Gwen Stefani had her first taste of music stardom as lead vocalist with the rock band No Doubt in the 1990s, when they churned out tunes—including “Don’t Speak”—from their multi-platinum album “Tragic Kingdom.” The red-lipstick-wearing beauty found solo success in the new millennium, with singles “Hollaback Girl” and “If I Were a Rich Man.” She then took on entrepreneurial ventures with the launch of her wildly successful fashion line (L.A.M.B) and as spokesperson of L’Oreal Paris—all while balancing motherhood and marriage to Gavin Rossdale.
However, today Stefani is on a new path. She has since divorced Rossdale and is in a new relationship with fellow musician Blake Shelton.
Her latest album,”This Is What the Truth Feels Like,” drips with heartbreak from her divorce. She’ll relive those moments when she embarks on a solo tour this summer.
“I’m not in a different place yet. I’m still heartbroken,” said Stefani in an interview with Rolling Stone. “You can’t have your family break up and still not be going through it a year later. I was just cleaning out a room in my house before I called you. It’s devastating.”
This is the fourth solo tour for Stefani. She last completed a national summer tour with No Doubt in 2009. The band released “Push and Shove” in 2012, a project Stefani felt bad about.
“I was really drained and burned out when we recorded that album. And I had a lot of guilt: “I have to do it.” That’s not the right setting to make music,” said Stefani. “There’s some really great writing on that record. But the production felt really conflicted. It was sad how we all waited that long to put something out and it didn’t get heard.”
The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 115,000 copies in its first week.
Stefani’s tenure in music spans close to 30 years and she has witnessed many changes in the music industry, including the inclusion of music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.
“It’s such a weird time in music. Everyone is listening to whatever their playlist is. Whereas before, we were kind of told what we were all going to be into,” stated Stefani. “There’s some really great stuff out there, and some really horrible stuff. I feel sorry for some people that these are the songs they have to grow up listening to. But doesn’t every generation end up feeling that?”
Luckily for Stefani, listeners continue to listen to and buy her music. Her latest album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, Stefani’s first number one album in the United States as a solo artist.
Yet with all the success of her new music, Stefani does admit insecurity.
“When you have a long career, you do get insecure. How do I do something new that doesn’t sound like something I did before?” she said. “How do I compete with how great “Hollaback Girl” was–and aren’t we going to sound like the girls that tried to sound like that?”
It’s safe to say Stefani has found the formula for success.