Avril Lavigne takes on 7 languages for new single

Avril Lavigne fans taken aback by the cheery pop persona featured in her bouncy new single are in for another surprise: the chorus of her track sung in eight different languages.

Avril Lavigne fans taken aback by the cheery pop persona featured in her bouncy new single are in for another surprise: the chorus of her track sung in eight different languages.

Speaking at a session during Canadian Music Week, Lavigne's manager Terry McBride said that the singer spent hours studying different languages to try to get the various deliveries just right. Lavigne does not speak a second language.

The Napanee, Ont.-born singer seemed to leave behind her skate-punk singer image for good this month with the release of her boppy new single Girlfriend, which is accompanied by a music video that features scenes of Lavigne dressed in high heels and short-shorts while performing a dance routine.

Aside from English, the chorus to Girlfriend has been recorded in Mandarin and Japanese for her massive Asian fanbase, as well as Spanish, French, German, Italian andPortuguese.

"We tried Hindi twice but the diction and the meter of how you sing Hindi versus the western rhythms just didn't match and we just couldn't pull it off," McBride, alsothe CEO of Nettwerk Music Group,said in an interview on Thursday.

Appealing to Asian fans iskey with Lavigne's new material. McBride revealed during a Canadian Music Week discussion that the consumption of Lavigne's music in Asia is greater than in all of the Western Hemisphere combined.

The largest chunks of Lavigne fans seem to live in Beijing and other Chinese cities, he said.

Lavigne is scheduled to release her new album The Best Damn Thing April 17, with a tour set to begin in February 2008. CBC-TV will air Avril Lavigne: Exclusive, a variety special filmed at a Calgary concert and in Los Angeles while she was rehearsing her new material, on April 2.

Lavigne's reach will also be extended to the digital realm with a recurring role in a new Manga-inspired online comic entitled Make 5 Wishes. The series, which will be offered online and via cellphones, will feature original songs unavailable elsewhere. Girlfriend is also featured in the new Electronic Arts video game Burnout Dominator.

Styled as the anti-Britney Spears, Lavigne shot to fame as a 17-year-old with songs like Complicated and Sk8er Boi that won her a worldwide fanbase. Her 2004 album Under My Skin began an attempt to move out of her angsty teen realm into more mature music.

Also, over the past few years, the former punk princess hasbegun to shed her former skater girl image, including appearing in designer outfits at the Cannes Film Festival and in a spread for Harper's Bazaar.

Married to Sum 41 lead singer and fellow Canadian Deryck Whibley last July, Lavigne has recently dabbled in acting, with a voice role in the animated movie Over the Hedge and as part of the cast in Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation.

With files from the Canadian Press.