A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled Wednesday honoring eight-time Grammy-nominated singer songwriter Avril Lavigne in connection with the 20th anniversary of the release of her first album, "Let Go.''
Lavigne shared with the crowd gathered for the ceremony in front of Amoeba Music a blown-up photo of herself visiting the Walk of Fame when she was 16-years-old, "right about when I dropped out of high school.'' She then donned the same hoodie she was wearing when the photo was taken, proclaiming, "It fits!''
"So I can remember seeing these legendary names and I never could have imagined that mine would be here,'' she said. "This is so crazy. I'm so grateful. This is probably one of the coolest days of my life.''
She thanked her family and friends for allowing and helping her to chase her dreams.
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And today, I love making music more than ever,'' she said. "I feel so inspired, and I hope that the next 16-year-old from their small town who comes to Hollywood one day full of hopes and dreams sees this star and thinks to themselves, 'Oh my God, my name could be there one day too.' Because it can. Follow your dreams. Live your passion. Express yourself. Be real. Work hard. Keep your head up. Believe in yourself.''
Rapper Machine Gun Kelly, who was among Lavigne's collaborators on her seventh and latest studio album, "Love Sux,'' released Feb. 25, was among those joining her at the ceremony. Kelly will be Lavigne's co-headliner on the U.S. portion of her 47-stop "Love Sux'' tour, Sept. 23 at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware, and Sept. 24 and Oct. 22 in Las Vegas.
The actual 20th anniversary of "Let Go's'' release was June 4, two days after Lavigne completed the Canadian leg of her tour in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The tour is set to resume Monday in Lima, Peru.
The star is the 2,731st since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars.
Born Sept. 27, 1984, in Belleville, Ontario, between Ottawa and Toronto, Lavigne's parents recognized her vocal abilities when she was 2 years old and sang "Jesus Loves Me'' on the way home from church. When she was 5-years-old, the family moved to Napanee, Ontario, where she performed in productions of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown'' and "Godspell'' at the Lennox Community Theatre.
Lavigne signed a contract with Arista Records when she was 16 years old, dropped out of high school and moved to Los Angeles to concentrate on her recording career. In a 2019 appearance at the Grammy Museum, Lavigne said the LA music industry didn't quite get her at first.
"The music was too soft and fluffy for me,'' said Lavigne, who would become known as the punk princess. "I just wanted to hear guitars, even though I was only 16. The label saw me as a pop star."
"Let Go'' was credited as the biggest pop debut of 2002, selling more than 16 million copies worldwide and being certified seven times platinum in the United States. "Let Go'' made Lavigne the youngest female solo artist to have a No. 1 album in the United Kingdom. She was 17 when it was released.
"Let Go'' received a Grammy nomination for best pop vocal album. Two of its songs also received nominations -- "Complicated'' for song of the year and best female pop vocal performance and "Sk8er Boi'' for best female rock vocal performance.
Lavigne was also nominated for best new artist, losing to Norah Jones.
Lavigne received three Grammy nominations in 2003 -- song of the year and best female pop vocal performance for "I'm With You'' and best female rock vocal performance for "Losing Grip.''
Lavigne's second album, "Under My Skin,'' released in 2004, was certified as triple platinum and her third, 2007's "The Best Damn Thing'' was certified as double platinum. Her fourth and fifth albums, "Goodbye Lullaby'' (2011) and "Avril Lavigne'' (2013) were both gold selling.