Gwen Stefani Biography
As a solo artist, Stefani has won several music awards, including one Grammy Award, one World Music Award, one American Music Award, and one Brit Award. In 2003, she debuted her clothing line L.A.M.B. and expanded her collection with the 2005 Harajuku Lovers line, drawing inspiration from Japanese culture and fashion. Stefani performs and makes public appearances with four back-up dancers known as the Harajuku Girls. She married British musician Gavin Rossdale in 2002 and they have three sons. Billboard magazine ranked Stefani the fifty-fourth most successful artist and thirty-seventh most successful Hot 100 artist of the 2000–09 decade.VH1 ranked her thirteenth on their "100 Greatest Women in Music" list in 2012.
Gwen Stefani was born on October 3, 1969, in Fullerton, California, and raised in Anaheim, California. She was raised in a Roman Catholic household, and attended Loara High School in Anaheim, California. She was named after a stewardess in the 1968 novel Airport, and her middle name, Renée, comes from The Four Tops' 1968 cover of The Left Banke's 1966 hit song "Walk Away Renée". Her father, Dennis Stefani, is Italian American and worked as a Yamaha marketing executive. Her mother, Patti (née Flynn), is of Irish, Scottish and Norwegian descent, and worked as an accountant before becoming a housewife. Gwen's parents were fans of folk music and exposed her to music by artists like Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris. She is the second oldest of four children: she has a younger sister, Jill; a younger brother, Todd; and an older brother, Eric. Eric was the keyboardist for No Doubt, but left the band to pursue a career in animation on The Simpsons.
Many of the women in Stefani's family were seamstresses, and much of her clothing was made by them or her mother. At school, she found written work challenging because of her dyslexia. As a child Stefani's musical interests consisted of musicals such as The Sound of Music and Evita. After making a demo tape for her father, he advised she never take lessons, as it would ruin her unique style. Stefani made her onstage debut during a talent show at Loara High School, where she sang "I Have Confidence", from The Sound of Music, in a self-made tweed dress inspired by one from the film. Stefani was on the Loara swim team in an attempt to lose weight She first worked at a Dairy Queen and later staffed the MAC makeup counter of a department store. After graduating from high school in 1987, she began attending Fullerton College before transferring to California State University, Fullerton.
Eric introduced Gwen to 2 Tone music by Madness and The Selecter, and in 1986, he invited her to provide vocals for No Doubt, a ska band he was forming. Finally, in 1991, the band was signed to Interscope Records. The band released its self-titled debut album in 1992, but its ska-pop sound was unsuccessful due to the popularity of grunge. Gwen Stefani starred in her band, No Doubt, when she was 17 years old. Before the mainstream success of both No Doubt and Sublime, Stefani contributed guest vocals to "Saw Red" on Sublime's 1994 album Robbin' the Hood. Stefani rejected the aggressiveness of female grunge artists and cited Blondie singer Debbie Harry's combination of power and sex appeal as a major influence. No Doubt's third album, Tragic Kingdom (1995), which followed the self-released The Beacon Street Collection (1995), took more than three years to make. Five singles were released from Tragic Kingdom', including "Don't Speak," which led the Hot 100 Airplay year-end chart of 1997. Stefani left college for one semester to tour for Tragic Kingdom but did not return when touring lasted two and a half years. The album sold more than sixteen million copies worldwide, and received several Grammy Award nominations in 1997 and 1998. In late 2000, Rolling Stone magazine named her "The Queen of Confessional Pop."
During the time when No Doubt was receiving mainstream success, Stefani collaborated on the singles "You're the Boss" with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, "South Side" with Moby, and "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" with Eve. No Doubt released the less popular Return of Saturn in 2000, which expanded upon the new wave influences of Tragic Kingdom. Most of the lyrical content focused on Stefani's often rocky relationship with then-Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale and her overall insecurities, including indecision on settling down and having a child. The band's 2001 album, Rock Steady, explored more reggae and dancehall sounds, while maintaining the band's new wave influences, and generally received positive reviews. The album generated career-highest singles chart positions in the United States, and "Hey Baby" and "Underneath It All" received Grammy Awards. A greatest hits collection, The Singles 1992–2003, which includes a cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life", was released in 2003 to moderate sales. In 2002, Eve and Stefani won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Let Me Blow Ya Mind".
On April 12, 2014, Stefani made a surprise appearance at the Coachella festival, where she joined Pharrell Williams onstage during his set to perform "Hollaback Girl". She and Williams were coaches for season 7 of The Voice. After nine years since the last time, she attended the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, and during an interview on the red carpet she said, "I didn't know I was gonna have a baby, I didn't know I was gonna be on The Voice, I didn't know I was gonna be writing new music, so I'm just like, what's gonna be next?".Stefani appears as a featured artist on "My Heart Is Open", co-written by Sia Furler, from Maroon 5's V, which was performed for the first time with Adam Levine and an orchestra at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Gwen also appeared on "Together", from Calvin Harris' Motion. Both albums were released in 2014. A collaboration with Snoop Dogg, entitled "Run Away", was released on his 2015 studio album, Bush.
On September 8, 2014, Stefani told MTV News during New York Fashion Week that she is working on both a No Doubt album and a solo album. She also revealed that she is working with Williams. Stefani released her comeback single "Baby Don't Lie" on October 20, 2014, co-written with producers Ryan Tedder, Benny Blanco, and Noel Zancanella. Billboard magazine revealed that her third studio album is set to be released in December and Benny Blanco is set to executive produce it. In late October, a sneak peek of a new track from Stefani's third album, named "Spark the Fire", was premiered. The song was produced by Pharrell Williams. On November 23, the full song was uploaded online and was made available for digital download on December 1. On January 13, 2015, Stefani and Williams also recorded a song titled "Shine", for the Paddington soundtrack. Stefani and Sia Furler worked together on a ballad, called "Start a War" that is expected to be released on Stefani's third studio album as well.On July 10, 2015, Stefani and Eminem released a song titled "Kings Never Die", for the Southpaw soundtrack. Stefani's third studio album is planned for release in 2015. On October 17, 2015, Gwen performed a one-night concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, where she debuted an emotional song, reportedly about her breakup with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale, titled "Used To Love You". The song was released to radio stations on October 19, 2015.