Avril Lavigne, the Canadian punk pop princess who is due to take the stage at AsiaWorld-Expo on Thursday, likes to express herself through her music and numerous tattoos, many of which match those inked on her former partners. Displaying her rebellious side, literally, the singer-songwriter has her favourite four letter F-word inked across her ribs and on the side of a middle finger. “A punk chanteuse, a post-grunge valkyrie, with the wounded soul of a poet and the explosive pugnacity of a Canadian” is how she’s been described by wizardry actor Ian McKellen … One of the greatest theatre actors of all time, McKellen is a cofounding member of LGBT rights group Stonewall, formed to campaign against Section 28 of Britain’s Local Government Act. In 1998, the actor met with the country’s then environmental secretary, Michael Howard, to argue against the homophobic legislative and, despite the politician having rebuffed his lobbying, McKellen granted his request for an autograph and a message for his children. “F*** off! I’m gay” was probably not what Howard was hoping for, though. In 2008, McKellen was awarded the Queen’s Order of the Companions of Honour. Another gay icon making the New Year’s Honours list that year was Aussie pixie Kylie Minogue … The diminutive “Goddess of Pop”, who burst into the public consciousness way back in 1986 as schoolgirl mechanic Charlene Mitchell in the Australian television soap Neighbours , fought off breast cancer after being diagnosed with the illness in 2005. Discussing her recovery, Minogue has stated: “I feel like a cat, having had several lives. In my career, as in my personal life, I made enough bad decisions to land me in deep water. Finally, I haven’t got out too badly.” In 2010, Minogue wore a signature skull scarf in a poignant tribute to a friend who had recently died, Lee Alexander McQueen … The British fashion designer and couturier was found hanging in his London home only nine days after his mother, Joyce, had passed away. He left a simple note: “Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee”. The “hooligan of English fashion” also bequeathed £100,000 (HK$1.3 million) of his estate to the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home charity and reserved another £50,000 for the continued care of his own dogs. In happier times, in 1998, a Brazilian-born model made her first big splash in fashion at McQueen’s infamous “Rain” show. That model was Gisele Bundchen … The former Victoria’s Secret angel and the world’s highest paid model is also a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme. Renowned for her philanthropy and generous charitable donations, Bundchen raised money for the victims of both Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 Tohoku tsunami, and wrote a personal cheque of US$1.5 million to aid the Red Cross relief effort following the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. In 2009, Bundchen was replaced as the face of Dolce & Gabbana perfumes by New York actress Scarlett Johansson … Johansson, who grew up in a poor Manhattan neighbourhood with her Danish father and Ashkenazi Jewish mother, this month quit her role as ambassador for the charity Oxfam, following a row over her lucrative advertising contract with an Israeli company operating in the occupied West Bank. A self-confessed fan of cartoons, Johansson voiced the character of Princess Mindy in the big screen debut of animated TV star SpongeBob SquarePants. The 2004 movie’s theme tune was rearranged and performed by “complicated” Canuck Avril Lavigne.