Lavigne all set to rock in Singapore

Avril Lavigne is celebrating Valentine's Day in Singapore with her husband, Nickleback singer Chad Kroeger, in tow. "Chad's going to be there," says the singer, 29, in a telephone interview from Japan. She is speaking ahead of her gig at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday, Feb 15, a day after the lovers' festival.

"I guess we'll have to figure out our Valentine's Day plans, I'm not sure yet."

She and Kroeger, 39, have been dubbed The First Couple of Canadian Music by People magazine. They wed on July 1 last year in the south of France, after meeting in March 2012 to write songs for her fifth and latest album. She did not say if Kroeger will be joining her on stage, or making a guest appearance for hit single Let Me Go, which he co-wrote, produced and sings.

The Sk8er Boi singer is no stranger to Singapore: Saturday's performance will be her fifth gig here. She last performed at the same venue to 7,000 fans in 2011.

While her self-titled album released last November did not top the United States, British and Canadian charts - unlike her first two albums, Let Go (2002) and Under My Skin (2004) - Lavigne has done better in Asia.

Her new album entered the Japanese charts at No. 2 and sold 47,873 copies, reported music and pop culture website Popdust - faring better than in the US, where it sold 43,000 and peaked at No. 5.

"I think my message is empowering and that the people in Asia like that and they respect it. I think they really enjoy my style of music," says Lavigne.

"The fans come to the show and they just really let loose and celebrate. In Asia, the audiences just want to have fun and sing along. They like rocking it out."

She is also big on Asian pop culture. She became a fan of Hello Kitty after her Asian fans started giving her Hello Kitty gifts. Her new album even has a song named after the Japanese toy character.

"I really started liking Hello Kitty five years ago. I love the colour pink and I started collecting it and I think that it's cute," she says.

Her record label, Sony Music, has also released a special Asian edition of her latest release dubbed Avril Lavigne - Asian Tour Edition, which comprises 13 tracks and a bonus DVD of three music videos.

Musically, the new album marks a return to form for the singer, who became famous for upbeat, poprock tunes such as Sk8er Boi, from Let Go, and Girlfriend, from her 2007 release The Best Damn Thing.

She admits that her previous album, Goodbye Lullaby (2011), was "mellow and darker" compared to the latest album, which features songwriting collaborations with Kroeger. Her first marriage to Deryck Whibley, frontman of Canadian pop-punk band Sum 41, lasted from 2006 to 2010.

"This one is more uplifting and fun. When you hear the record, it's all over the map stylistically. It shows the different sides to me and it felt like I couldn't sum it up, so I decided to make it a selftitled record," she says.

The shows in her current tour, including the Singapore stop, also reflect the upbeat and energetic mood of the album.

"It's probably my strongest show to date. I'm playing all of the songs from all five records and I get to showcase the new songs for the first time, so it's going to be a lot of fun to play the new material," says the blonde-locked singer, who looks as girlish as when she first came on the international pop scene aged 18.

"It's a really rock 'n' roll set. I go out and power through anthemic, pop-rock songs, there's just a lot of energy from me and my band."

Asked how she manages after all these years to still look like the girl who broke onto the scene at 17, she giggles.

"I don't know," she says. "I guess I really try to eat healthy. I drink a lot of water and eat a lot of fruit and vegetables such as avocado, broccoli and asparagus."

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