About Avril Lavigne
When singer, songwriter, and musician Avril Lavigne first burst upon the music scene at age 17, she was known as a young, pop-punk tomboy who refused to resort to skin-baring come-ons, preferring to entice the record-buying public with her powerhouse voice, high-spirited melodies, and straight-talking lyrics. Staying steadfastly true to herself and putting music before image paid off both critically and commercially for the Canadian-born artist. In 2002, Lavigne shot to global pop stardom with the 6x-platinum Let Go, followed by 2004s 3x-platinum Under My Skin, and 2007s platinum The Best Damn Thing. Over the course of her three albums, Lavigne scored a string of international hit singles: Complicated, Sk8er Boi, Im With You, Losing Grip, Dont Tell Me, My Happy Ending, Nobodys Home, Keep Holding On, Girlfriend, When Youre Gone, Hot, and The Best Damn Thing. She earned eight Grammy Award nominations, won seven Canadian Juno Awards, and sold more than 30 million albums and nearly 20 million tracks worldwide over the past eight years.
Lavigne also launched a second career as an entrepreneur by creating a well-received fashion and lifestyle brand (Abbey Dawn), two fragrances (Black Star and Forbidden Rose), branched out into film work (Over the Hedge, Fast Food Nation), and further committed herself to the philanthropic activities shes participated in over the years by establishing The Avril Lavigne Foundation, which works in partnership with leading charitable organizations to design and deliver programs, raise awareness, and mobilize support for children and youth living with serious illnesses or disabilities.
With her multiple creative endeavors and impressive musical success, its worth pointing out that Avril Lavigne is all of 26. She may be young by veteran performer standards, but she has evolved as a person and as an artist since releasing The Best Damn Thing. Lavigne brings the maturity and insight shes gained from her experiences to her next labor of love, her fourth album, Goodbye Lullaby, which will be released by RCA Records in March 2011.
I pushed myself and didnt hold back, Lavigne says of Goodbye Lullaby for which she wrote or co-wrote every song, and wrote and produced two 4 Real and Goodbye entirely on her own. I allowed myself to be vulnerable. I think its during the real moments that people can relate the most. Those who have heard the album have had very strong emotional reactions to the songs, so I realized that when something is so real, it will probably touch somebody. The beauty of music is that its open to interpretation.
Written at various stages over the past few years, Goodbye Lullaby is filled with appealingly relatable, heartfelt songs that convey a variety of emotions and reflect a bittersweet mood not generally associated with Lavignes best-known tunes. Except for the anthemic first single, the irresistibly feisty What The Hell and Smile, which create a perfect bridge from her previous work, the remainder of Goodbye Lullaby finds Lavigne exploring what it means to push through the tough times and emerge stronger for it a theme apparent on songs like Everybody Hurts, Push, Remember When, and Wish You Were Here.
Overall, the album is about how we all go through difficult experiences, whether its ending a relationship, losing a job, or just missing someone, Lavigne says. We get through it and we grow. Nowhere is this feeling better expressed than on Goodbye, a delicate piano-and-string ballad that closes out the album. Goodbye is the most raw and vulnerable track Ive ever written and recorded in my career, Lavigne says. Its a very special song because I wrote and produced it myself. Its so real and truthful. You cant fake that.
Goodbye Lullabys intensity is balanced out by its instrumentation: bright, rich textures of acoustic guitar and piano, as well as an orchestra on Darlin, Remember When, and Goodbye. Through it all, from the upbeat pop tracks to the mellower ballads, Lavignes voice is front and center, summoning up and soaring easily through the emotion that her lyrics require.
This album is all about me being a singer, a songwriter, and a musician, Lavigne says. Typically the lead vocal gets buried in the track and you cant always hear the quality, character, or emotion after a certain point. I wanted my voice to be the main instrument. It forced me to really throw myself out there. I still love rocking out, but I wanted this record to show a different side. Thats why I produced some of the songs myself, which I never thought Id do.
For the rest of the albums tracks, Lavigne turned to her longtime friends and collaborators Evan Taubenfeld and Butch Walker, as well as Max Martin. Another important influence was Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley, who lends his production skills to several tracks, including Darlin, a song Lavigne wrote at the age of 14. Whenever I hear Darlin, I think of the family room I wrote it in and playing it for my mom, she says. So its really special for me to have it on the album.
A small-town girl from Napanee, Ontario, Lavigne had already been writing, singing, and performing for a few years before releasing her breakthrough album, Let Go, which featured the smash singles Complicated and Sk8r Boi and sold more than 16 million units worldwide. Her second album, 2004s Under My Skin, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200, and sold more than eight million copies worldwide fueled by the hit singles Dont Tell Me and My Happy Ending. Four years later came The Best Damn Thing, which featured the No. 1 single Girlfriend. Lavignes biggest record to date, Girlfriend was the top digital track of 2007, selling more than 7.3 million downloads in eight languages. The Best Damn Thing included the epic ballad Keep Holding On, which Lavigne wrote at the request of 20th Century Fox for the studios fantasy/adventure film Eragon. Lavignes songs have also graced the soundtracks of such feature films as Sweet Home Alabama, Bruce Almighty, Legally Blonde 2, The Princess Diaries 2, and The House Bunny.
In 2010, Lavigne wrote Alice for Tim Burtons film fantasy Alice in Wonderland, which was included on the compilation album Almost Alice, released in March. The video for Alice, directed by David Meyers, depicts Lavignes own adventure down the rabbit hole. She also brought her fashion brand into the mix, designing Alice in Wonderland pieces for Abbey Dawn that were sold in stores in connection with the films release.
Its been a whirlwind journey for Lavigne, who says the thing shes looking forward to most about releasing Goodbye Lullaby is getting the opportunity to hit the road and perform for her fans around the world. My fans are hardcore, Lavigne says. They are very dedicated and really supportive the kind of fans who stick around. Its been an amazing experience meeting them after shows and reading their letters, because the things theyll say to me are very special. People have come up and started crying, saying, You have no idea what your music has done for me. Thats all I need to hear. If I can give even one person strength through my music, thats pretty frickin special.
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