Lisa Kosty

Now she’s a superstar: 20 years on, Avril Lavigne reflects on ‘Let Go’

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Twenty years ago Saturday — June 4, 2002 — 17-year-old Avril Lavigne released her debut album, Let Go. The pop/punk album helped popularize the genre and went on to become one of the best sellers of the decade, moving more than 16 million copies worldwide.

Let Go spun off four massive hits: “Complicated,” “Sk8er Boi,” “I’m With You” and “Losing Grip.” The album and its singles collectively earned Avril eight Grammy nominations, four Juno Awards and the MTV VMA Best New Artist Moonman.

Looking back, does Avril think Let Go still holds up?

“Oh, I definitely think my vocals are way stronger now, that’s for sure!” Avril tells ABC Audio. “But … yeah, the songs are cool. I like them. A couple are … I don’t know. My voice has, like, evolved for sure.”

Avril points out one cringeworthy songwriting moment in “My World,” a song about growing up in Napanee, Ontario.

In the song, Avril sings, “Made my money by cutting grass/Got fired by a fried chicken a**/All in a small town, Napanee.” She laughs, “I think it’s hilarious in ‘My World’ that I literally say the town’s name that I came from and my job and that I got fired.”

“I worked at a fried chicken chain and got fired, but I was a really good worker … the guy was a d*****bag,” Avril continues, still laughing. “I literally got fired and then wrote about it and put it in this song … I think that’s hilarious. And part of me is like, ‘Why did I do that?’ But the other part of me is like, ‘Hmm, that’s pretty cool that you did that!'”

You’ll hear all of Let Go‘s hits on Avril’s current Love Sux tour, which wrapped its Canadian leg Thursday night in Halifax.