Although her surname is of French origin, she herself does not speak French and her name is pronounced in an anglicized way.
Born in Belleville, Ontario, to Franco-Ontarian Roman Catholic parents John and Judy Lavigne, Avril, at age five, moved with her family to Napanee, Ontario, Canada, where she sang in a church choir and taught herself to play the guitar.
She was discovered by her first professional manager, Cliff Fabri, while singing country covers at a Chapters bookstore in Kingston, Ontario. During a performance with the Lennox Community Theatre, Avril was spotted by local folksinger Steve Medd, who invited her to sing on his song Touch The Sky for his 1999 album Quinte Spirit. She also sang on Temple Of Life and Two Rivers for his followup album, My Window To You, in 2000.
At 16, she was signed by Ken Krongard, the artists-and-repertoire (A&R) representative of Arista Records, who invited his boss, Arista head Antonio "L.A." Reid, to hear her sing in a New York City studio. She then completed work on her first album.
In January 2006, Lavigne signed a contract with Ford Models. She is appearing on the February edition of Harpers Bazaar Fashion Magazine with a new look. Her third album is supposed to be released in November of 2006. Like her previous album, it should include collaborations with Kreviazuk and Maida.
Lavigne's band currently includes Devin Bronson (lead guitar), Craig Wood (rhythm guitar), Charlie Moniz (bass) and Matt Brann (drums). Former members include Evan Taubenfeld (lead guitar, 2002 – 2004), Mark Spicoluk (bass, 2002) and Jesse Colburn (rhythm guitar, 2002 – 2003). In 2003, it was reported that Lavigne was romantically involved with Colburn. Lavigne is engaged to be married to Deryck Whibley of the pop punk band Sum 41, and Mark Spicoluk was a former member of that band.