Avril Lavigne Knows Platinum
Avril Lavigne knows platinum. Or should we say, platinum knows Avril Lavigne?
The Canadian pop superstar emerged on the international stage a little more than 10 years ago with the release of her 6x-platinum album “Let Go.” The follow-up album, “Under My Skin,” released in 2004 was 3x-platinum, and “The Best Damn Thing,” released three years later, also went platinum.
In record industry talk, platinum designation recognizes 1 million album sales, or 2 million singles. In straight talk, Lavigne has sold more than 35 million albums and 20 million tracks worldwide. Over a decade-long music career, she’s earned eight Grammy nominations and circled the globe on concert tours. The current tour brings her to The Paramount on Wednesday, Dec. 11.
Lavigne was 17 when she emerged on the music scene. In an era when provocative pop starlets were dominating the industry, Lavigne, a self-taught musician who plays guitar, piano and drums, stuck to her pop-punk roots and stayed true to her art. The listening public loved it, pushing smash singles “Complicated” and “Sk8r Boi” from her debut album onto the charts. Her second album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200, fueled by hit singles “Don’t Tell Me” and “My Happy Ending.” But 2007’s No.1 single “Girlfriend” would be Lavigne’s biggest record yet.
Commercial success has given this talented singer-songwriter room to explore. She launched an apparel company, Abbey Dawn; collaborated with several musicians, including Kelly Clarkson with whom she co-wrote “Break-Away;” and made appearances in a few films. But her roots are music, and her fifth album, “Avril Lavigne,” has her working with new collaborators (Chad Kroeger and David Hodges, with whom she wrote eight songs; Martin Johnson, J Kash, Matt Squire, and others) and experimenting with new sounds, from the poppish (“Here’s To Never Growing Up,” “Bitchin’ Summer,” “17”) to all-out rock (“Rock N Roll,” “Bad Girl,” featuring Marilyn Manson). Also on the album is “Let Me Go,” a duet with Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, whom she married last year.
The pair was introduced by Lavigne’s manager, who thought they’d be a good writing team.
“I thought working with Chad was a good idea because I thought it’d be a cool experience to write with another performer,” Lavigne said. “He knows what it’s like to have to sell a song in front of a big crowd. He’s a guitar guy. He’s a rock star. He goes through what I go through. We’re both Canadian. To put two people in a room who have the exact same life made sense. We met for the first time in the studio. We bonded over music. In the studio it was Chad, myself, and Dave Hodges. We called ourselves The Tripod. That’s really how this record began. I had just finished a world tour and my job was to go to the studio every day with these guys. We’d wear top hats and smoke cigarettes and order pizza and lay on the floor and write a song every day, just laughing our asses off. I thought Chad was the funniest person ever. It just grew from there.”
With a new husband, a new album, and another world tour approaching in 2014, Lavigne attributes her success to staying true to who she is. What would she say to her 17-year-old self just getting started in the music business? “I would say just be yourself. Do what you want to do and don’t let anyone change you. Know who you are as an artist and where you want to go stylistically and stick to your guns. Fight for who you are.”
Lavigne appears at The Paramount Wed., Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45-$75 at the box office, or go to paramountny.com.