Lavigne, Avril

Avril Ramona Lavigne, singer, songwriter (b at Belleville, Ont 27 Sept 1984). Avril Lavigne began singing gospel music in church as a child, then went on to belt out country songs at music festivals and talent contests before she was discovered by Arista Records. She moved from her small hometown of Napanee, Ont, to New York City at age 16, and then headed to Los Angeles to finish her 2002 debut album, Let Go.

With tutelage from Vancouver-based Nettwerk Management, the young singer sold well over 10 million copies of Let Go around the world, and she received a diamond award for selling a million units in Canada from Prime Minister Jean Chrétien while she was in Ottawa for the 2003 Juno Awards. While there, she also picked up Junos for Best Album, New Artist, Pop Artist and Single ("Complicated"). "Complicated,""Sk8er Boi,""Losing Grip" and "I'm With You" were all major hits from the album. Lavigne's brash attitude, knack for coming up with catchy pop tunes and eclectic sense of fashion has made her an icon among young female fans.

Avril Lavigne followed Let Go in May 2004 with the release of Under My Skin, which was preceded by two popular singles: "Don't Tell Me" and "Take Me Away."Under My Skin debuted at #1 in 13 countries and has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide. Lavigne was named "world's best pop/rock artist" at the 2004 World Music Awards and won 3 Juno Awards in 2005. Lavigne and Sum 41 singer/guitarist Deryck Whibley were married in July 2006, a year after they were engaged.

Under My Skin was followed in April 2007 by The Best Damn Thing, which debuted at #1 in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Germany. It has sold more than 5 million copies globally. The album spawned the international smash "Girlfriend," which was subjected to a lawsuit by 2 members of The Rubinoos, who claimed it plagiarized their 1979 song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend." The suit was settled out of court in January 2008.