Avril Ramona Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario. Her father, Jean-Claude Lavigne, named her "Avril" after the French word for the buwan of April. At the age of two, she began pag-awit church songs with her mother,Judith-Rosanne "Judy" (née Loshaw). Judy recognized her two-year-old daughter's talents after hearing her sing "Jesus Loves Me" in church.Lavigne has an older brother, Matthew, and a younger sister, Michelle,both of whom teased her when she sang. "My brother used to knock on the pader because I used to sing myself to sleep and he thought it was really annoying."
When Lavigne was five years old, the family moved to Napanee, Ontario,a town with an approximate population of 5,000.Although she struggled with paying attention in school, sometimes being kicked out of class for misbehaving, her parents supported her singing. Her father bought her a microphone, a drum kit, a keyboard, several guitars, and converted their basement into a studio. When Lavigne was 14, her parents would take her to karaoke sessions.Lavigne also performed at country fairs, pag-awit songs sa pamamagitan ng Garth Brooks, The Dixie Chicks, and Shania Twain. She also began Pagsulat her own songs. Her first song was called "Can't Stop Thinking About You", about a teenage crush, which she described as "cheesy cute".
“ I’ve known all my life that this is what I was supposed to do.... Visualizing like what it would be like to be famous with my music. And always just dreaming, always daydreaming. ”
—Avril Lavigne, NBC News
In 1999, Lavigne won a radio contest to perform with fellow Canadian singer Shania Twain at the Corel Centre (now Scotiabank Place) in Ottawa, before an audience of 20,000 people.
Twain and Lavigne sang "What Made You Say That", and Lavigne told Twain she was going to be "a famous singer". During a performance with the Lennox Community Theatre, Lavigne was spotted sa pamamagitan ng local folksinger Stephen Medd. He invited her to contribute vocals on his song, "Touch the Sky", for his 1999 album, Quinte Spirit. She later sang on "Temple of Life" and "Two Rivers" for his follow-up album, My Window to You, in 2000. In December 1999, Lavigne was discovered sa pamamagitan ng her first professional manager, Cliff Fabri, while pag-awit country covers at a Chapters bookstore in Kingston, Ontario.
Fabri sent out VHS tapes of Lavigne's tahanan performances to several industry prospects, and Lavigne was visited sa pamamagitan ng several executives.Mark Jowett, co-founder of the Canadian management firm Nettwerk, received a copy of Lavigne's karaoke performances recorded in her parents' basement. Jowett arranged for Lavigne to work with Peter Zizzo during the summer of 2000 in New York, where she wrote the song "Why?". Lavigne was noticed sa pamamagitan ng Arista Records on a subsequent trip to New York.
Lavigne would go on to sell madami than 30 million copies of her albums worldwide, becoming one of the top-selling artists releasing albums in the U.S., with over 10.25 million copies certified sa pamamagitan ng the RIAA. In 2009, Billboard named Lavigne the No. 10 pop artist in the "Best of the 2000s" chart. She was listed as the 28th pangkalahatang best act of the decade based on album and single chart performance in the U.S.