for the success of Avril's first full-length CD, Let Go, which debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard charts in June 2002. She received eight Grammy nods and won four Juno Awards for the album.

While Avril Lavigne's vocal range and high-energy musical style has brought her comparisons ranging from Alanis Morissette to Pink, she has been adamant in positioning herself as a unique artist, one who runs counter to the mainstream. This persona has been nurtured thanks to the lyrics of such songs as "Sk8er Boi," wherein Avril Lavigne is none too subtle in voicing her anti-conformist stance, and through her public remarks regarding other female musicians, notably Britney Spears.

avril lavigne releases under my skin

In 2004 Avril Lavigne released her second album, Under My Skin, which debuted at No. 1 in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere. The single "My Happy Ending" became her third biggest song. The album helped Avril win two World Music Awards and five Juno nominations. She also won the award for "Favorite Female Singer" at the eighteenth annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. The album sold eight million copies worldwide.

avril lavigne releases the best damn thing

Avril Lavigne's third album The Best Damn Thing debuted at No. 1 in the U.S. as well. The album was produced with the help of her husband, Deryck Whibley of the band Sum 41, and the single "Hot" was a huge success (Avril performed this hit at the American Music Awards). A small tour followed.


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