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Avril Lavigne 'Hello Kitty' video controversy boosts sales and chart position

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Avril Lavigne fans and foes have given a boost in sales and chart position to the Canuck pop princess' latest release 'Hello Kitty.' The controversy generated by the multi-Juno Award winner's Japanese themed video, which made its Vevo debut on April 23, helped the song go viral online, generating sales and chart action in the process.

According to an article posted May 1 at Billboard.com, "Kitty," which was intended as an official single release in Japan only, has jumped from negligible sales the previous week to 5,000 downloads for the week ending April 27, helping the track scratch its way onto the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at No. 75. The de facto fourth single from the Napanee, ON native's self-titled fifth studio album has jumped from No. 37 to No. 15 on Billboard's Social 50 chart.

The song is based on the 29-year-old singer's longtime obsession with the well known Japanese animated character and marks her first venture into electro-pop. Upon its release, the video was trashed by many critics with some accusing Lavigne of stereotyping and racism. The acidic remarks prompted the "Girlfriend" hitmaker to respond on her Twitter account, writing, "RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video specifically for my Japanese fans, WITH my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers AND a Japanese director IN Japan."

An upbeat follow-up to her previous single, the piano ballad titled, "Let Me Go," "Kitty" was co-written by Lavigne in collaboration with Martin Johnson, hubby Chad Kroeger and David Hodges. Fans can check out the video at AvrilLavigne.com.

The "Sk8erboi" hitmaker will make tour stops in Brazil, Chile and Mexico throughout May before teaming with the Back Street Boys for a U.S. summer tour. The trek kicks off on May 22 in Seattle, Wash. at WaMu Theater and wraps up June 26 at Wanhtagh, N.Y. at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater.

Did you know? Avril Lavigne's new self-titled album was huge in the Asia-Pacific region, where it hit No. 1 in China and Taiwan, as well as No. 2 in Japan and South Korea while cracking the Billboard 200 top 5 in Canada and U.S.

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