Avril Lavigne performs on stage during day two of CMA Fest 2023 at Nissan Stadium on June 09, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne celebrates her birthday on September 27. Born in Ontario, Canada, Avril was named after the French word for April by her father, Jean-Claude. He and Lavigne’s mother, Judith Rosanne, recognized Avril’s singing talent when she was two years old, singing “Jesus Loves Me” on the way home from church. Avril’s parents supported her singing from that point onward, with her father purchasing her a microphone, a drum kit, a keyboard, and several guitars — he even converted their basement into a studio. When she was 14, her parents took her to karaoke sessions.

Avril’s Start To The Music Industry

The “Complicated” singer performed at country fairs, singing songs by Garth Brooks, the (Dixie) Chicks, and Shania Twain. She began writing her own songs. Her first one was about a teenage crush titled “Can’t Stop Thinking About You.” In 1999, Lavigne won a radio contest to perform with fellow Canadian singer Shania Twain in front of an audience of 20,000 people. Twain and Lavigne sang Twain’s “What Made You Say That.” At the end of the year, Avril was discovered by her first professional manager while singing country covers at a bookstore in Kingston. Avril made her way to New York and had an audition in front of L.A. Reid, who was head of Arista Records at the time. Reid was apparently “so impressed” that he immediately signed her to the record label with a deal worth $1.25 million for two albums and an extra $900,000 for a publishing advance.

With her skater and punk rock look, it was hard for the record label to find co-writers that fit Avril’s unique sound. After many failed collaborations, they finally found a good fit when she went to Los Angeles in 2001.At just 17 years old, Avril’s album went no. 1 on the UK Albums Chart at the time, being the youngest female soloist to do so.

Take a look below at our ten favorite Avril Lavigne songs:

  • 10. What The Hell

    From her 2011 album, Goodbye Lullaby, “What The Hell” is a catchy song of the singer’s “personal message for freedom.” Lavigne described “What the Hell” as “a really fun, upbeat party song.” It has similarities with her song from four years prior, “Girlfriend.”

  • 9. He Wasn't

    From her second studio album, Under My Skin, Lavigne didn’t initially release this song in the US. “He Wasn’t” is an upbeat song about an unsuccessful relationship between Lavigne and a man who couldn’t even open the door for her.

  • 8. Sk8er Boi

    When Avril Lavigne first came on to the music scene in the US, we remember hearing this song on the radio and rocking out in our bedroom at nine years old. The fun song has such iconic lines like, “He was a boy, she was a girl. Can I make it any more obvious?” The song comes with a twist: at the end, we learn that the narrator ended up with the “sk8er boi,” and not the song’s subject, who rejected him back in the day.

  • 7. Breakaway

    We all know Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of “Breakaway,” but this song was originally intended for Avril’s debut album. The re-recorded version of the song appears on the Anniversary Edition of Let Go. The song was later given to Clarkson to record and release on the soundtrack for The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Clarkson’s version appeared as the lead single of her 2004 album, also titled Breakaway.

  • 6. Complicated

    “Complicated” was Avril’s debut single off her debut album. Over 20 years later, it remains to be one of her best songs of all time. The song’s theme, about dealing with two-faced people, is timeless, unfortunately.

  • 5. Nobody's Home

    We love that this song was collaboratively written by Lavigne and former Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody, who also plays guitar on the song. Lyrically reflecting on issues of feeling outcast and feeling helpless, “Nobody’s Home” explores themes of depression and loneliness. And that’s something that Avril does so well.

  • 4. I'm With You

    The song about depression and loneliness from being single comes from her debut studio album, Let Go. First starting off slow, the song livens up when Lavigne belts out, “It’s a damn cold night, trying to figure out this life.”

  • 3. My Happy Ending

    From her 2004 album, Under My Skin, Avril set the standard for pop-punk female singers with this banger. We love this music video as well, of the punk princess sitting in a theater with a tutu, watching memories of her relationship.

  • 2. Losing Grip

    Another banger from her debut album, this song’s opening reminds us of Dido’s “Thank You” before it transforms into a full-fledged pop-punk song about a lover who doesn’t care, so why should she? With the video, we love that she is performing on stage, moshing, and crowd surfing.

  • 1. When You're Gone

    Coming from her third album, The Best Damn Thing in 2007, this song is all about saying goodbye to someone you hold dear to you. The piano and acoustic guitar accompaniment to Lavigne’s ballad makes this one of her most powerful songs.

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