The Complicated Life and Times of Avril Lavigne
Published Feb 27, 2019Imagine having the collective opinion of your life based on your 17-year-old self. That's the uphill battle Avril Lavigne faces everyday: a public image forged at the dawn of the new century when the Southern Ontario native should have been finishing high school. So it's a testament to her tenacious, take-no-shit attitude that the now-34-year-old singer has not only survived, by flourished (whither contemporaries Michelle Branch and Ashlee Simpson), maturing from the pop punk princess into an adult pop artist and prolific songwriter.
Navigating the public's fickle tastes and a male-dominated music industry for two decades, Lavigne has never been one to ask for permission, and rarely apologizes after the fact. She's sold over 40 million albums and 50 million singles worldwide, making her the one of the highest selling female artists of all time.
Though never a critical darling, Lavigne now finds herself regarded as one of pop's elder statesmen, an inspiration to an array of young, female artists from social media pop phenom Billie Eilish to indie rockers Soccer Mommy and Alex Lahey. "I remember thinking she was the penultimate [alternative] chick," Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan tells Billboard in 2018. "I just wanted to be her so badly." As Lavigne readies her first album in five years, Head Above Water, we take a look back at career.
1984 to 1998
Avril Ramona Lavigne is born on September 27, 1984 in Belleville, ON, the middle child of John Lavigne, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and Judith-Rosanne Lavigne. She has an older brother, Matthew, and younger sister, Melissa, and all are raised as devout Christians. When Avril is five, the family moves to nearby Napanee, ON, three hours east of Toronto. An amateur musician who plays bass in a church band in Kingston, her father nurtures his daughter's musical ambitions, converting the family's basement into a studio. As a young teen, Lavigne sings karaoke with her family and performs covers at country fairs and other community events. She also begins writing her own material.
1999 to 2001
After winning a country radio singing contest, she performs with Shania Twain, then at the height of her fame, at the Corel Centre in Ottawa. They duet on Twain's "What Made You Say That" and the budding artist reportedly tells the country star that she wants to be "a famous singer." Lavigne continues performing whenever and wherever she can around Southern Ontario. While playing at the Lennox Community Theatre in Selby, ON, Lavigne is spotted by local folk musician Stephen Medd, who also spearheads a local music and arts festival. He asks Lavigne to contribute to an associated compilation. The Quinte Spirit is credited to Medd, but features Lavigne's first professional recordings. Her dad also contributes to the comp. It's followed by My Window to You: A Tribute to E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) in 2000. Both are part of the larger Quinte Spirit Cultural Project, which celebrates the "music, art, heritage and nature" of the region.
Cliff Fabri sees Lavigne perform at a Chapters book store in Kingston and becomes her first manager. "My whole model for her was Alanis Morissette," he says, noting the singer's awkward teen-pop years. "I didn't want Avril to go through that teen mess of not knowing who you are." He distributes a VHS of her singing karaoke in her parents' basement to industry execs and the tape catches the ear of Nettwerk's Mark Jowett, who hooks her up with producer Peter Zizzo in New York. Two of the songs they work on together — "Nobody's Fool" and "Why" — will later appear on Lavigne's debut. The demos attract the attention of Arista Records, whose president, Antonio "L.A." Reid, signs Lavigne on the spot. Her two-record deal is reportedly worth $1.25 million, with a $900,000 publishing advance. She is 16 years old.
Lavigne drops out of school and relocates to New York to focus on her career, but struggles to find a sound of her own. Sessions with seasoned veterans produce a host of the new country tunes on which she cut her teeth, but fail to reflect her rapidly developing tastes, particularly in hard rock and punk, staples of the skater clique she'd fallen into back in Ontario. She relocates to Los Angeles and hooks up with producer and songwriter Cliff Magness, who gives her more creative freedom. He ends up co-writing five songs that end up on her debut, including "Losing Grip."
In May, she's paired with the songwriting team of Lauren Christy, Graham Edwards and Scott Spock who collectively work under the name the Matrix, at the time best known for working on Christina Aguilera's Christmas record. "This kid had melted toothbrushes up her arm, her hair was in braids and she wore black skater boots," recalls Christy of their first meeting with the singer. "She didn't seem like the Faith Hill type. And after talking to her for about an hour, we cottoned on that she wasn't happy, but couldn't quite figure out where to go."
After Lavigne plays the trio a System of a Down-esque track that she's written, they tell her to come back the next day and quickly write two songs, one of which is called "Complicated." Reid and Arista A&R man Josh Sarubin are floored and ask the trio to knock out a further ten tracks with the singer.
Lavigne finishes recording her debut in January. First single "Complicated" is released in May. Let Go is released in June and is an instant smash. About half the songs are credited or co-credited to the Matrix, with the other half culled from Lavigne's work with Magness. Both boast a crunchy pop rock sound that better reflects Lavigne's personal tastes and personality. Originally titled Anything But Ordinary, Lavigne requests that its title be changed to Let Go after a demo she'd written (the song appears on a promo disc released before her debut, simply titled B-Sides). Unlike the mid-tempo song it accompanies, the video for "Complicated" features Lavigne and her bandmates "crashing" the mall, causing general anarchy for shoppers and mall cops, intercut with performance shots filmed at a skate park. Viewers' first introduction to the singer cements her as a teen fashion icon; in the clip she can be seen wearing Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, a white tank-top and black tie with a matching arm warmer.
Her tomboy-ish style makes her the perfect foil for the hyper-sexual teen pop that dominates airwaves In a November profile, Entertainment Weekly's Chris Willman writes "Pop tarts are assumed to be toast, especially now that tie-wearing tomboy Lavigne has been dubbed 'the anti-Britney' by her legions of new supporters." "I don't like that term — 'the anti-Britney.' It's stupid," says Lavigne. "I don't believe in that. She's a human being. God, leave her alone!"
In a 2018 retrospective review, Pitchfork calls Let Go record "a rebuttal of Spears-Aguilerian pop — overtly sexual, vaguely urban, hyper-processed — churned out by the exact same kind of hit factory," while stating that it "boasts a handful of genre-changing smashes and mood swings that'd put a high school sophomore to shame."
Speaking with The Guardian in 2019 about the media-manufactured feud between herself and Spears, Lavigne says "I was super-powerful and they needed gossip to talk about." On the other side of the aisle, many critics take issue with the pop punk label being applied to Lavigne, who's viewed as the creation of her label. "There are no guys in suits that can manufacture artists like Avril Lavigne. I wish there were," Reid tells Rolling Stone. Lavigne calls the label "stupid" in the same piece.
In June, Lavigne cameos in the video for Treble Charger's "Hundred Million" along with members of Gob, Sum 41 and Swollen Members, all of whom are at their commercial peak. In 2011, she'll recall meeting Sum 41 singer Deryck Whibley at a bar while still underage. "I made out with him the first day I met him. He gave me my first shot of Jäger," she tells Rolling Stone. "As I was getting carried out of the bar, I saw Chad from Nickelback!"
Let Go hits #2 in the U.S. and #1 in Canada, Australia and the UK, where the now-17-year old Lavigne is the first solo female artist to have a #1 album. It becomes the top-selling debut of the year and the best-selling album by a female artist, with four million in sales. The record is certified diamond in Canada in 2003 (one million) and goes on to sell over 16 million copies worldwide. "Complicated" similarly tops many international charts, making the 2002 year-end Top 10 in six countries, while coming in at #11 in the U.S. It's later ranked #83 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the entire decade. "Sk8er Boi" and "I'm With You" also make the Top 10 in many countries and Lavigne starts racking up awards: she's nominated for eight Grammys, wins four Junos and the MTV Award for Best New Artist.
In September, the song "Falling Down," the other song written during that first session with the Matrix, appears on the Sweet Home Alabama soundtrack. In November, Lavigne appears on Sabrina The Teenage Witch, performing "Sk8er Boi." In December. Lavigne embarks on her first tour, dubbed Try and Shut Me Up. Her band includes Closet Monster guitarist Jesse Colburn, former Grade bass player Charles Moniz, drummer Matt Brann (who shares management with Lavigne) and guitarist Evan Taubenfeld, who knows Sarubin through his old band.
Hoping to brush up her punk and hard rock bona fides, her bandmates begin schooling her on everything from AC/DC and the Clash to Nirvana, the Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins. The tour takes her across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia and includes a stop at the Corel Centre in Ottawa, this time with Lavigne headlining. Our Lady Peace open shows in Europe while Gob, Simple Plan and Swollen Members all open various dates in North America. During the tour, she and Colburn become romantically involved.
In January, she is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Stock car racer Jeff Gordon hosts. At a press conference revealing the year's Grammy nominations she mispronounces David Bowie's last name (using the English pronunciation that rhymes with "Howie" rather than the Americanized one that sounds like "doughy"). She receives both praise and derision, split along age lines. In March she graces the cover of Rolling Stone under the subhead "The Britney Slayer."
In May, she performs a cover of "Fuel" at MTV's Icon tribute to Metallica alongside similarly incongruous artists like Sum 41 and Snoop Dogg as well as hard rockers Korn, Limp Bizkit and Staind. "It's pretty interesting to see my lyrics sung by a female," remarks Metallica frontman James Hetfield (drummer Lars Ulrich is seen air drumming along during the performance). Backstage she meets Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. "He took a private jet out to one of my shows, expecting me to bang him," she later tells Rolling Stone. "He was disappointed that I wouldn't even go near him [laughs]. He was a little pissed that I went to my room alone that night."
Her cover of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" appears on the War Child benefit compilation Peace Songs.
The Try and Shut Me Up tour ends in May, with the final date in Buffalo filmed and released as a live album/DVD. The set list features two covers: Green Day's "Basket Case" and Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door."
Lavigne meets fellow Canadian singer and songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk after a SARS benefit concert and the two strike up a friendship. Lavigne and Colburn split in the fall, but he remains part of her band.
Despite their success together, Lavigne ditches the Matrix for her followup to Let Go after a dispute over songwriting credit. "We conceived the ideas on guitar and piano," Christy tells Rolling Stone. "Avril would come in and sing a few melodies, change a word here or there."
"I am a writer, and I won't accept people trying to take that away from me, and anyone who does is ignorant and doesn't know what they're talking about," she tells the Associated Press.
Second album, Under My Skin, in released in May. Most of its songs are co-written with Kreviazuk and her husband, Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida. Lavigne, Kreviazuk and Maida write together in Toronto for three weeks before decamping for the couple's recording studio in Malibu, where much of the record is recorded. It features a more consistent post-grunge sound than its predecessor, while ditching the pop punk influences. Butch Walker and Don Gilmore also contribute production, while Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody and Lavigne's own touring guitarist Evan Taubenfeld also write with Lavigne.
The album's first two singles, "Don't Tell Me" and "My Happy Ending" chart well in a number of countries, but subsequent singles fail to make a major impact. Still, the record goes five times platinum in Canada and three times platinum in the U.S.
Allmusic.com's Stephen Thomas Erlewine notes that "Lavigne hasn't only shed her trademark ties for thrift-shop skirts, she's essentially ditched the sound of Let Go too, bringing herself closer to the mature aspirations of fellow young singer/songwriter Michelle Branch."
MuchMusic hosts an hour long Intimate and Interactive performance and interview with Lavigne shortly after its release and she makes a second appearance on Saturday Night Live. She also embarks on the "Live By Surprise" acoustic tour with Taubenfeld, hitting up malls across the U.S. and Canada. A proper stadium trek, the Bonez Tour, follows in the fall. Lavigne begins chipping away at her anti-Britney image, appearing at the Fashion Rocks charity event singing "Iris" with Goo Goo Dolls' Johnny Rzeznik in September. In October she appears on the cover of Maxim who calls her "rock's sexiest bad girl."
Lavigne appears in Going the Distance, a Canadian road trip comedy, playing herself. She performs "Losing Grip." George Stroumboulopoulos also makes a cameo and Gob and Swollen Members appear in the film as performing artists.
In April, Colburn leaves Lavigne's band and is replaced by Gob bass player Craig Wood.
"Breakaway," a song co-written by Lavigne and originally pegged for Let Go, appears on The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement soundtrack. Now sung by Kelly Clarkson, it later appears on Clarkson's Breakaway album, and is later released as a single. She also records the theme song to The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie with Butch Walker. She begins dating Sum 41's Whibley, and gets the letter "D" encircled by a pink heart tattooed on her right wrist.
Lavigne wins Artist of the Year at the 2005 Junos. Whibley proposes in June and Lavigne accepts. A bizarre conspiracy theory, that Lavigne has died and been replaced by a clone or doppelganger name Melissa, surfaces on a Brazilian fan page.
The 2006 Winter Olympics are held in Turin, Italy. As part of the handoff to Vancouver, who will host in 2010, Lavigne performs her song "Who Knows" at the closing ceremonies. In May, she lends her voice to the animated feature film Over the Hedge, based on a long-running comic strip. She plays the opossum Heather, whose father, voiced by fellow Canadian William Shatner, is a constant embarrassment. She is notably absent from the soundtrack, whose non-score contributions are handled by Ben Folds.
Lavigne and Whibley marry on July 15 in Montecito, California.
She appears in Richard Linklater's adaptation of Fast Food Nation in November.
"Keep Holding On" is included in the fantasy film Eragon in December.
The Best Damn Thing is released in April and hits #1 on the Billboard 200. It sells two million copies in the States and goes platinum in Canada. As of 2018, it has sold nine million copies worldwide. Producer Dr. Luke is credited as a producer on half of its tracks with Butch Walker, Whibley and Green Day producer Rob Cavallo also receiving credits. Blink-182's Travis Barker, Sum 41's Steve Jocz, and the Vandals' Josh Freese all contribute drums. It features a brighter, more pop-friendly sound than its predecessor, and sees Lavigne ditch her gothy post-grunge look for a mix of bleach blonde hair and hot-pink highlights. It's also Lavigne's first record to include a parental advisory sticker on the album's "explicit" version.
Allmusic.com calls the album "exuberant, irreverent, and exciting as any other bubblegum pop, defiantly silly and shallow, but also deliriously hooky." First single "Girlfriend," co-written with Dr. Luke, becomes a smash, selling over seven million copies worldwide, making it one of the biggest selling singles of 2007. It later clocks in at #94 on the Billboard Hot 100's top songs of the decade. The track's sound — a mix of foot stomps, handclaps and cheerleader chants paired with a big pop punk chorus — is more in line with the sound of her debut. The "Dr. Luke mix" of the track adds motor-mouthed MC Lil Mama, then riding high off her track "Lip Gloss," to the song.
In May, '70s power-pop band the Rubinoos sue Lavigne and Dr. Luke claiming that "Girlfriend" infringes on their song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend." The case is settled in 2008. The following month, Kreviazuk also accuses Lavigne of dubious songwriting credits. "Avril doesn't really sit and write songs by herself or anything," Kreviazuk tells Performing Songwriter, claiming that she sent Lavigne a version of the song "Contagious" two years prior to it appearing on The Best Damn Thing, without giving Kreviazuk credit. "Avril will also cross the ethical line, and no one says anything. That's why I'll never work with her again." Kreviazuk retracts her statement in July. Notably, both artists are managed by Nettwerk's Terry McBride.
Lavigne continues to make inroads in Hollywood, appearing in Andrew Lau's (Infernal Affairs) English language debut, The Flock with Claire Danes and Richard Gere. She also continues to support a number of charitable causes, covering John Lennon's "Imagine" for the Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur compilation.
In December, Lavigne makes Forbes list of "Top 20 Earners Under 25."
Lavigne embarks on the "Best Damn World Tour" in March, hitting countries across North America, Europe and Asia. The April stop at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto is released as a live DVD in September. Canadian artists the Midway State, illScarlett and Silverstein are among the tour's openers, while Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers open a number of dates in the U.S.
The government of Malaysia attempts to ban her August gig in Kuala Lampur, claiming Lavigne's stage moves are "too sexy," but the show ultimately goes on.
She launches her debut clothing line Abbey Dawn with U.S. retailer Kohls in July. Taking its name from a childhood nickname, it's described as a "junior lifestyle brand" that mimics the colour palettes and images associated with the Best Damn Thing.
She begins recording her fourth album in her home studio in November.
She announces her own perfume, Black Star, in March. In October, Lavigne files for divorce from Whibley. "I am grateful for our time together, and I am grateful and blessed for our remaining friendship," she writes in a statement. Their split is heavily covered in tabloids and even becomes a joke in the second season episode of Parks & Recreation, "Tom's Divorce."
In January, Lavigne incorporates designs inspired by the new live-action Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland into her Abbey Dawn line. Her song "Alice" plays over the film's closing credits and is included on the companion compilation Almost Alice.
Lavigne performs at the 2010 Olympics Closing ceremony in Vancouver.
She begins dating reality star Brody Jenner, son of Olympian Caitlyn Jenner.
Along with a host of Canadian artists, including Nelly Furtado, Drake and Tom Cochrane, Lavigne sings on K'naan's charity single "Wavin' Flag," whose proceeds go to victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The same year, she launches her own charity, the Avril Lavigne Foundation, aimed at young people with serious illnesses and disabilities.
A second perfume, Forbidden Rose, arrives in the summer.
Rihanna samples "I'm With You" on her song "Cheers (I'll Drink to That)" from her album Loud. Lavigne makes a cameo in the video when the track is released as a single the following year. She also co-writes the song "Dancing Crazy" with Max Martin and Shellback, which is recorded by Miranda Cosgrove and released in December.
After a two-and-a-half year wait, Goodbye Lullaby arrives in March. Opening track "Black Star" was originally written to promote Lavigne's perfume of the same name. It's billed as her divorce album, even though a number of the songs are produced by Whibley. Many are written on piano, not guitar. After finishing two-thirds of the record at home, she later flies to Sweden to work with Martin and Shellback, who co-write and produce the record's first single "What the Hell," which follows more in the mould of the Best Damn Thing. However, the rest of the album features a more mature adult-contemporary sound.
"You make those songs 'cos you have to, but then the stuff that's the best on record is the album tracks," she'll tell The Guardian in 2019, noting that it was the first time she'd compromised her artistic vision on record. Goodbye Lullaby debuts at #4 on the Billboard 200 and #2 in Canada, her lowest peak placements in both countries. It goes on to sell two million copies worldwide. It receives mixed reviews, garnering a score of 58 on Metacritic. Writing for The Globe and Mail, Rupert Everett-Green calls it "disposable, industrial pop, short on invention and buffed to a high gloss." Lavigne heads out on the "Black Star Tour" in April.
Using France's jus sanguinis citizenship laws (both her parents are French citizens), Lavigne obtains a French passport. She sells her home in Bel-Air and moves to Paris. Wild Rose, yet another fragrance, debuts in August. She moves from Arista to Epic Records, now headed by Reid, who originally signed the singer. In November, she begins work on her next album, promising it will be more "fun" than the "mellow" Goodbye Lullaby.
Lavigne splits from Jenner in January. She begins co-writing with Chad Kroeger, frontman of oft-maligned Canadian rock band Nickelback, in March. They begin dating in July, and are engaged by August. An avid anime fan, Lavigne contributes covers of Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" and Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" to the anime film One Piece Film: Z, which is released in December.
Lavigne and Kroeger marry on Canada Day in the south of France and honeymoon in Italy. Although she announced a followup to Goodbye Lullaby months after its release, recording drags into the summer and Avril Lavigne isn't released until November. Kroeger and Evanescence's David Hodges co-write much of the record. "Let Me Go" features a duet with Kroeger, while "Bad Girl" features guest vocals from Marilyn Manson. The record is preceded by "Here's to Never Growing Up" a nostalgic rallying cry that splits the difference between the pop punk of The Best Damn Thing and the more adult contemporary Goodbye Lullaby. The song includes a shout-out to Radiohead in its chorus while the video includes a reference to her Let Go persona, with Lavigne riding a skateboard while wearing a black tie.
Though she's no longer the cultural lightning rod that she once was, the record still goes gold in the U.S. and posts strong sales and chart placements around the globe. She performs on a number of TV shows to promote the record including Dancing With the Stars and The Voice UK. It receives mixed reviews, but gets better notices than Lavigne's previous album. It currently holds a Metacritic score of 65. "Hello Kitty" is released as a single in Japan only. The J-pop and EDM-inspired track is widely panned, while its accompanying music video is criticized for its depiction of Japanese culture.
Lavigne finds the tour schedule behind Avril Lavigne gruelling and is constantly fatigued, though doctors can't pinpoint the problem. At first she's diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and anxiety. Finally in December, Lavigne, still only 30 years old, is diagnosed with Lyme disease.
In April, she goes public with her diagnosis, and begins treating the disease with a mix of "antibiotics and herbs." The same month she releases "Fly," a leftover from the Avril Lavigne sessions. It's released digitally through her charity in support of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. She performs the song at the Games' opening ceremonies in July.
In August, Lavigne joins Taylor Swift onstage at the San Diego stop of Swift's 1989 world tour and they duet on "Complicated." Swift had previously liked a Tumblr post that unfavourably compared her own meet-and-greets to Lavigne's dislike of hugging fans and the gesture is seen as the two singers burying the hatchet. Lavigne announces her separation from Kroeger on Instagram in September.
In December, she stands up for her ex-husband Kroeger's band after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says that "there are no good Nickelback songs." In a Twitter post, she takes the tech billionaire to task: "When you have a voice like yours, you may want to consider being more responsible with promoting bullying." The clone conspiracy resurfaces on Twitter.
After two years of treatment, during which she spent many days in bed, unsure if she'd live through the ordeal, Lavigne begins recording for a new album. At first she writes on an acoustic guitar in her bed, then, after she regains some strength, on piano. In January, she appears on the song "Listen" by Japanese rock band One OK Rock. In March, she signs a new deal with BMG Records, with plans to release an album within the calendar year. Her deal with BMG casts her more as a legacy artist, with the burdens of pop chart domination put on the backburner. In September, she lends her vocals to a track on electronic production duo Grey's Chameleon EP.
2018 to 2019
In February, Lavigne attends the Women In Harmony dinner, "a celebration and conversation amongst the strongest female writers, producers and artists in the music business" organized by Bebe Rexha. The more than three dozen attendees include Charli XCX, Canadian producer WondaGurl, Kim Petras, JoJo, Daya and many more. "It's just encouraging to be around other women in music in general and songwriters," she tells Billboard.
In the spring, Lavigne voices Snow White in the animated film Charming, which also features Demi Lovato and Sia, though the film remains available only in Europe and Africa. The soundtrack includes a new song, "Trophy Boy," sung with co-stars Lovato and Ashley Tisdale.
In September, Lavigne releases "Head Above Water," her first new music in over three years and the first music she made after her diagnosis. "I was fresh off not singing for two years," she explains in her official bio. "I thought my voice would be weak, it ended up being stronger than ever. The break happened to actually be good for my vocal cords."
It's the title track from her sixth album, which is released in February, more than five years since her last album. The record features a number of different collaborators, including Ryan Cabrera, Bonnie McKee and We the Kings' Travis Clark. Notably, the song "It Was In Me" is co-written with Lauren Christy, formerly one-third of the Matrix.
Bringing her career full circle, in September 2018, Shania Twain, who also suffers from Lyme disease, praises the singer. "I'm inspired," she says on the Country Music Association Awards red carpet. "She's going out there and carrying on, and not letting it get in her way."
"I'm highly intuitive and I've always got a very strong gut feeling," Lavigne tells The Guardian in January. I've always felt that I've known what's best for me to do and I've had to fight different people on this journey."
Essential Avril Lavigne
Let Go (2002)
Uneven and unfocused, its faults are overshadowed by Lavigne's bratty insouciance and crafty production from the Matrix. Fittingly, it made stars out of both, ended one-version of manufactured teen pop's commercial reign, ushered in an era of female singer-songwriter influenced pop and influenced a new generation of young artists, from Demi Lovato to Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan.
Under My Skin (2004)
Lavigne's most consistent and personal record, Under My Skin benefits from the small circle of contributors and short creative process. Its post-grunge sound has aged rather poorly, but the combination of pop hooks and frank emotional pathos on songs like "Happy Ending" remain undeniable.
The Best Damn Thing (2007)
"Sk8er Boi" bought Lavigne the pop-punk crown, but this is the album that cemented her reign. Probably the genre's cultural peak in terms of mainstream cultural cache, Lavigne doubles down on everything fans loved about her in the first place: it's fun and catchy with just enough bratty edge to seem convincing without spooking parents.