Avril Lavigne thinks it is ''difficult to be a woman and to be heard''.

The 'My Happy Ending' hitmaker is fed up of people not taking her ''seriously'' because of her gender and she feels she knows what is best for her.

She told The Guardian newspaper: ''It's difficult to be a woman and to be heard, and people sometimes don't take you seriously. I'm highly intuitive and I've always got a very strong gut feeling. I've always felt that I've known what's best for me to do and I've had to fight different people on this journey over those 17 years: 'You need to do this and it needs to go Top 40.' You make those songs because you have to, but then the stuff that's the best on record is the album tracks.

''I would get some songs the style I really wanted ... I always loved the pop-rock thing and it's still who I am. I'm still proud of those songs and I wrote them. It wasn't like people wrote them and gave it to me. It was like, 'OK, I get it. You guys want singles that are going in this direction. Fine, I'll work with you but I'd rather be doing something else.' You can't be stubborn and just do everything your own way.''

Avril's first album in five years will be released on February 15.

She wrote on Twitter: ''I'm so excited that I can finally share with you, that my new album will be released on February 15, 2019. You can pre-order #HeadAboveWater⁠ (sic)''

The album's title track and lead single details the singer's battle with Lyme Disease.

She said previously: ''One night, I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die. My mom laid with me in bed and held me. I felt like I was drowning. Under my breath, I prayed 'God, please help to keep my head above the water.' In that moment, the song writing of this album began. It was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.''