Avril Lavigne, I’ll be there for you

A few weeks ago, while trolling entertainment sites, I noticed a piece of news that caused me to get out of my seat and tell the nearest person. Those who spend a few hours with me are quick to learn if I’m excited about something, it usually involves Britney or Lindsay, but another of my favorite celebrities is Avril Lavigne and it was news of her upcoming album which infused me with a rush of joy.

“Rolling Stone” reported her fourth album is due in November, but Lavigne was on “The View” recently and said it is coming early next year. Seven years after becoming a breakout star with “Complicated,” she stands beside Britney in my pop princess pantheon.

Lavigne was a major driving force in my decision to play guitar and “Complicated” was the first song I learned all the chords for. I still need a lot of help developing my skills, but playing her songs such as “I’m With You” and “Sk8er Boi” are fun and whenever I find myself plateauing in my skill level I look to her for encouragement.

In her early days of fame, Lavigne was a wild and rambunctious young skateboarder who brought her unique style and personality to every event. Her fashion sense was simple yet made a bold statement, telling everyone she was herself. Typically clad in baggy pants, a tank top with a tie, wrist bands and high-tops, she proved it was possible to make it in an industry dominated by glamour. In an interview with “Dateline NBC” Lavigne said she resisted the urgings of her record label to change her look in order to sell more records. L.A. Reid, then president of her label, Arista, admitted in the interview he would “have messed it all up” by changing her image. Lavigne’s critics said she was a novelty act and insisted she was not a punk musician. Lavigne did not argue, since as she stated in interviews, she never claimed to be a punk rocker.

Her second album, “Under My Skin” was darker than her first and included one of her best songs, “My Happy Ending,” and she followed it up with her third album, which was more pop oriented and was pure fun from start to finish. Shortly after the album’s release I took an impromptu trip to Las Vegas to see her perform.

It is with some melancholy I write this because according to “US Weekly” Lavigne and her husband of three years, Deryck Whibley are divorcing. They married after two years of dating and it seemed like a good pairing, since they’re both musicians from Canada. Whibley is the lead singer of the group Sum 41. The celebrity rumor mill circulated reports for months about the split before the news broke and the divorce comes at an awkward time, since the soon-to-be separated couple collaborated together on her upcoming album.

Some celebrity breakups are not disappointing. For example, I doubt if anyone but Kevin Federline was upset when Britney filed for divorce in late 2006.

Other cele-breakups are entertaining since they are part of the on-again off-again relationship of the dysfunctional couple. See Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson for the best example of this.

On Sept. 17 Lavigne confirmed the divorce reports by releasing a statement on her Web site in which she confirmed she and her husband were officially separating.

The silver lining in this cloud for Lavigne is she gets to begin dating eventually and if she needs a shoulder to cry on, I’ll be there for her.

Avril, if you’re reading this, I also really need some guitar lessons.