Music News

Gwen Stefani visits LinkedIn For Interview With Daniel Roth at LinkedIn Studios on March 31, 2016 in New York City.

Gwen Stefani was born on October 3, 1969, named after a stewardess in the 1968 novel Airport. The singer-songwriter dropped out of California State University in 1987 to pursue a music career. Before she dropped out of college, her brother Eric asked her to be the vocalist of the ska band No Doubt. With the rise in popularity of grunge music at the time, the band didn’t see mainstream success until their third album in 1995, Tragic Kingdom, which featured hits like “Don’t Speak,” “Just a Girl,” and “Spiderwebs.” At this time, Stefani also began working outside of the band. She collaborated with rapper/ singer Eve and was featured on her song “Let Me Blow Ya Mind.”

Gwen’s Solo Career

During the band’s hiatus, Stefani embarked on a solo pop career in 2004 by releasing her debut studio album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. “Rich Girl” was released as the album’s second single as her second collaboration with Eve, and produced by Dr. Dre. The album also featured hits like “What You Waiting For?” and “Hollaback Girl.” Two years later, she released her second studio album, The Sweet Escape. “Wind It Up” and “The Sweet Escape” were among the mainstream hits on the record.

In 2014, Stefani became a judge on NBC’s The Voice, where she met her now-husband Blake Shelton. They announced their relationship a year later and married in 2021. In 2019, she was featured on Shelton’s single “Nobody but You” from his compilation album Fully Loaded: God’s Country. Besides her music career, Stefani has appeared in films like Mr. & Mrs. Smith and The Aviator. Following the release of Love. Angel. Music. Baby, she launched a fashion line called L.A.M.B., with the release of the less expensive Harajuku Lovers line. In March 2022, Stefani tapped into the makeup industry with the launch of GXVE Beauty.

Take a look below at our top ten favorite Gwen Stefani songs.

  • 10. Rich Girl (feat. Eve)

    From her debut solo album, Gwen collaborated with Eve once again. The song is a remake of Louchie Lou & Michie One’s 1993 song of the same name. The pirate-themed music video features stylings inspired by late-1990s Vivienne Westwood (which Gwen has worn a lot at this time and sang about in the track), and has the popular Bratz dolls at the time of Stefani and Eve.

  • 9. Wind It Up

    On her second studio album, Stefani gave her best yodeling shot in the song’s intro, which we hate or love depending on our mood. This 2006 track perfectly embodies Stefani’s vibe at the time, which was unapologetically over the top. The music video is whimsical, featuring outfits and scenes inspired by 1965’s The Sound of Music.

  • 8. Hollaback Girl

    This is the song that taught everyone how to spell “bananas.” “Hollaback Girl” perfectly blends hip-hop and dance music, with Stefani playing the role of a cheerleader in the accompanying music video. The video’s choreography is impressive with her Harajuku Girls, and the artist won Best Choreography that year at the MTV VMAs.

  • 7. Spiderwebs

    The ska-punk song debuted in 1995, detailing Stefani’s response to potential suitors. The music video features the band performing the song at a wedding reception. As Stefani goes to catch the bouquet, she pricks her finger on a thorn in the process. The video then cuts to a black-and-white sequence where wireline telephones knock down the large windows in the room and begin wrapping around No Doubt and the wedding attendees, trapping them all. After the band members eventually free themselves, they finish their performance for the newlyweds.

  • 6. Luxurious

    The R&B track from her debut solo album speaks to something we all can relate to: enjoying the fruits of our labors after “working so hard every night and day” and finally getting to lay back. The song samples the Isley Brothers’ 1983 song “Between the Sheets.” Gwen’s then-husband Gavin Rossdale opens the song in French.

  • 5. Just a Girl

    “Just a Girl” was No Doubt’s lead single from their successful third studio album. Lyrically, the track is about Stefani’s perspective of life as a woman and her struggles with having strict parents. It was the first song she wrote without the assistance of her brother Eric, who played the keyboards and left the band after the album was recorded.

  • 4. What You Waiting For?

    “What You Waiting For?” is a song that inspires you to get up and get after it. With her lack of inspiration being a problem for her in the music video, Stefani takes inspiration from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with details like an oversized pocket watch from the piano, a rabbit ornament that jumps across the room. Throughout the mesmerizing video, she portrays Alice, the White Queen, and the Red Queen.

  • 3. The Sweet Escape (feat. Akon)

    Teaming up with Akon in the early 2000s was one of the best pop collaborations of the time. With Stefani’s previous work with No Doubt in mind, Akon developed the song’s beat before collaborating with her. As simple as his parts are, we live for Akon’s “Woohoo, yeehoo!”

  • 2. Hella Good

    The hook on “Hella Good” features a bassline that we think is just — hella good. As the funky song progresses, Gwen’s voice and energy skyrocket the track when she belts out: “You got me feelin’ hella good, so let’s just keep on dancin’.” The music video is a fun one, with No Doubt squatting in an abandoned ship in black-and-white.

  • 1. Don't Speak

    No Doubt did their thing on their third studio album with this fantastic breakup track. Her brother Eric initially wrote it as a love song, but after several rewrites, Gwen changed it after she and bandmate and ex-boyfriend Tony Kanal ended their seven-year relationship. What came as a result was this beautifully sung track by Gwen.

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