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Avril Lavigne Fights to Stay Relevant With Viper Room Show

Avril Lavigne arrives at the Viper Room for a surprise show, featuring her new song.

Avril Lavigne arrives at the Viper Room for a surprise show, featuring her new song.

Avril Lavigne and her fiance Chad Kroeger showed up at the Viper Room in Los Angeles last night (Apr. 25) and put on a surprise performance, featuring her new song “17″ from her upcoming fifth studio album. At 28, the rocker is fighting to stay relevant.

Along with the new tune, she cranked out some old favorites including “HTNGU,” “Girlfriend,” “My Happy Ending,” “What the Hell,” and her iconic “Sk8er Boi.”

The songs all spoke to her better days when she broke on the music scene in 2002 and stormed the charts with her debut album, Let Go. It hit No.2 on the pop charts, certifying her as a major breakthrough artist.

Her tough skater-girl image and hard-rock, guitar-driven sound captured the ethos of the burgeoning teen skateboard culture.

The album sold more than four million copies and her sophomore follow up, Under My Skin was even bigger. Her third studio album, The Best Damn Thing was also a huge seller.

Both albums debuted at No. 1 and the former sold more than 10 million copies. Her song “Girlfriend” off the latter was the most downloaded song of 2007, while the album was the fourth ranked top seller.

But that was then.

She started dating Deryck Whibley, lead singer and guitarist for the band Sum 41, and the two got married in 2006 when she was only 22. The marriage barely lasted three years and clearly hurt Lavigne’s career. They divorced in 2009. She also dabbled in acting and developed a line of clothing.

Her fourth studio album Goodbye Lullaby was released in March 2011, after several delays. It was almost two years in the making, and only received luke-warm reviews. In all, it sold about 1.5 million copies, still respectable, by a shadow of her three previous albums.

She’d largely been eclipsed by newer artists like Ke$ha and Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepsen. Her skater generation fan base has also grown older.

She started dating fellow Canadian Chad Kroeger, frontman for Nickelback last July and the relationship has helped to refocus her on her music. When, Goodbye was released, she said she had enough material for two albums and has been hard at work on her fifth studio try.

At the Viper room, she looked like she’d returned to her old style of heavy goth makeup and what she describes as “skanky clothes.”

“Can’t wait for tonight! @theVIPERroom 7:00PM…see you there! #AvrilLIVE’ she Tweeted “Getting close! Can’t wait to rock out!”

She recently told Ryan Seacrest she was still working on one more song for the album. The album is slated for release in September. Check out the video below and let us know your thoughts.

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