Ava Max was born Amanda Koci, to Albanian-immigrant parents in Milwaukee. When she was eight, her family moved to Virginia. Her mother was an opera singer; her dad played the piano; her uncles were in bands. She was a Britney Spears fanatic who wanted to pursue pop music. Max also has an older brother. In 1991, her parents fled Albania after the fall of communism in the country and lived in a church in Paris for a year. While in Paris, they encountered a woman from Wisconsin and were given passports by her before immigrating to the United States to reside in Wisconsin, where Max was born. During her childhood, Max often saw her parents struggle to earn an income, as they each worked three jobs without speaking English. Her mother was a classically trained opera singer, while her father was a pianist.Max signed with Atlantic Records in 2016, where she released the song "Sweet but Psycho" in August 2018. It became her breakthrough single after peaking at number one in 22 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, and New Zealand. The song also peaked at number two in Australia, and number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Max released her debut studio album Heaven & Hell on September 18, 2020.
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