Gwen Stefani — Crush of The Day
Gwen Stefani is a singer, songwriter and fashion designer, who rose to fame as the lead singer of No Doubt before becoming a solo performer.
Even though her parents exposed her to music from artists like Bob Dylan, Stefani cites Madonna as one of her greatest influences. Growing up, many of her clothes were stitched by her mother and her relatives, some of whom were seamstresses. This influenced Stefani to design her own clothes when she began performing. As a child, Stefani sang in musicals and encouraged by her voice, her father made her take music lessons to hone her skills.
In the late 1980s, Stefani joined No Doubt when she was in college. The band was started by her older brother Eric, who played keyboard, but who would quit later to pursue a career in animation. No Doubt scored a record deal with Interscope Records in 1991. Soon after joining the band, Stefani began dating the bassist Tony Kanal. The band nearly split up because of their relationship, but Stefani and Kanal stayed together as bandmates even after they had broken up. Her relationship with Kanal and the resulting experiences influenced many of the songs Stefani wrote on No Doubt’s third album ‘Tragic Kingdom’. Released in 1995, ‘Tragic Kingdom’ would prove to No Doubt’s breakthrough, spawning the hit singles ‘Just a Girl,’ ‘Spiderwebs’ and ‘Don’t Speak’ – the last of which received massive airplay and charted at number one internationally. The album would go on to sell in excess of 16 million worldwide.
After years of touring, No Doubt’s follow up album ‘Return of Saturn’ only released in 2000. Although the album contained the same new wave and ska-influenced music of ‘Tragic Kingdom,’ the album sold poorly in comparison to ‘Tragic Kingdom’. In 2001, ‘Rock Steady’ was released and with a change in musical direction, the band saw much success again with hit singles ‘Hey Baby,’ ‘Hella Good’ and ‘Underneath It All’. The following year, Stefani shared a Grammy win with rapper Eve for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’. In September 2002, after years of dating, Stefani wed Gavin Rossdale, the lead vocalist of Bush.
As she designed most of her stage outfits herself, in 2003, Stefani founded her fashion line L.A.M.B and the next year, she would make her solo debut with an album titled ‘Love. Angel. Music. Baby.’ The solo album, which began as a side project, became a worldwide success with ‘What You Waiting For?’ and ‘Hollaback Girl’ topping the charts internationally. At the same time, Stefani used the album to market her fashion line, which was inspired by Tokyo’s Harajuku sub-culture. The critically well-received fashion line continues to do well, with sales reaching up to $90 million annually.
The success of ‘Love. Angel. Music. Baby.’ saw Stefani return to the studio for a follow-up album. Released in 2006, ‘The Sweet Escape’ saw the self-titled single become a global hit. As a solo artist alone, Stefani has sold nearly 20 million albums. In 2008, she announced No Doubt were regrouping and would release a new album. The same year, Stefani gave birth to her second son with Rossdale.