Avril Lavigne never imagined the two loves of her life would be in the same place at the same time. Covering the June/July issue of Nylon, the "Here's to Never Growing Up" singer reveals that she first laid eyes on fiance Chad Kroeger while she was dating Sum 41's Deryck Whibley, whom she divorced in 2010 after four years of marriage.
The trio crossed paths at the Roxy nightclub in Vancouver more than a decade ago, according to Lavigne. "Wild, right?" she laughs. "I was 17, and 'Complicated' had just come out.'"
Lavigne was celebrating the success of her debut single with Jaeger bombs, and as Whibley carried her out of the venue over his shoulder, she spotted the Nickelback frontman partying nearby. "He didn't even know who I was at that point!" the singer says of Kroeger, 38. "I had just gotten on the radio."
Kroeger would know her soon enough. "I wasn't the girl baring her midriff with backup dancers and a headset microphone," Lavigne says of her early days in the music business, when a young Britney Spears topped the charts. "I came out and had a lot to say with my lyrics, and I played the guitar. I had a completely different getup, stage presence, everything. . . I'm so transparent. If I'm not being myself, I won't do well, and that goes for writing songs, work, relationships, everything. And if I'm not happy, people are going to know that."
These days, its Kroeger who makes Lavigne most happy. "He's nice, and real, and kind," the 28-year-old Napanee, Ont., native gushes. "For me, it's about having a connection on a deeper level." The musicians began collaborating on Lavigne's album in early 2012. "He does what I do -- he's a rocker, he plays guitar, he's onstage every night and he writes songs," Lavigne says.
Lavigne's favorite track off her forthcoming fifth album is called "Let Me Go," a romantic ballad she co-wrote with Kroeger. "Lyrically, I pushed myself to talk about different subjects I haven't talked about before," the singer tells Nylon. "I didn't want to be so simple. I tried to really express myself and go deeper."