Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

First Ian and Sylvia, now Chad and Avril?

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TORONTO -- Nickelback may be known for their over-the-top pyrotechnics, but frontman Chad Kroeger reportedly took a low-key approach when he proposed to fellow rocker Avril Lavigne.

This week's issue of Hello! Canada magazine, due out Thursday, has an exclusive interview with the newly announced Canadian music power duo in which Kroeger says: "I feel like the luckiest person alive."

He also reveals he used a scrapbook to pop the question to Lavigne as the pair worked together on her upcoming fifth studio album in Los Angeles.

"It happened in their recording studio. She was scrapbooking and he added a page to the scrapbook, and the page said: 'Will you marry me?"' Alison Eastwood, editor-in-chief of Hello! Canada, said Wednesday in a telephone interview.

Lavigne, 27, and Kroeger, 37, shocked music fans and media outlets Tuesday when they announced their engagement after a six-month courtship that flew under the radar of most pop-culture enthusiasts.

Hello! Canada was among those who didn't previously know of their romance and was "quite surprised" when the couple approached them within the last week to share their story and engagement photographs, said Eastwood.

"I think we can safely call them Canada's new super couple. Between them they have sold, I think, something like 18 million albums, so they're quite a powerhouse."

The cover of the Hello! Canada magazine issue shows Kroeger hugging Lavigne from behind while she displays the 14-carat pear-shaped diamond engagement ring he picked out for her. They're both clad in black and beaming.

In the five-page photo spread, they reveal they started off as friends on location in Paris and their feelings for each other quickly developed from there.

"I knew I was falling for her. It was incredibly powerful and something I'll never forget," Kroeger, who hails from Hanna, Alta., tells the magazine.

Says Lavigne, who grew up in Napanee, Ont.: "He makes me laugh every day. He takes care of me in every way and is extremely attentive."

Eastwood said Kroeger in particular opened up "to a surprising extent, and of the two of them he sounded more romantic."

"He's totally besotted with Avril, and who can blame him? But if you see the photographs in the magazine ... he's just beaming from ear to ear. We have never seen Chad Kroeger look so happy."

The two haven't announced a wedding date yet, but Lavigne told Hello! "she has the whole thing planned out and that it will be a huge celebration," said Eastwood.

Nickelback -- which also includes Kroeger's brother, Mike, on bass, guitarist Ryan Peake and drummer Daniel Adair -- was named group of the decade by Billboard magazine. Their 2001 breakthrough hit How You Remind Me was the decade's top rock song, and their bestselling album is 2005's All the Right Reasons.

But despite their monster popularity, the group has more than its fair share of detractors. Last year, after Nickelback was invited to play at a Detroit Lions football game, an online petition protesting the performance drew more than 55,000 signatures.

Some of that sentiment was echoed on Twitter, where the two were trending Wednesday with the hashtag #Chavril.

This will be the first marriage for Kroeger and the second for Lavigne, who filed for divorce from fellow Canuck rocker Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 in 2009 after three years of marriage.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 23, 2012 D2

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