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How Avril Lavigne became the new pop idol

Avril Lavigne talks about her punk cred, growing up fast, and making things a bit ”Complicated” for her teen-queen rivals — an excerpt from Entertainment Weekly’s Nov. 1, 2002, cover story

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Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne Photo by Gabrielle Revere

Thanks to Avril Lavigne, the 18-year-old Canadian whose ”Let Go” is the hottest debut album of 2002, butt cheeks, dance beats, and gleeful artifice are suddenly out, while tank tops, rock, and ”real” are unexpectedly back in. Pop tarts are assumed to be toast, especially now that tie-wearing tomboy Lavigne has been dubbed ”the anti-Britney” by her legions of new supporters.

”I don’t like that term — ‘the anti-Britney.’ It’s stupid,” Lavigne protests, preferring not to stomp to success on someone else’s coattails. ”I don’t believe in that. She’s a human being. God, leave her alone!”

By all means. But surely it’s safe to say that fans are looking for less sexually explicit —

”Have you seen Christina’s video?” she interrupts. Lavigne screws her face into a yucked-out expression at the mere thought of the queasy combination of featherweight boxing, soft-core porn, and bad plumbing in Aguilera’s new ”Dirrty” video. ”Poor girl,” she whispers.