It’s been five years since Avril Lavigne released her self-titled fifth studio album and the singer is back with what appears to be one of her most ambitious works to date. Head Above Water, out on Friday, takes inspiration from Lavigne’s terrifying battle with Lyme disease, which threatened the young Canadian singer’s life following her scary diagnosis. Devoting much of her time and her platform to raising both awareness about the disease and money to help fund research, Lavigne’s new album is packed with ballads inspired by her new lease on life. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t still pumping out high-energy pop songs. She is the mother effing princess.
In addition to the two singles she’s already released, including the soaring title track and the sexy, retro-inspired “Tell Me It’s Over,” Lavigne has also been teasing the new album by posting short snippets of each song on her Instagram. Giving fans an early look at the album, Lavigne has been captioning the tracks with her inspiration for each song, as well as who she recorded with, including ex-husband Chad Kroeger. Those two really make divorce look healthy.
Now she’s dropped a new song in full, surprising fans with a collaboration on the track “Dumb Blonde” with Nicki Minaj. We did not see this coming and now that it’s here, we are stanning.
Lavigne has captured the infectious energy and raw emotion that helped make her a household name back in the early 2000s with her debut album Let Go. A self-empowerment anthem that works for people with any hair colour, “Dumb Blonde” has the rock pop sensibilities of the early ’90s, with an infectious drum line backing and call and answer chorus that is begging to be blasted from every radio station.
Minaj is the perfect collaborator for the new single, bringing her own style of bravado and badassness (we’re making it a word) that could make “Dumb Blonde” a huge hit for both artists. Plus, we really want to see this music video. No dumb Barbies, just boss Barbz.
It turns out that both Lavigne and Minaj are longtime fans of each other’s work. Minaj’s love goes back to her pre-superstar days, when she would blast “Complicated” in her car on the way to her job at Red Lobster. Celebs, they’re just like us. Well, at least before they become celebs.
I used to drive to my job @ Red Lobster playing this woman’s album for an hour straight everyday for months. Crying to “I’m with you”, blasting “complicated” “things I’ll never say” “nobody’s fool” “sk8er boi”. omg. #DumbBlonde tmrw. This woman is so unbelievably talented https://t.co/7h75jZHIW2
— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) February 11, 2019
Just as complementary, Lavigne took to Twitter to call Minaj a “talented, strong woman and driving force” and lists “Fly,” “Starships,” and “Bed” as her favorite tracks by the rapper.
(2/2) We wrote Dumb Blonde as an anthem for anyone who has been stereotyped or talked down to. Keep your confidence up and don’t let anyone tell you how to be. I hope you love it!
Stream and watch the lyric video for #DumbBlonde here https://t.co/w9q7XQpD1B #HeadAboveWater
— Avril Lavigne (@AvrilLavigne) February 12, 2019
Lavigne previously shared her inspiration for the track on Instagram, saying that she wrote it after ending a relationship with someone who tried to dim her light. Don’t ever try to dim someone’s light. It’s not a good look.
To promote for the release of Head Above Water on February 15, Lavigne is scheduled to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on February 13, Good Morning America on February 15, and Live with Kelly and Ryan February 18. Prepare for the return of Avril Lavigne.
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The concept and idea for #DumbBlonde came to me through a situation I experienced and I brought it to @BonnieMcKee and #MitchAllan, who helped me bring it to life. I had this fucking loser in my life who was threatened by my strength, confidence and independence as a woman. I was belittled and made to feel bad for who I was: A leader, someone with a vision and opinions, someone who has strength, desire, passion and goals. Never let anyone put you down for being who you are. Stand up. Fight. Be you. Love. Be genuine. Kind. Find yourself and own it. Fuck stereotypes. If you’re a strong person and your partner can’t handle you, go find someone who has enough self-confidence and can support you and lift you up and inspire you in your life. As an equal. A friend. Not someone who needs to take you down to make themselves feel better because of their low self-esteem. Yes, women should build each other up, but so should men and women. Pre-order #HeadAboveWater Link in bio