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||Gwen Renée Stefani
|Also Know As:
|Date of Birth:
||3rd October 1969
|Place of Birth:
Gwendolyn Renée Stefani (born October 3, 1969) is an American singer and the frontwoman of the pop/rock band No Doubt who launched a successful solo career in late 2004.
Stefani was born in Anaheim, California. Her father, Denis, is Italian, and her mother Patti is of English and Scottish descent. She has a sister, Jill, and two brothers, Eric and Todd. She attended California State University, Fullerton, and Loara High School (class of 1987), where she was on the swim team. Her first job was scrubbing floors at a Dairy Queen, and she once worked at a department store. Her brother Eric founded No Doubt in 1986 with his friend John Spence, but eventually left the band to pursue a career in animation on The Simpsons. He was the keyboardist for No Doubt. Stefani became the group's lead singer after original frontman John Spence committed suicide in late 1987. Other members of the group include Tony Kanal (with whom Stefani had a seven year relationship), Tom Dumont, and drummer Adrian Young. On September 14, 2002, Stefani married Gavin Rossdale, former lead singer of the band Bush. In 2003, No Doubt took an unlimited break to concentrate on other projects; Stefani pursued a solo career, releasing the album Love. Angel. Music. Baby to great success.
The band's third album (following their eponymous debut No Doubt (1992) and The Beacon Street Collection (1995), Tragic Kingdom, took three years to make. During this time, the band almost split up. The album was released in 1995 and spawned several hits, beginning with "Just a Girl". Following the success of Tragic Kingdom, Stefani became highly popular and recognizable; the tension this produced with the other members of the band was touched upon in their video for the song "Don't Speak". Many of the album's songs, including "Don't Speak" and "Spiderwebs", were inspired by Stefani's relationship and breakup with fellow band member Tony Kanal. Stefani had dated Kanal for seven years until he ended the relationship. She slipped into depression after touring for Tragic Kingdom.
The album also spun off the moderately successful hits, "Excuse Me Mr." and "Sunday Morning", which were released as the fourth and fifth singles, respectively.
Stefani met Bush guitarist Gavin Rossdale in 1995 at a concert in which she was performing to promote Tragic Kingdom. No Doubt went on to tour as Bush's opening act for three months during which the relationship between Stefani and Rossdale blossomed. On September 14, 2002, they were married firstly in London and later after a short honeymoon had another ceremony in Los Angeles at Jimmy Iovine's house.
The Beacon Street Collection was re-released in October 1997 on the back of the success of Tragic Kingdom and No Doubt returned in 2000 with the acclaimed Return of Saturn, followed by Rock Steady in 2001. After winning two years in a row the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or a Group award at the Grammys, the release of The Singles 1992-2003 and Everything in Time: B-sides, Remixes and Rarities prompted media speculation about a break-up, which the band refuted in later interviews.
Stefani duets with Prince on the song "So Far, So Pleased" from his 1999 album Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic. While intended as a single, No Doubt's label declined to give permission in fear that fans would get some kind of confusion, since Return of Saturn had just been released. The same Prince-produced album features rap by Eve of Ruff Ryders, who later collaborated with her. Stefani's solo efforts found early success in a pair of popular 2001 duets, the "South Side" remix with electronic artist Moby and "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" with rapper Eve. In fact, Stefani became the first artist in history to win both Best Male Video and Best Female Video awards at the MTV VMAs, for "South Side" (credited as "Moby featuring Gwen Stefani") and "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (credited as "Eve featuring Gwen Stefani") respectively, both in 2001.
Stefani's debut solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., was released in the United States on November 23, 2004. It managed to sell more copies in its first week than any No Doubt album (350,000), debuting at number seven on the Billboard 200, impressive for a debut solo artist. Her album was certified platinum (1,000,000 copies sold) after only four weeks of sales. Stefani collaborated with songwriter Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes) on the album.
The first solo single Stefani released was "What You Waiting For?" It debuted at number one on the Australian singles chart and at number four on the UK chart, and peaked at number forty-seven on the U.S. chart, making it a relative American flop for Stefani. In Canada, it managed to climb to number eleven, but almost instantly dropped out of the top forty. The song was also only seldom played on Canadian radio. Even though it did not perform all that well on the charts, it was a dance hit, climbing to number one on the U.S. dance club play charts. However, the song received little audience on dance radio, and ultimately did not peak in the top forty.
The second single, "Rich Girl," another duet with Eve, was produced by Dr. Dre. It is partly a cover of the song "If I Was A Rich Man" written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, from the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. It shot its way into the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number seven, and number three on the Pop 100. It was also featured on a Pepsi commercial, starting on Super Bowl Sunday, 2005. The music video lived up to its name, featuring Stefani and Eve dancing on a pirate ship, where young Asian girls determined the outcome of their adventure.
Love. Angel. Music. Baby.'s third single, "Hollaback Girl", produced and co-written by the Neptunes, was released in April of 2005 and became one of the fastest rising songs of the year. In only its sixth week, it hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making Stefani the first white, non-urban, and non-American Idol artist to reach the top spot since Nickelback in 2001/2002 with their hit, "How You Remind Me". The song held this position for one month and subsequently remained in the top ten for an additional two months. In Australia, the song debuted at number one, where it hailed for one week, selling over 5,000 copies.
When the song was released in the U.K., it debuted at number eight. The following week, it duplicated the same position, confusing many. Due to its large audience in North America, critics assumed that it was a sure-fire number one. Then, in its third week, it fell to number eleven, unable to climb to a higher peak. Despite not being as successful as predicted, it did manage to sell in excess of 50,000 copies. "Hollaback Girl" also helped Love. Angel. Music. Baby. climb the charts. "Hollaback Girl" is now recieving a certified 5x platinum.
In May 2005, while "Hollaback Girl" was enjoying its success, speculation about the next single from Love. Angel. Music. Baby. grew intensely. At first, it was rumoured that "Bubble Pop Electric", an urban-influenced track about a classic 1980s date was going to be the next single. At the end of the month, "Cool", a happy-go-lucky pop song about a disastrous relationship that didn't result so horribly, was rumoured to be the next single.
As no other song on the album was being thrown into the mix, it was evident that it was going to be one of the two songs. Finally, on June 16, 2005, "Cool" debuted on the Billboard Pop Airplay chart at number forty-four, putting a rest to the ongoing rumours. The single went on to reach number thirteen in the U.S., number two in Canada, and number eleven in the United Kingdom.
"Cool" premiered on TRL on June 30, 2005. The video, filmed in Lake Como, Italy, sees Gwen paying homage to her Italian heritage as well as 1950s bombshells Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Sophia Loren, and Brigitte Bardot. The song went gold, but was a very small hit compared to the chartbuster Hollaback Girl, perhaps partly because of competition with Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together".
It was confirmed on Saturday of September 24, 2005 by MTV and Stefani herself that "Luxurious" will be the fifth single after "Cool". There were other of rumours going around of what the fifth single would be "Bubble Pop Electric" or "Serious".
Gwen has also confirmed that a new solo album will be out by Winter 2005, and MTV has revealed that one of the songs she recorded for the new album (though it might not make the final cut) is called "Fluorescent Lights".
The release of her solo album has also brought attention to Stefani's entourage of four Harajuku girls. Named Love, Angel, Music, and Baby by Stefani, the Harajuku girls are named for the area around the Harajuku Station of Tokyo, Japan, known as a popular shopping destination and fashion center for teenagers. Following the style of their namesake area, Stefani's Harajuku girls are usually flamboyantly dressed (sometimes in a somewhat "Gothic Lolita" style). They have been featured in her music videos and press coverage and on the album cover for Love. Angel. Music. Baby., and have a song dedicated to them on the album.
However, Stefani's adoption of this component of Japanese culture drew criticism from Mihi Ahn at Salon.com.
- "What You Waiting For?" is certified platnium.
- "Rich Girl" is certified double platinum.
- "Hollaback Girl" is certified 5x platinum.
- "Cool" is certified gold.
- Love. Angel. Music. Baby. is certified 6x platinum worldwide.
Unreleased tracks and alternative titles
- "Benti uno" written and produced by J.D. Crutch
- "Parental Advisory": produced by Rich Harrison who worked on Beyoncé Knowles' "Crazy in Love". The song pokes fun at dancers with moves better suited for strip clubs than dance clubs.
- "Wonderful Life for Him": written with Linda Perry. Stefani first abandoned this song as it was very personal to her; six months later she rediscovered it and decided to record it. The song is about a boy whom Stefani dated in high school and who had recently died.
- "You Started It": written with Pharrell Williams.
- "Candyland": written with Pharrell Williams. This same song goes by name "Wind It Up"on her tour's official playlist.
- "Fine by You": written with Linda Perry. The song is about not being inspired. It was one of the first songs written for the album. It is also known as "Just Fine".
- "Can't Stop the Music" and "Criminal" are two songs that were written with Linda Perry. On the ASCAP website they are listed as being on hold. ASCAP
- "Bubble Pop Electric" is also known as "Drive in Movie" and "Bubble Pop Electric/Drive in Movie". ASCAP
- "Harajuku Girls" is also registered as "Harajuka Girls" on the ASCAP website. ASCAP
- "Hollaback Girl" is registered twice — once with writing credits going to Stefani and Pharrell Williams, the second with the credits that appear on the album. ASCAP
- "What You Waiting For" is also registered as "What Ya Waiting For". ASCAP
- Stefani has created a successful fashion line, named L.A.M.B, which showcases clothing that Stefani is often seen wearing herself. The line also includes handbags and purses. Celebrities such as Nicky Hilton, Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra, Nicole Richie, Jenny McCarthy, Alicia Keys and Halle Berry have been seen sporting her fashion line and LeSportsac bags.
- Stefani's nicknames are Sunshine and G-loc.
- Her parents still own and reside in the Anaheim, California home that she grew up in, near her high school.
- Stefani's favourite bands include 311, Blur, Radiohead and Jamiroquai.
- Stefani lent her voice to the title character of Malice, a PS2 and Xbox video game; before completion, however, the company opted not to use No Doubt band-members' voices.
- Girls and young women who imitate Stefani's distinctive style of dress are sometimes referred to as "Gwennabes" or "Gwenabees".
- Stefani made her acting debut playing Jean Harlow in the 2004 Martin Scorsese movie The Aviator, but made a quick cameo appearance in the movie Zoolander.
- Gwen Stefani was considered for the role of Jane Smith in a movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith after Nicole Kidman dropped out. The role eventually went for Angelina Jolie.
- When not touring, or working on her other projects, she shares two homes with her husband, Gavin Rossdale. One in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles and the other in London.
- Her vinyl red gown that she wore on the cover of No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom was stolen from the Fullertown Museum Centre in Orange County, United States. Speculation circulates that the dress might have been sold.
- Stefani's eyes are dark brown and her natural hair colour is brown, though she has coloured it blue and pink at times. Her trademarks include her famously platinum blonde hair and her red lipstick.
- Stefani has been quoted as saying: "I think I've been able to fool a lot of people because I know I'm a dork. I'm a geek."
- For more details on this topic, see Gwen Stefani discography.
- 2004: Love. Angel. Music. Baby. — #5 U.S.; #4 UK; #10 GER; #5 CAN; #1 AUS — U.S. certification: 2x platinum; worldwide sales: 6 million
- from Love. Angel. Music. Baby.
- 2004: "What You Waiting For?" — #47 U.S.; #11 CAN; #4 UK; #1 AUS (2 weeks)
- 2005: "Rich Girl" (feat. Eve) — #7 U.S.; #4 CAN; #4 UK; #2 AUS
- 2005: "Hollaback Girl" — #1 U.S. (4 weeks), #1 CAN (3 weeks); #8 UK; #1 AUS (1 week)
- 2005: "Cool" — #13 U.S.; #1 CAN (2 weeks); #11 UK; #10 AUS; #20 GER
- 2005: "Luxurious"
- As a featured guest
- 1998: "You're The Boss" — The Brian Setzer Orchestra feat. Gwen Stefani
- 1999: "Saw Red" — Sublime featuring Gwen Stefani
- 1999: "So Far, So Pleased" — Prince featuring Gwen Stefani
- 2000: "Everybody Is A Star" — Fishbone featuring Gwen Stefani
- 2001: "What's Going On" — Artist Against AIDS Worldwide
- 2001: "South Side" — Moby featuring Gwen Stefani — #14 U.S.
- 2001: "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" — Eve featuring Gwen Stefani — #2 U.S.; #4 UK; #4 AUS
- 2005: "Can I Have It Like That" — Pharrell featuring Gwen Stefani
- 2005: "Tears In Heaven" — All-Star Charity Single
All the videos that Gwen Stefani has appeared in. To see the videos that she has been in with No Doubt, go to No Doubt
- 1997 Bush: "Bonedriven" (Gwen appearance, but only on photos) (Director: Mark Lebon)
- 1998 Rufus Wainfright: "April Fools" (Gwen, with black hair, appearance) (Director: Sophie Muller)
- 2001 Moby featuring Gwen Stefani: "South Side" (Director: Joseph Kahn)
- 2001 Eve featuring Gwen Stefani: "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (Director: Artwell Philip)
- 2001 All-Star Tribute: "What's Going On" (Director: Jake Scott)
- 2004 Gwen Stefani: "What You Waiting For?" (Director: Francis Lawrence)
- 2004 Gwen Stefani featuring Eve: "Rich Girl" (Director: David LaChapelle)
- 2005 Gwen Stefani: "Hollaback Girl" (Director: Paul Hunter)
- 2005 Gwen Stefani: "Cool" (Director: Sophie Muller)
- 2005 Pharrell Williams featuring Gwen Stefani: "Can I Have It Like That (Director: Paul Hunter)
- 2005 Gwen Stefani: "Luxurious" (Director: Sophie Muller)
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