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Avril Lavigne
There’s no big hype surrounding Avril Lavigne, no fifty-person entourage, and no celebrity brawl hanging over her head. She has one of the best voices in rock music or pop, depending on your opinion, combined with one of the best attitudes. Her outrageous comments have earned her the reputation of being one of pop music’s most outspoken young artists. Although we don’t see why it’s necessary, she’s constantly set to prove to the music industry that she is not just another pretty face. Her latest album The Best Damn Thing successfully documents her growth into a young woman awakening to her sexuality and a successful pop star, unafraid to exploit it. It’s refreshing to have someone like her in our spotlight, for she is a capital ‘A’ Artist.

Her Place On The Fame Scoreboard:
Get used to hearing Avril Lavigne’s name. For the millions that buy her albums, she’s already the voice of their generation. With record sales of 25 million worldwide, three #1 singles and tons of awards, it’s hard to believe that she was only 16 when her 2002 debut Let Go exploded onto the charts worldwide. Few debuts match the fanfare and sales that she received; thanks to hit singles like Complicated, Sk8er Boi and I’m With You, the Canadian born chanteuse became one of the biggest selling artists of the year and garnered herself eight Grammy nominations ~ including nods in the coveted Best New Artist and Song Of The Year categories. Her worldwide popularity has been acknowledged by her native country as well, where she picked up four awards at the 2003 Junos (the Canadian Grammy Awards).

Since then, her songs have been featured in hit movies, TV shows, video games and even sung by other singers (her song Breakaway was a top five hit for American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson), while she’s built up a dedicated fan following among artists like Shania Twain, Bryan Adams and the boys from Green Day. Her mellow post-modernist second album, 2004’s Under My Skin, illustrated that Lavigne was no one-album wonder; lead single Don’t Tell Me spent fifteen weeks in the top ten worldwide and became one of the most overplayed tracks on radio for the year. And her work outside the recording studio should not be ignored either. She’s on her way to becoming a bonafide Hollywood movie star; she made her debut with Bruce Willis in one of the biggest hits of 2006, the animated wonder Over The Hedge. Her recent turn in the movie Fast Food Nation also garnered rave reviews from moviegoers and critics worldwide; and later in 2007 you’ll also be able to catch her in a leading role alongside Richard Gere in the action film The Flock.

Why Everybody Loves Her Music:
There’s something about a young girl playing the guitar that makes everyone take notice, but that’s not the only reason Avril comes off as teen symbol. The first thing people tend to notice about Avril is her remarkable voice. Loud, coy and occasionally gruff, her alto seduces listeners ~ instantly drawing them in like a siren’s call. Unlike most performers her age, she co-writes and plays instruments on all of her original songs. Her lyrics tend to have a youthful optimism that is pretty refreshing. Deeply passionate about her craft, she dedicates herself fully to each track ~ not in order to make an extra buck, but to earn a new fan.

Clad in baggy skater-jeans and Converse sneakers, Avril literally burst onto the music scene as a teenager, with the hit single Complicated; since then, she has been sort of a permanent fixture on the charts. It’s not just her gritty look that’s helped her stand out from the multitude of female singers out there; she’s got the talent and all that attitude. Most young female singers today are Britney-esque replicas, complete with blond hair, sexy revealing outfits and even belly rings. She’s instead smartly stayed away from that sugar and spice bubblegum world, and avoided the clichéd sentiments and all-too-often formulaic arrangements that have plagued the genre. Music industry insiders all consider Avril as the artist with the best long-term prospects because she relies more on her voice and less on dance and image.

The Best Damn Thing – The New Album:
It’s been a busy three years since Avril last released an album. Throughout most of 2005 and 2006, she was out touring with her band, and at the same time branched out into acting and a modelling career. And to top that off she managed to re-emerge late last year with a new single as well, Keep Holding On, which was on the soundtrack to fantasy movie Eragon, and another top ten hit for her. There were also reports of her endless partying and drinking; but since getting married to Paris Hilton’s former beau (punk band Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley) Avril has settled down significantly, though she does make the news occasionally about her behaviour with the paparazzi.

But that’s not why she’s the cover story of this magazine. This month the twenty-two-year-old releases her third studio album entitled The Best Damn Thing, a disc unlike anything she’s ever done before. First single Girlfriend debuted at #5 on the US Charts this week and Avril, showing appreciation for her fans around the world, went even so far as to sing the same song in Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese. She even tried to record it in Hindi for her fans here in India, but she confesses that the language was too difficult for her to master. On the occasion of the new album, she sat down for an interview and admitted that throughout her career, she’s been at her best when she simply lets her instincts guide her music:

You got married recently…what’s changed in your life after that?
Avril: When I first came out on the scene, I acted like a kid and dressed like a kid…and now I’m a woman. (Laughs) As you get older, you start dressing differently and doing things differently… When I look back, all I can think is, ‘God, I was such a tomboy, getting into fights…hanging out with guys…’ (Laughs again) I don’t fight people anymore. I’m more mature and I just don’t think fighting is good.

What’s the new album all about?
Avril: Hands down, this is the best record I’ve ever made! I had so much fun. I worked with so many talented people…Butch Walker, Rob Cavallo, Dr.’s like one big happy family and I promise you the songs are so much fun. It’s a really funny and humorous record. The Best Damn Thing is just about being about being like a princess and not taking crap from guys. Right after recording the title track, I knew that song was very special…because it was a new sound for me; and to me, it’s a hit.

You’ve also got your husband Deryck Whibley (from Sum 41) playing on the record. How did that turn out?
Avril: Working with Deryck was nice, you know, because I like his music and I think he’s really good at what he does. The songs that I gave him were kinda along the lines of pop punk-pop rock songs...I think he’s an amazing guitar player; he’s got a great taste in guitars and such a really great tone and he has such a great stop. (His band mate) Stevo 32 from Sum 41 also played drum on these songs...he’s an amazing drummer and he totally, you know, made the tracks rock! They sound amazing…

We heard Blink-182’s Travis Barker played drums on a few tracks as well....
Avril: I’m a huge fan of Travis Barker’s drum playing...and I always thought it would be really cool to have Travis to play on my songs and on my record. He has like his own unique style and clearly comes from a punk rock background...he totally nailed the songs...he only had to do them like once. (Laughs)

You can read the rest of our cover story on Avril Lavigne in the April 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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