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Definitely Not Sid and Nancy: The Decidedly Non-Punk Celebrity Marriage of Avril Lavigne and Deryck Whibley

At the turn of the twentieth century, nobody was quiet sure what the next decade would be defined by.  Although squeaky clean pop artists (at the time) such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, *N-Sync, and The Backstreet Boys were dominating the music charts, everybody was predicting that this was a brief phase that would quickly end.  Kids were becoming more media savvy and were taking advantage of a cultural climate that valued youth.  Indeed, the 2000s would see the emergence of many teenage and young adult stars in both the music and movie world.  However, unlike the squeaky clean images of these late 1990s pop stars, these rising stars would flaunt their flaws and their less than perfect images to the delight of their audiences.

One of the most popular music trends in recent years has been pop-punk and there has been one music star that has expertly treaded the line behind punkish legitimacy and pop stardom.  Although she would be able to sidestep accusations of not being real by declaring that “I’m not punk,” Avril Lavigne rose to stardom on a brash image that was heavily inspired by mall punk.  With her hit songs like “Complicated” and “My Happy Ending” that championed the importance of female independence and other hit songs like, “Sk8er Boi” that extolled her approval for skater boys, Lavigne was a huge hit among teens and their parents.  Her success has allowed Lavigne to spread into different fields including movies such as the recent film, “Fast Food Nation.”

With her tomboyish image and her penchant for saying what is on her mind, much of Avril Lavigne’s appeal lies in the fact that she is a seemingly polar opposite of vapid celebrity contemporaries like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears.  Praised for her depth and her artistry, Avril Lavigne was able to capitalize on the success of a rising musical genre known as pop punk.

Although bands such as Green Day and Rancid would break the ground for a punk revival in the 1990s, pop punk would explode in the early parts of the twenty first century.  Bands like blink 182 and Good Charlotte quickly became popular for their juvenile lyrics and their snotty attitudes.  While many punk rock enthusiasts derided these bands as being fake to core punk values, the kids couldn’t get enough.  Pop punk bands like the Canadian quartet, Sum 41, would dominate the music charts and would greatly influence youth culture.

Considering that both Lavigne and Whibley were both Canadians and ran in the same social circles it wouldn’t be surprising that they would begin to date.  Their celebrity marriage on July 15, 2006 in the Californian coastal city of Montecito would accelerate the couple’s status as pop punk royalty.  This young celebrity couple is among the more famous celebrity marriages of their time.  To examine this hot new couple, we will first look at the lives these two lived before marrying.

Celebrities come from the most unlikely places.  If Las Vegas were to place odds that one of the most enduring musical artists of our time would come from the quiet Northern Ontario town of Napanee, these odds wouldn’t have been great.  However, on September 27, 1984, the French couple of John and Judy Lavigne would give birth to Avril Ramona Lavigne.  As a young girl, Avril Lavigne’s musical prowess would be spotted at an early age.  By the time she was two, Avril would feverishly sing along with her mother on church songs.

With this music talent in hand, Avril Lavigne would pursue a music career at an early age.  A major fan of country singer Shania Twain, Lavigne would win a competition in 1998 that awarded her the opportunity to sing with Twain at a couple of stops on Shania Twain’s Canadian concert tour.  She would be spotted by her first manager, Cliff Fabri, while she performed a set of country covers at a local Chapters bookstore in nearby Kingston and would collaborate with Canadian folk singer, Steve Medd, on a couple of songs on two of his albums.

When she was sixteen, Lavigne would catch the eye of major label Arista Records.  She would move to New York City to work on her debut album, which would be released on June 4, 2002.  The album, “Let Go,” was an immediate success and would reach number two on the American charts while topping the album charts in Australia, Canada, and England.  The album would quickly go platinum within a month and would eventually sell over 13 million copies worldwide.

Although Lavigne would rule the music charts, her success cannot be simply qualified by the number of records she sold.  Her debut music video, “Complicated” was a big success and introduced Lavigne’s unique look.  In the video, Avril Lavigne appeared with a simple white T-shirt and a necktie that she borrowed from her father.  This look would be copied by Lavigne’s fans and would become a mainstream look much to the horror of Avril Lavigne.  Feeling like her personal style was overshadowing her musical talents, Avril Lavigne would soon change her style in a number of ways.

As the media focused on Avril Lavigne’s style, the public were snatching up her albums.  Let Go produced a number of hits and Lavigne was able to sidestep the sophomore jinx with the release of her 2004 album, Under My Skin.  Her sophomore disc would top the charts in America, England, Canada, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Australia, Spain, Thailand, Ireland, Korea, and Hong Kong.  With such an overwhelming presence throughout the world, Lavigne would lend her vocal talents to the animated film, Over the Hedge, and would make appearances in the movies, “The Flock” and “Fast Food Nation.”

Despite her attempts to move into different artistic fields, Avril Lavigne’s music career is still red hot.  She is putting the finishing touches to her third album, “The Best Damn Thing,” which is one of the most anticipated albums of 2007.  This album promises to show a more mature Lavigne and will undoubtedly feature a number of love songs that may provide clues into the relationship between Avril Lavigne and Deryck Whibley

If the musical success of Avril Lavigne could hardly have been predicted, the same goes for the success of Lavigne’s husband, Sum 41 frontman, Deryck Whibley.  Born on March 21, 1980 in the Toronto suburb, Scarborough, Whibley grew up in the quiet city of Ajax, Ontario.  After his parents divorced, Whibley would be raised by his mother and would become enamored with music.

By the time he was 12 years old, Whibley would start up a hip hop trio that covered Beastie Boys songs.  Two years later, he would meet Canadian indie rock guru, Greig Nori, who would eventually become his musical mentor and band manager for Sum 41.  Immersed in the local music scene while he was in high school, Whibley would eventually meet the future members of Sum 41 as they were all playing in competing bands.  In the summer of 1996, Sum 41 would form 41 days into the summer.  The band would play with a number of bassists before they settled on their final lineup in 1999.

Playing the pop punk style that was popular at their time while including overtones of hip hot and metal, Sum 41 would come to attention to the major label Island Records based on their hi-jinks.  With their snotty attitude and their melodic songs, Island Records signed the band in early 2000 as a way to capitalize on the success of pop punk acts like blink-182.

The band would make good on the label’s commitment to them with the release of their debut full-length album, “All Killer No Filler.”  Released on May 8, 2001, the album would be propelled by the undeniable hooks of such hit songs as “Fat Lip,” “In Too Deep,” and “Motivation,” as well as portraying a hilarious and snotty image of the band in their music videos.  The album would become one of the most popular albums of the year and the band quickly followed this album with the equally successful disc, “Does This Look Infected?”

Once considered to be pretenders in the pop punk scene, Sum 41 quickly ascended to leaders in the music’s scene.  Pushing the envelope of hilarity and adding new flourishes to their sound, the members of Sum 41 were becoming major players in the music scene.  The band’s nascent celebrity was reflected in the fact that he was briefly in a relationship with Hilton hotels heiress Paris Hilton, just before Hilton’s notoriety as a public celebrity would explode.

However, Whibley would quietly begin to date fellow Canadian music star, Avril Lavigne in March 2004.  Their relationship was kept a secret for a long time but eventually news broke out.  After a fake engagement that was done as a way to ridicule the media attention that followed the two, the two would get engaged for real in June 2005.  Reports have shown that Whibley proposed after surprising Lavigne with a trip to Venice.  After a romantic picnic, a gondola ride, and a helicopter ride over the city, Whibley then popped the question.

Despite their shared reputation as being scrappy singers that have little tolerance for pretence, the Avril Lavigne and Deryck Whibley celebrity marriage would be a traditional one.  The wedding took place on a private estate in Montecito on July 15, 2006.  Avril Lavigne would wear a Vera Wang gown and would carry pearl white Australian roses as she made the trip down the aisle.  Whibley was accompanied by four groomsmen and wore a Hugo Boo suit.  The wedding was attended by over 110 guests and the couple would have their ceremonial first dance to the Goo Goo Dolls’ hit song, Iris.

Although the couple would have a respectable wedding, the two are working hard towards furthering their musical careers as bratty punks.  As Lavigne is preparing her third album, “The Best Damn Thing,” that includes work done by Whibley, Sum 41 is preparing their fourth album that they hope would be much more successful than their brooding third disc, “Chuck.”  Both albums are among the most anticipated albums of 2007.  Although this anticipation can be traced to the fact that they are the next albums by two of the most consistent artists of their time, there is also some curiosity about how these two albums would be influenced by the fact that Whibley and Lavigne are now the first couple in the world of pop punk.