25 in 2009: Avril Lavigne

Born: 09/27/84 In: Belleville, ON Is: Musician

Avril Ramona Lavigne, the princess of girl-power pop-punk, is a major moneymaking machine. Born in Belleville, Ontario, in Canada, Lavigne not only sells tons of records worldwide (her 2002 debut, Let Go, released when she was 17, sold over 16 million copies and earned eight Grammy nominations), she also runs Abbey Dawn, a junior clothing and accessories line for Kohl's, and just launched her own perfume, called Black Star. The fragrance has notes of pink hibiscus, black plum and dark chocolate. It's projected to generate $50 million in sales.

"Everything I do has always been about my music," Lavigne explains, en route to a recording studio in L.A. where she's finishing her fourth, untitled album, due in November. "Now, for the first time, I'm branching out," she says. "I work on the clothing line every day -- it never ends, but it's fun work. Designing is an ongoing process. And it's all I wear. I don't shop anymore. My favorite item in the line is a black hoodie, because I perfected it to exactly how I love hoodies -- slim and long, and the hood is like, huge." The pink perfume comes in a star-shaped bottle. "Black Star is [about] how it's OK to be different and stand out in a crowd. The message is about your dreams and reaching for the stars and going for it." On the inside of her left wrist, Lavigne has a star tattoo.

Married in 2006 to fellow Canadian singer Deryck Whibley, the frontman of Sum 41, Lavigne says her new record, for which Whibley produced eight songs, is her most personal work yet. Half of the tracks Lavigne wrote herself on a piano at home. "This record is about vocal performance and capturing emotion," she says. "I have a lot of acoustic guitars in it. The whole record is about feelings. Deryck added so much. He's already a performer. So instead of your typical pop producer, he is an actual musician."

For most of the past eight years, Lavigne's been on the road touring the globe or in the studio recording music. "It's been crazy," she admits. "With my fourth record, I'm going to break it up and have a better balance and be at home more. But there is nothing I love more than being up on stage singing and playing piano and guitar, and banging on the drums." Clearly a control-freak, Lavigne takes charge of every detail of her career: "I pick out everyone who is on my team. I am involved in everything. I'm constantly in meetings and on the phone and email. Time is not wasted."

During her scant downtime, Lavigne studies with an acting coach (she had a role in Fast Food Nation, which is based on one of her favorite books) and practices speaking French. Another passion is pizza. When Lavigne goes back to Napanee, Ontario, to visit friends and family, she always eats a slice at her "favorite pizza restaurant in the whole world," La Pizzeria. "It's where I went on my lunch hour at school. The owners told me I could have free pizza for life. They even have an Avril Lavigne pizza on the menu." Lavigne says her favorite hobby is just "to chill out" with her husband at home. "I'm a really big sleeper," she mentions with a giggle. "I love to just hang out and sleep, a lot."
Peter Davis

Wears: a dress by BCBG Max Azria, boots and bangle by Aldo, spiked bracelet by Smith & Cult, silver wristlet by Made Her Think

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