Avril Lavigne named most famous Canadian by MIT study

She’s sold millions of records and was named the "most beautiful" Canadian by HELLO! Canada magazine.

Now, Avril Lavigne can add one more accolade to her long list of achievements: most famous Canadian.

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According to a study dubbed "Pantheon" by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the 29-year-old songstress is the most popular Canadian in the world, beating out other high-profile Canucks for the top spot – including husband Chad Kroeger, who failed to crack the top 10 (the Nickelback frontman ranks 77).


The study examines a variety of data, including Wikipedia page views, to determine a celebrity's star metre worldwide.

Rounding out the top five for famous Canadians were Jim Carrey in second place, followed by Justin Bieber, Celine Dion and Pamela Anderson.

Martin Luther King took the number one spot in the United States, while William Shakespeare earned top honours in the United Kingdom.

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Avril’s position can be explained by her international appeal and the study's emphasis on Wikipedia statistics. The pop star has garnered fame in South Asia and Japan (where she is currently shooting the new music video for her next single, "Hello Kitty,") and more than half of her Wikipedia page views are from non-English versions (her page has been translated into more than 100 different languages).

Avril visiting Shanghai in February. Photo: © Getty

According to this rubric, the Napanee, Ont. native is dubbed history’s sixth most popular musician, only behind John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson.

Following the news coverage of the study in Canada, MIT authors have decided to add an asterisk to their study’s website to further explain their results

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“Small differences in ranking(i.e. who is first, second or tenth) are not statistically meaningful and should not be used to draw conclusions about the popularity of similarly ranked individuals,” read the updated note. “[We] are NOT claiming that Avril Lavigne is the most famous Canadian… Technically, her score is statistically indistinguishable from that of Leonard Cohen.”

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