"When I was two, my mom said she knew I was going to be a singer. I always knew in my heart that I'd be singing," admits Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne of her long-standing love affair with music. These days the self-taught guitarist, who penned her first ditty at age 12, has left her rebellious rock"n"roll wild child past behind, emerging as an elegant fashionista whose music continues to top charts worldwide.
Born and raised in Napanee, Ontario mother Judy is a homemaker; dad John a phone company technician the budding star, who has a younger sister, Michelle, and older brother, Matthew, made her public debut singing country songs in one of the province's bookstores.
Her big break came at the age of 14 when she won a contest to sing a duet with fellow Canadian country music crooner Shania Twain
. The teaming proved a tremendous hit, and soon after the young teen gave up her high school studies to pursue a career in music.
In 2000 the young talent moved to New York, where - after impressing the label's head honcho with her talent - she signed to Arista Records and was soon hard at work on her debut album Let Go
Boosted by the success of Complicated
, its second hit single, the album went multi-platinum and made Avril a household name in her home country. Five Grammy nods and several honours from the Grammy's Canadian equivalent - the Juno Awards followed.
Debuting in May 2004, her second album Under My Skin
, proved her vocal range and shot to number one around the world, selling more than 380,000 copies in the US in its first week.
Having proved herself on the international music stage, the young chanteuse was soon in demand for other projects. She performed at the closing ceremony of the February 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, and before long had made inroads into the silver screen by voicing a character in the animated flick Over The Hedge
Other acting projects have included a role in the big screen adaptation of the politically charged exposé Fast Food Nation
- in which she shared the screen with Patricia Arquette - and a movie about the Canadian paraplegic activist Rick Hansen.
Having burst into the spotlight wearing a largely black wardrobe and heavy eye make-up, the diminutive chart topper who is known to family and friends as Avie went on to develop a more sophisticated look. And in more recent times she is most likely to be seen in Chanel or Vera Wang.
And it wasn't only her signature neckties that Avril let go of. She also parted company with the troubled romantic past which had inspired the track Losing Grip
on her first album. Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley had entered her life, and in July 2006 she wed the Canadian rocker in a California ceremony she described as "the biggest moment of my life".
However, three years later the couple decided to call it a day. Announcing the news on her website in September 2009, Avril said: "I am grateful for our time together, and I am grateful and blessed for our remaining friendship."