Not so long ago, Canadian punk-pop queen Avril Lavigne was a red-carpet regular, but her life in the spotlight hit a red light back in 2016. Having been forced to suspend her stardom due to circumstances beyond her control, the “Complicated” girl disappeared from the public gaze for two years. However, in April 2018 a very special event saw Lavigne step back out in style – and it seemed that the 33-year-old’s punk-rock persona was a thing of the past.
Born in the small city of Belleville in September 1984, and raised in Ontario, Lavigne’s career had started long before her red-carpet days. She released her smash-hit debut album Let Go in 2002 when she was just 17 years old. And the singles from the album, such as “Complicated,” “Sk8er Boi” and “I’m With You,” caught on with the music-loving masses big time.
Nevertheless, there was more to the teenage Lavigne, and she did not just present herself as the average mainstream pop star. Instead, she took on a skate-punk style that struck a chord with the kids and led the Canadian to be called the “Pop-Punk Queen.” But there was a difference to her sound too, and her music pushed open the door for other women with a passion for punk-pop.
Her impact notwithstanding, Lavigne’s career had only just begun, and she had much more punk-inspired pop music to make herself. Her second album, Under My Skin, came out in the spring of 2004 and reached number one on the US Billboard charts.
Over the next nine years, Lavigne unleashed three further albums – The Best Damn Thing, Goodbye Lullaby and Avril Lavigne. The self-titled set came out in November 2013, by which point the singing star was looking for different avenues for her brand. Lavigne branched out from her musical activities to launch a film acting career and took up fashion design and perfume marketing.
In the early years of her success, Lavigne found love twice. In 2006, the star said, “I do” to fellow Canadian Deryck Whibley, singer with rock band Sum 41. Although the couple let go in 2009, Lavigne’s luck in love would soon take a turn for the better. Four years later, she would tie the knot with another Canadian rockstar, Nickelback’s lead singer, Chad Kroeger.
But, having given music-making a back seat, what happened in the next couple of years would force Lavigne to put the brakes on everything. Sadly, Lavigne and Kroeger ended their romantic relationship in 2015, just two years after they had wed. However, although Lavigne reportedly filed papers, the couple’s divorce has never been confirmed as finalized.
However, that was not the only reason why Lavigne started to lay low around this time. The singer later told People magazine how a girls’ trip to Las Vegas in October 2014 had changed her life. She remembered, “I could barely eat, and when we went to the pool, I had to leave and go lie in bed.”
Needless to say, Lavigne’s girlfriends were worried about what was wrong, but the singer had no answers. Apparently, Lavigne had been feeling faint and fatigued prior to her Vegas vacation, but her doctors could not figure it out. However, a little while after she had returned from her trip, the star would have her answer.
Indeed, following tests, Lavigne found out she had contracted Lyme disease – a bacterial infection caused by a tick bite. “I had no idea a bug could do this,” she told People. “I was bedridden for five months. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk and I couldn’t move. I thought I was dying.”
Lavigne also said that she had relied on her mother, Judith-Rosanne Loshaw, and Kroeger to look after her when the star was unable to care for herself. “There were definitely times I couldn’t shower for a full week because I could barely stand,” she recalled.
However, by the time she was interviewed by People magazine in April of 2015, Lavigne claimed that she was “80 percent better.” The star also said that her health scare had given her a new perspective, saying, “This was a wake-up call. I really just want to enjoy life from here on out.”
For a singer, of course, making the most of life meant recording fresh music. On August 31, 2017, Lavigne’s Twitter account brought forward some exciting news for her millions of fans. The star revealed that she was working to perfect her next album, which she hoped would be the best way to cap off “a long recovery.”
And that road to recovery would eventually lead Lavigne to her first public appearance in two years in April 2018. The singer attended a Race to Erase MS charity event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California. MS stands for multiple sclerosis, a degenerative neurological condition with some symptoms similar to Lyme disease.
For her big night back on the town, Lavigne went with an old-school Hollywood glam look. Celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch presented the one-time Punk-Pop Queen in a classic black dress, designed by Galia Lahav, accentuated with soft smokey eyes and a loose, wavy hairstyle.
Standing on the red carpet, Lavigne, a board member for Race to Erase MS, spoke to celebrity website E! News about her own health status. “I haven’t been able to come to one of these events for years,” she said, adding, “I’ve been tucked away and hibernating and healing, and it’s very up and down.
Nevertheless, those limitations did not stop Lavigne from focusing on the fact that her illness had given her a fresh, optimistic take on life. The singer continued, “Everything is brighter when you go through an experience like that.”
And Lavigne acknowledged that she had been blessed before her brush with Lyme disease. “I’ve always been a really grounded and grateful person, but it changes a lot,” she went on. “The simple things in life are what mean the most, really. I’m happy to be here, happy to be supporting.”
She was also happy to tell E! News about her new album, which she revealed would be “a really powerful record.” Lavigne promised, “I’ve been working on this album for three years. I can actually say this time I’m going to be done with this album in two weeks and I will put it out this year.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, her health and wellbeing have loomed large in inspiring her next musical step. “I’ve been writing songs that are really just powerful and true and honest and sincere, and I think people will really be able to relate to it,” Lavigne explained. “I’ve gone through a lot of personal stuff in the past two years, and so I’ve really drawn from that.”