Country artists often tap Shania Twain for being an inspiration behind their musical careers. However, pop-punk singer Avril Lavigne is also crediting the Canadian country superstar for helping her aim for fame.
“I met Shania Twain when I was 14. This is before I had a record deal or anything,” says Lavigne. “I won a f—ing contest at a local radio station to sing onstage with her.”
“I got to sing on stage with her at this sold-out arena in Ottawa, in Canada. She gave me an opportunity to get up on stage as a young kid, and that definitely helped me in my career,” Lavigne explained.
Lavigne says that she and Twain have remained close over the years.
“She’s someone I’ve stayed in touch with. I did an interview with her the other day,” says Lavigne. “She’s so epic — like her songwriting, writing from a woman’s perspective about things we go through.”
Early in Lavigne’s career, it was difficult to catch a break in the music industry.
Britney Spears and boyband pop were all the rage on radio airwaves, and Lavigne’s gothic grunge meets punk rock glam fashion and sound was the definition of the punk rock stereotype.
Another early influence for Lavigne was Alanis Morissette.
“I’d say an early influence, someone I’m inspired by, is Alanis Morissette,” Lavigne revealed. “What I thought was really cool about her is that she didn’t hold back, lyrically. She was just angry, and had so much angst, and she just f—ing put it right out there. She didn’t care. Looking back, I feel like she was huge and helped me realize that you don’t have to be prim and proper, or perfect, or say all the right things. If you’re f—ing over it, or an angsty teenager, just get it out. Say it like it is.”
“Those two were quite inspiring throughout my life and had a real impact,” she added.