Avril Lavigne, the princess of pop-punk, was crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday. Timed to the 20th anniversary of her debut album “Let Go,” the ceremony was a full-circle moment for Lavigne, who told Variety in an interview that she had visited the famed boulevard on her first trip to Los Angeles at 16 years old.
Lavigne recalled that first star encounter during her speech, unveiling a photo of her younger self next to what appears to be Tom Cruise’s star (the photo promptly fell off its stand once she removed its covering, leading to laughs from the crowd). “So, I’m 16 years old and I’m on my first trip to Hollywood, and of course, I had to visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame because it’s iconic,” Lavigne said. In the photo, she’s wearing a navy sweatshirt displaying the on-brand words “skateboarding is not a crime,” and in a tender moment of nostalgia, Lavigne changed into the sweatshirt right then and there.
“I can remember seeing these legendary names, and I never could have imagined mine would be here,” Lavigne said, the hood of her sweatshirt resting on her head. “This is so crazy. I am so grateful. This is probably one of the coolest days of my life.”
After thanking some VIPs in the audience, including her fiancé Mod Sun, producer and Goldfinger frontman John Feldmann, co-writer Lauren Christy and collaborator Machine Gun Kelly, Lavigne ended her speech on an encouraging note. “Today, I love making music more than ever. 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 themself, ‘Oh my god, my name could be there one day, too.’ Because it can,” she said. “What an amazing 20 years, and I can’t wait for the next 20, bitches! Let’s go!”
Feldmann and Kelly also gave speeches honoring Lavigne, with Feldmann — who produced her latest album “Love Sux” along with Travis Barker and Mod Sun — recalling how Lavigne got kicked out of a Goldfinger show at the age of 15.
“She told me her first stage dive ever was at 15 at my band Goldfinger’s concert in Toronto, and she got kicked out of the show for stage diving. So, what an epic friendship we have,” Feldmann said. “[During the recording of ‘Love Sux’] I would come in every day and she would ask me, ‘Do you have a present for me?’ And that would mean, do I have a riff or some kind of idea for a song, and it made me feel important, valuable and needed. And that’s how Avril makes you feel when you’re in the room with her.”
Kelly, who Lavigne spent the summer with on their co-headlining U.S. tour, also shared the impact Lavigne has had on both his career and personal life before they even met.
“You have been with me way longer than you know,” Kelly said. “You were with me all the times I got my heart broke, your music was in my headphones. You are an inspiration for a generation of kids like myself who wore baggy jeans and skated and didn’t fit into MTV’s version of what the girls wanted. And when you made ‘Sk8er Boi,’ that was the hope that we held onto.”
Other celebrities in attendance included Jxdn, Ryan Cabrera and Joel Madden. Watch the full live stream below.