International pop star princess Avril Lavigne (1984-) was born on this day in the small town of Napanee, Ontario, Canada. She taught herself to play the guitar and wrote her first song at age 12.
"I love writing," Lavigne explained. "When I get upset and really need to get it out of me, I go to my guitar. Sometimes I feel like my guitar is my therapist."
In 1998, Lavigne won a radio contest to sing a duet on stage with Shania Twain. “It was the biggest rush of my life,” Lavigne said. “I walked out on stage and I was the happiest person in the world.”
Known for her passionate singing and songwriting, Lavigne was signed by Arista Records in 2000. Her debut album, Let Go (2002), sold over five million copies and featured the smash hits Sk8er Boi and Complicated.
The high-energy, dramatic Under My Skin (2004) followed with more music to celebrate female empowerment. "Girls rock just as much as boys can," said the outspoken star.
"If you really believe in yourself, and believe that this is what you’re supposed to be doing, go full speed and just, like, sing as much as you can and get out there and perform as much as you can and try to be heard," she said, encouraging others to follow their dreams.
Celebrating respect, opportunity, choices, knowledge, and strength, she partnered with Easter Seals and launched The Avril Lavigne Foundation in 2010 to help children and youth living with disabilities and serious illnesses.
Praised for "genuineness," the Canadian rocker said, "It's very important for me to be myself. I don't want to be fake... I'm gonna dress what's me, I'm gonna act what's me, I'm gonna sing what's me."
"I'm basically just a girl who likes to write, who likes to rock out, and who wants music to be a part of my life forever."