"Here's to Never Growing Up" is a song recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne for her self-titled fifth studio album in 2013. The song was written by Lavigne, David Hodges, Chad Kroeger, Jacob Kasher, and its producer Martin Johnson. It was released as the lead single from the album on 9 April 2013, by Epic Records. "Here's to Never Growing Up" is a midtempo pop rock song that talks about a "celebration of being forever young" and features a reference to English alternative rock band Radiohead.
Music critics provided mixed reviews to "Here's to Never Growing Up" and drew comparisons between the song and songs by Lavigne's contemporaries such as Katy Perry, Kesha, and Taylor Swift. The single was an international success, reaching number one on the Taiwan and Philippines charts, while reaching the top ten in Belgium, China, Ireland, Japan, Russia, Scotland, South Korea, South Africa and Ukraine, also reaching the top twenty in Australia, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States despite the lack of initial exposure. It achieved certifications by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) due to the chart success.
An accompanying music video for "Here's to Never Growing Up" was directed by Robert Hales. It features Lavigne and her band performing at the school's prom, and resembles to the music video for her 2002 single "Complicated". The video gained positive feedback from critics, who praised Lavigne's look in the clip. Due to the song's success, Lavigne performed "Here's to Never Growing Up" on a number of shows, including Dancing with the Stars, The Today Show and The Voice UK.
"Here's to Never Growing Up" was written by Lavigne, David Hodges, Chad Kroeger, Jacob Kasher, and producer of the song Martin Johnson. The song was recorded in early 2013 at Henson Recording Studios. During an interview with Ryan Seacrest for 102.7 KIIS-FM show, Lavigne said, "I wanted to write something fun and summery. It's about being young, wanting to be young forever, living in the moment and having a blast". Talking about the song's conception to 4Music, Lavigne revealed that she missed her high school prom so much, and that was the reason why she wrote "Here's to Never Growing Up". She said, "When I was writing it, I was thinking about being younger – I’m still in my 20s, but you know, like high school - and with my 20s being in music and everything, I love the concept of ‘simply prom’ for the video". Lavigne announced the song would be released as the first single from her fifth studio album on 8 February 2013 via Twitter. Lavigne later revealed the single's official artwork as well as its release date via Twitter on 3 April 2013. Epic Records premiered "Here's to Never Growing Up" on On Air with Ryan Seacrest (KIIS-FM) radio show, on iTunes Stores and eventually sent the single to US contemporary hit radio station on 9 April 2013.
"Here's to Never Growing Up" is a midtempo pop rock song, with a moderate tempo of 82 beats per minute. It is composed in the key of F major. Lavigne's vocal range in the track spans from the low-note of A3 to the high-note of C6. The "punchy" song is built around a "big, kick-drum" stomp, acoustic-guitar-strumming, and simple-minded tunes. Digital Spy editor Robert Cospey wrote the song has a "pumping guitars 'n drums melody". Melinda Newman from HitFix thought that "Here's to Never Growing Up" is a "throwback" to Kesha's "Tik Tok" (2009) and Lavigne's "Girlfriend" (2007) for the same musical structure.
Lyrically, the song talks about a "celebration of being forever young". In the song, Lavigne sings about the things she’s going to do that she believes will keep her forever young, such as getting drunk and dancing on a bar, running down the street screaming profanities, blasting music and staying up all night. At the beginning, Lavigne sings "Singing Radiohead at the top of our lungs", referencing rock band Radiohead, which is also features in the chorus. At the chorus, she continues "We'll be running down the street yelling kiss my ass", followed by and "ear-snagging chant" of "oh-woah-oh". Lavigne declares her celebration at the second verse, "This is who we are/ I don't think we'll ever change/ They say 'Just grow up,' but they don't know us/ We don't give a f-ck!".
"Here's to Never Growing Up" received mixed reviews from contemporary critics. Idolator praised the song, stating that it was different than the typical dance-pop songs and named it the Song of the Summer 2013. Digital Spy critic Robert Cospey gave the song a three stars out of five rating, writing "The result is nothing she hasn't given us before, but there's no harm in having one last hurrah". Amy Sciarretto from PopCrush provided the track a score of two and a half stars, commenting that the song sounds too similar to Lavigne's previous single "Complicated". Melinda Newman of HitFix provided a mixed review, writing that "You may find yourself begrudgingly clapping your hands and swaying to the generic "Here’s To Never Growing Up", but you won’t like yourself for doing so. It feels like it was crafted in some pop lab as "the song" that will get Lavigne back on the charts". Tris McCall from New Jersey On-Line was more positive, commenting that the song "likely to be a summertime anthem" and compared its theme to songs by Lavigne's contemporaries such as "22" by Taylor Swift, "We Are Young" by fun., and "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry. Entertainment Weekly's Kyle Anderson deemed "Here's to Never Growing Up" "a classic drinking tune" and compared the song's theme to Kesha's "Die Young" and Pink's "Raise Your Glass". A reviewer from The Huffington Post also thought that the track was similar to works by Kesha and Taylor Swift, calling it "a bouncy anthem".
On the chart dated 27 April 2013, the song debuted at number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Lavigne's 16th entry in the chart. The song reached a peak at number 20 in the week of 29 June, becoming her 10th top 40 in United States and causing the song to surge from 23rd to 7th on the Digital Songs chart with more than 131,000 downloads sold that week. As of September 2015, "Here's to Never Growing Up" has sold 1.3 million copies in the United States and more than 2.5 million copies worldwide.
"Here's to Never Growing Up" debuted on ARIA Singles Chart at number 16 and one week later peaked at number 15. The song peaked at number 7 in Ireland, 8 in Scotland and 14 in the United Kingdom. The song was well received in Asia where in most of the countries it stood atop the charts. It did extremely well in China, where it grabbed the 2nd Most played song of the year 2013 before Rock n' Roll.
The music video was directed by Robert Hales, with photography by Ketil Dietrichson and art direction by Lenny Tso. On 8 April 2013, Lavigne began shooting the video for the song, the second day of the shooting was on 19 April, confirmed by Lavigne on Twitter and the official premiere was on 9 May. The video shows Lavigne playing with her band, which included Lavigne's original guitarist, Evan Taubenfeld, who returned for the music video, at a school during the senior prom. It also features scenes of Lavigne and her friends having a fun time at the school, eventually causing chaos. It also shows scenes of Lavigne singing in an empty classroom, that eventually shows all her friends dancing and having fun. The video makes allusions to Lavigne's first music video "Complicated", wearing the same outfit and skateboarding.
Lavigne performed the song live for the first time on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on 26 April 2013. She also performed it on the semi-final results on Dancing with the Stars on 14 May, and on The Today Show on 17 May 2013. Lavigne sang the song on the Wango Tango on 11 May 2013. She also performed it on 14 June on Live! with Kelly and Michael, on 15 June on The Voice UK, and on 16 June on the 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards.Digital download
- "Here's to Never Growing Up" – 3:35
Lead vocals, drums - Avril Lavigne
Songwriting, drums – Avril Lavigne, Martin Johnson, Chad Kroeger, David Hodges, J. Kash
Production, drums – Martin Johnson, additional by Kyle Moorman and Brandon Paddock
Mixing – Serban Ghenea
Engineering – Kyle Moorman, Brandon Paddock
- "Here's to Never Growing Up" – 3:35
- "Here's to Never Growing Up" (Instrumental) – 3:35