Avril Lavigne is 27 and divorced, but she’ll always be the bratty punkster we know. Her wifebeaters were traded for black tutus; angsty radiofriendly numbers for feminine pop; Deryck Whibley for a happier life. The punk princess now sings about self-empowerment more than breakups. Change is good, and it’s The Best Damn Thing that has happened to her.
There aren’t many singers who outlived the shadow of mainstreamers like Britney, Gaga and Beyoncé. Avril is one. She’s unique, her songs even more individualised. It’s a shame how the industry often overlooks her capability as a songwriter. And people coming out to condemn her for plagiarism isn’t helping her career at all. But, she’s confident. She dreams big and lets her inner teenager take over. ‘Even if your dreams are crazy, songs are about being yourself,’ she reiterates after every album she’s produced.
The massive brouhaha about baring her belly and ‘weakening the younger generation’ during her last concert in KL was in fact, unfounded after all. Go ahead and restrain her from prancing, hugging or kissing onstage. She’ll sing with her heavy glowering and soar above the screeching power-riffs anyway. Plus, it’s not the first time western artistes have drawn the ire of local prudes. All we need for a Happy Ending is Avril, the band, and tracks that will make fans stamp their feet. Kong Wai Yeng