Gwen Stefani is one of music’s most influential and unique stars — and it comes as no surprise. The multi-platinum selling singer, who was born Oct. 3, 1959, in Fullerton, California, has enjoyed a long career that has gone from strength to strength. As most fans know, Stefani rose to fame as the frontwoman of the ’90s punk-ska band No Doubt. However, she wasn’t initially the lead singer when the group first formed in 1986, per The Things.
Stefani reportedly started off doing backing vocals while former member John Spence sang lead. However, Spence completed suicide in December 1987, just days before the band was scheduled to perform a huge concert the group hoped “would become their big break,” according to Interview magazine. No Doubt came to a screeching halt for a while, and when the group reformed, Stefani was chosen as its lead singer.
No Doubt became a household in 1995, following the release of its breakthrough album, Tragic Kingdom. That project became the soundtrack to a lot of people’s lives and helped Stefani become the international superstar she is today. Stefani (pictured above at 27 years old) was instantly admired for her bold taste in fashion and iconic anthems such as “Just A Girl” and “Spiderwebs.” Now in her fifites, Stefani is still redefining her career and slaying the game. Let’s take a closer look at her dramatic transformation.
Gwen Stefani's breakup with a bandmate impacted her career
Gwen Stefani’s relationship with No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal had a big effect on her music career. A lot of the songs on 1995’s Tragic Kingdom were reportedly about their breakup, and her changing looks during this period of time also reflected the personal pain and growth she endured as the band skyrocketed to fame. By the time No Doubt released Return of Saturn in 2000, Stefani (pictured above at 29 years old) had dyed her platinum blonde locks a fluorescent shade of pink.
In January 2021, Stefani told British Vogue that Return of Saturn is her least favorite No Doubt album. “I went around the world and I had just broken up with my everything — my best friend, the person I relied on for everything– and my brother left the band, so I was alone,” she said. “[Return of Saturn] is so full of doubt regarding where I was in my life and I knew I was doing things that were wrong, but I didn’t know how to stop it. So when you say the title, it sends me into a frenzy.”
Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale endured a rocky marriage
Gwen Stefani and Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale met in 1995 during a No Doubt tour, according to People. After six years of dating, Rossdale reportedly popped the question on New Year’s Day 2002, and nine months later, the pair walked down the aisle — twice — in a 17th-century churchyard in London and again for a vow renewal among friends in Los Angeles.
Stefani and Rossdale’s rocky relationship has been well documented. In 2004, Rossdale found out he had a then 15-year-old daughter named Daisy Lowe from a previous relationship with fashion designer Pearl Lowe. During this time, Stefani was embarking on a solo career and getting reading to release her first album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. The record introduced Stefani to new audiences and earned her five Grammy Award nominations, including album of the year.
In February 2006, a pregnant Stefani (pictured above at age 37) attended the Grammy Awards with Rossdale. Their first son, Kingston James McGregor Rossdale, was born three months later. Stefani and Rossdale welcome two more sons, Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale and Apollo Bowie Flynn Rossdale, before announcing their split in August 2015.
At the time, it was reported that Rossdale allegedly cheated on Stefani with their nanny. In August 2016, Stefani told Cosmopolitan that not many people know what really transpired. “Nobody except for my parents, the people involved, and whoever they told. Nobody would believe it if I could really say what happened,” she said. “I went through months and months of torture.”
Gwen Stefani found love again with Blake Shelton
Gwen Stefani has found love again. This time with country star Blake Shelton. According to Billboard, they met in April 2014 on NBC’s The Voice. At the time, Stefani was still with Rossdale, and Shelton was married to country music superstar Miranda Lambert. However, things soon changed after both Shelton and Stefani announced their respective divorces the following year.
Stefani (pictured above at age 47) and Shelton quickly bonded over their relationship turmoil while working together as judges on The Voice. They made their relationship official in November 2015, and went on to collaborate on a string of songs. In October 2020, the cowboy got down on one knee and asked Stefani to be his wife. The couple announced the engagement on Instagram via a snapshot revealing a kiss and a great big diamond ring. “Yes please,” she captioned the post.
Gwen Stefani's career shows no signs of slowing down
It’s been more than a quarter century since No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom debuted, yet Gwen Stefani’s career shows absolutely no signs of slowing down.
In December 2020, the “Rich Girl” hitmaker released a new single, “Let Me Reintroduce Myself,” which saw Stefani (pictured above at age 51) return to the reggae and ska roots that heavily influenced No Doubt’s signature sound. The song was praised by the likes of Entertainment Weekly and Paper magazine and reached the No. 1 spot on the iTunes chart, per Headline Planet. The songstress also took fans back in time by re-creating some of her most iconic outfits in the track’s music video.
Stefani reportedly plans to release a new studio album in 2021. She told The One Show that this project was created differently due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “Someone said, they’re doing it on Zoom and I was like, ‘that sounds horrible.’ I tried it and I wrote a damn song on a phone!” she said. “That was the start of this blaze of songs. I think I have over 20 songs and I’m doing a record — I never knew this was coming.”
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