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Avril Lavigne 'Hello Kitty' video receives 33 million views on YouTube

Avril Lavigne's controversial "Hello Kitty" video has topped 33 million views on YouTube. Fans and foes of the Canuck pop princess' Japanese themed video helped the song go viral online, generating sales and chart action in the process.

Avril Lavigne 'Hello Kitty' video tops 33 millions views on YouTube
Wikimedia Commons/Epic

According to an update posted on June 12 at Lavigne's official Twitter page, "Kitty," which was trashed by many critics with some accusing Lavigne of stereotyping and racism, has now earned 33,299,004 views and counting on the popular video sharing website. The song is based on the 29-year-old Napanee, Ont. native's longtime obsession with the well known Japanese animated character and marks her first venture into electro-pop.

The track was intended as an official single release in Japan only from Lavigne's 2013 self-titled studio album, but became the de facto fourth single in North America due to the interest generated from the controversy. An upbeat follow-up to her previous single, the piano ballad titled, "Let Me Go," "Kitty" was co-written by the multi-Juno Award winner in collaboration with Martin Johnson, hubby Chad Kroeger and David Hodges.

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."

Lavigne is currently on tour in the U.S with the Back Street Boys. She was admitted to hospital earlier this month and had to cancel a scheduled appearance with BSB on June 6 in Oklahoma City due to undisclosed health issues. She has since returned to the tour and will perform her next show with BSB June 13 in Noblesville, Ind. at Klipsch Music Center.

Her U.S. trek with BSB wraps up June 26 at Wanhtagh, N.Y. at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. Lavigne will continue her solo tour in Canada on June 24 in Orillia, Ont. at Casino Rama Entertainment Centre. See AvrilLavigne.com for more details.

Did you know? Avril Lavigne's 2013 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.