The Music and the FashionEditorial
...of Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani was born October 3, 1969, in Orange County, California. Growing up in Southern California with brothers Todd and Eric -- where they were raised by parents Dennis and Patti -- Gwen was highly influenced by the rising popularity of ska and punk that was making its presence felt in the So Cal area.
Gwen's brother Eric started the band No Doubt with his friend John Spence in 1987, and asked the always effervescent Gwen to join on as co-vocalist with Spence. Tony Kanal joined the group a little later, and the trio began to gain popularity by playing at local parties.
But the party was over when Spence committed suicide in 1987, which left Gwen to move up the ranks to lead vocalist. The show must go on, and it did, as No Doubt continued to perform in local gigs. In the meantime, Gwen had graduated high school, and followed up her studies at Cal State Fullerton College.
Gwen was forced to juggle the band, her studies, as well as what turned out to be a 7-year long romance with fellow band member, Tony Kanal. In 1989, two new members joined the No Doubt team, guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young. After No Doubt was really attracting a fan base (thanks mostly to their energetic live performances), Flea, the bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded a demo for the band in 1990, which led to their signing with Interscope Records.
In 1992, the band released their self-titled debut, but despite the substantial following the band had garnered, the album was far from a commercial success. Their record company was losing faith in their potential, but No Doubt's persistence did not waver.
The group went back into the studio with their own money, and recorded a collection of "extra" songs they had written. Their sophomore effort, The Beacon Street Collection, was released in 1995, and not only struck a cord with their devout fans, but also re-sparked Interscope's confidence in the band.
No Doubt was back in business and returned to the recording studio with the support of their record company. The fruit of their effort was the hugely successful Tragic Kingdom, only this one was sans Eric Stefani, who left to become an animator on The Simpsons.
1995's Tragic Kingdom broke through the charts with its debut single, "Just A Girl", with the help of the punk-tinged catchy lyrics and an accompanying colorful video. The album went on to spawn hits such as "Spiderwebs" and the super smash hit, "Don't Speak". The latter was written as an ode to the former relationship of Gwen and Tony, and must have struck a Spanish guitar chord with the public since the single has become the band's biggest smash to date and topped charts worldwide.
The album went on to become a Billboard Number One, and garnered two Grammy nominations for the group.
No Doubt's release, Return of Saturn, hit the music scene in 2000, and spawned the hits "Ex-Girlfriend" and "Simple Kind of Life".
I think everyone has gifts and everyone has talents. If you are successful at it, it feels really good but it never really penetrates completely. There are moments where I think that we made an amazing record and I'm so proud of it, but I don't wake up and go, "Wow, I'm amazing.
It's always odd to talk about my fashion. It's something you look at-you don't need to talk about it.
I don't know what I'm going to do, but I've always wanted to do the family thing
At a certain point I'm going to want to have a family and I'm not going to have time to be running around the world doing this shit and being greedy. I can always write songs. But can I always wear an Alice-in-Wonderland costume? I probably shouldn't. I can at home. I was thinking that when I have children, that I should always dress as a character for them, so they think their mom is Alice in Wonderland or Cinderella. It would be totally messed up!
As a famous person you think how you're gonna end it, get away and have a normal life. I imagine my children are going to save me from my vanity and be my passion and fill whatever fears I have of the amazing time I'm having right now being gone. I don't want to drop off and not be on the radio or not be able to talk about myself for hours. I don't want it to go away. But at the same time, I never expected to be here in the first place.
I'm really emotional. I don't fight with people - like, I can barely fight with my husband because I'll just start crying instead. I've learnt not to do that.
I've been making a conscious effort not to think about the future. I'm lucky to not have a real job, to be able to express myself, be creative and be relevant. I don't know what I will be doing in 10 years. How old will I be? Forty-five. I don't want to think about it to be honest, because it's a waste of time. Tomorrow night I'll be in bed with my husband again and it will be really great. It's all about right now.
I'm like a peanut butter sandwich.
The one thing that makes me feel super lucky about my financial success is that I have a housekeeper.
My songs are basically my diaries. Some of my best songwriting has come out of time when I've been going through a personal nightmare.
I really want to take some more time out and be with my husband. I guess what I really want is to have a baby. Life is short and you've got to get the most out of it.
I'd like to stress that I only have a small role. Oh, who am I kidding? There are no small roles in a Martin Scorsese film. (Regarding her role in The Aviator (2004).
For me, acting comes from the same place as performing music. I just have to perform. I wanted to get it right and I did. Sometimes you just have to go for it.
"They are my best friends, so when I told them that I wanted to try something solo they responded in the way that best friends do. It was a matter of timing. We've all been growing up and our priorities have changed. Then I went and got married and my priorities certainly changed." (regarding pursuing a solo music career away from her rock group, No Doubt)
"This album is just about me. Although at times I think there's less of me on this than anything I've done because of all the people involved." (regarding her first solo album, Love Angel Music Baby)
"I imagine having children will save me from my vanity and fill whatever fears I have." [on easing up on her career to consider a family, in Rolling Stone]
"I really don't care what people say. It's not like it discourage me from doing something I want to do".
One time, a guy said he worked for Hugh M. Hefner and gave me a card. I thought it was funny.
I have a dream about spending time in my house with my kids. Being a mom was all I ever dreamed about. Now that it's come true it makes me feel like my life has come together. Nothing else matters.