Avril Ramona Lavigne (; French: [avʁil laviɲ]; born 27 September 1984) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and actress. By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain; by 16, she had signed a two-album recording contract with Arista Records worth more than $2 million. In 2002 she released her debut album, Let Go, emphasising a skate punk persona in which she has been often referred by critics and music publications as the "Pop Punk Queen" due to her achievement and impact in the industry. Lavigne is considered a key musician in the development of pop punk music since she paved the way for female-driven, punk-influenced pop music. Since her professional debut, Lavigne has sold more than 40 million albums and over 50 million singles worldwide, making her the third-best-selling Canadian female artist of all time, behind Celine Dion and Shania Twain.
Let Go made Lavigne the youngest female soloist to have a number 1 album in the UK. As of 2013, it has sold nearly 7 million copies in the United States and over 16 million copies worldwide. Her breakthrough single, "Complicated", peaked at number 1 in many countries around the world, as did the album Let Go. Her second studio album, Under My Skin, was released in May 2004 and was her first album to peak at number 1 on the US Billboard 200, eventually selling more than 10 million copies worldwide.
The Best Damn Thing, Lavigne's third album, was released in April 2007, becoming her third number 1 album in the UK Albums Chart and featuring her first US Billboard Hot 100 number 1 single, "Girlfriend". Lavigne has scored six number-one singles worldwide: "Complicated", "Sk8er Boi", "I'm with You", "My Happy Ending", "Nobody's Home", and "Girlfriend". Lavigne is one of the top-selling artists releasing albums in the US, with over 12 million copies certified by the RIAA. Her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby, was released in March 2011. Goodbye Lullaby gave Lavigne her fourth top 10 album on the US Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart and her third number 1 album in both Japan and Australia. Three months after the release of Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne began work on her eponymously titled fifth studio album, which was released by Epic Records on 1 November 2013 following her departure from RCA Records in 2011.
Lavigne took a break from recording music, pursuing careers in feature film acting and designing clothes and perfumes. She voiced Heather, a Virginia opossum, in the animated film Over the Hedge in 2006. That same year, she made her on-screen feature film debut in Fast Food Nation. In 2008, Lavigne introduced her clothing line, Abbey Dawn, and in 2009 she released her first perfume, Black Star, which was followed by Forbidden Rose in 2010, and Wild Rose in 2011. In July 2006, Lavigne married her boyfriend of two years, Deryck Whibley, lead singer and guitarist for Sum 41. The marriage lasted four years. In October 2009, Lavigne filed for divorce. Whibley and Lavigne continued to work together, with Whibley producing her fourth album, as well as Lavigne's single "Alice", written for Tim Burton's film Alice in Wonderland.