Published Feb 08, 2019Since releasing "Complicated" and her debut album Let Go in 2002, Avril Lavigne has been a household name in music. After establishing herself as a pop-punk wunderkind with that album's "Sk8er Boi" and mall-grunge aesthetic, the Napanee, Ontario teen spent the next decade and a half growing up in and navigating an industry and media landscape that sought to pigeonhole her. Along the way, Lavigne's released music that reflected her growth and personal life, selling over 40 million albums worldwide; she's now the third-highest selling Canadian female artist of all time.
As she prepares her sixth album, Head Above Water, for release on February 15, we took a look back at her career in our monthly Timeline feature in our March 2019 print issue. Before we release it online, here are five facts from the piece you may not have known about Avril Lavigne.
1. Her first brush with fame was singing with Shania Twain when she was just 15 years old.
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."
2. Avril Lavigne first encountered both of her future husbands on the same night in 2002.
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!"
3. She performed at an MTV Metallica tribute event in 2003, sharing the stage with a similarly incongruous group of artists.
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).
4. Rihanna sampled one of her songs.
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.
5. She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2014.
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. In December Lavigne, still only 30 years old, is diagnosed with Lyme disease.