Avril Ramona Lavigne (born September 27, 1984) is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She was one of the most popular new pop punk artists of 2002, when she released her first album, and is well-known for her "skater punk" persona.
Born in Belleville, Ontario to conservative, French-Canadian parents (John and Judy Lavigne), Lavigne grew up in Napanee singing country music and in a church choir and taught herself guitar. She was discovered by her first professional manager while singing country covers at a Chapters bookstore in Kingston, Ontario. By the age of sixteen, she was signed by Arista Records head L.A. Reid, and she began to work on her first album.
Her first album, Let Go, was released by Arista on June 4, 2002, and was certified "Quadruple Platinum" less than six months later by the Recording Industry Association of America. She was named "Best New Artist" at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards and at the 2003 Juno Awards, where she led all musicians with six nominations, winning four Junos. She also has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards but has not won any to date. She describes her first album as a pop album with "a couple of rock songs on it", and has indicated a desire to write more rock-oriented songs in the future.
Lavigne wrote most of her second album, Under My Skin, with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk. She also co-wrote one track, "Nobody's Home", with Ben Moody, formerly of Evanescence, and the rest with her former lead guitarist Evan Taubenfeld. Under My Skin was released on May 25, 2004 and went to number one around the world, notably in the U.K., USA, Canada, and Australia, and on the Billboard Internet charts.
Lavigne's third album, The Best Damn Thing, was released on April 17, 2007 and debuted at number one in the U.S.
Lavigne's current band consists of the following:
Al Berry - bass guitar, backing vocals (2007 - present)
Rodney Howard - drums, percussion, backing vocals (2007 - present)
Stephen Anthony Ferlazzo Jr. - electronic keyboard, backing vocals (2007 - present)
Jim McGorman - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2007 - present)
Devin Bronson - lead guitar, backing vocals (2004 - present)
Sofia Toufa - backing vocals, dancer (2007 - present)
Lindsey Blaufarb - backing vocals, dancer (2007 - present)
Adam Fairall - tambourine
Mark Spicoluk - bass guitar, backing vocals (April 2002 - September 2002)
Jesse Colburn - rhythm guitar (2002 - October 2003)
Evan Taubenfeld - lead guitar, backing vocals (2002 - September 2004)
Craig Wood - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2003 - January 2007)
Matt Brann - drums, percussion (2002 - February 2007)
Charlie Moniz - bass guitar (2002 - February 2007)