Gwen Renée Stefani (born October 3, 1969) is an American
singer, fashion designer, and occasional actress; and is the frontwoman
of the ska/rock band No Doubt.
A native of Anaheim, California, Gwen Stefani first experienced mainstream
success with the release of No Doubt's 1995 album Tragic Kingdom,
which spawned hits such as "Just a Girl", "Spiderwebs",
and "Don't Speak".
In 2004, Gwen Stefani wrote and recorded her first solo album Love.
Angel. Music. Baby., for which she consulted producers The Neptunes,
singer-songwriter Linda Perry and OutKast frontman André
3000, among others. The album contained pop music and dance music
tracks, including hip hop and slow jam-influences. The third single,
"Hollaback Girl", was very successful, and became the
first U.S. digital single to exceed sales of one million.
Pharrell has stated he has produced, and is still tweaking new
tracks for Gwen Stefani's second solo album, which is scheduled for a
late 2006 release.
Gwen Stefani was born in Fullerton, California, but grew up in
Anaheim. Her father, Dennis Stefani, is Italian American, and her
mother Patti Flynn is of Irish and Scottish descent. She has a sister,
Jill, and two brothers, Eric and Todd. Jill appeared in No Doubt's
"Just A Girl" music video. Gwen Stefani 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 was the keyboardist for No Doubt, but eventually left
the band to pursue a career in animation on The Simpsons. Other
members of the group include Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal, and drummer
1986-present: No Doubt
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 due to the break up of Kanal and Stefani. However, this was to
become a major inspiration for Gwen Stefani lyrically. The album was
released in 1995 and spawned several hits, beginning with "Just
a Girl". Following the success of Tragic Kingdom, Gwen 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". Gwen Stefani met Bush and now Institute
frontman Gavin Rossdale in 1995 at a concert in which she was performing
to promote Tragic Kingdom. The release of The Singles 1992-2003,
a CD with the band's best hits, and Everything in Time: B-sides,
Remixes and Rarities prompted media speculation about a break-up,
which the band denied in later interviews.
Outside of No Doubt Gwen Stefani has collaborated with other artists,
most notably for the singles "Southside" and "Let
Me Blow Ya Mind" with Moby and Eve respectively. In 2002, Eve
and Stefani won a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Let
Me Blow Ya Mind."
2004-present: Love. Angel. Music. Baby.
Gwen Stefani's debut solo album, "Love. Angel. Music. Baby.,"
was released on November 22, 2004 in Europe and Asia and on November
23, 2004 in North America. Gwen Stefani's debut sold more copies in its
first week (310,000) than any No Doubt album ever had in the United
States. The album peaked at number five on the Billboard 200 and
at number five on the Canadian albums chart; it reached number four
in the UK and number one in Australia. Gwen Stefani had collaborated
with singer-songwriter Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes on the album,
along with Pharrell Williams and André 3000, Wendy &
Lisa among others.
"Rich Girl" was released as the second single from the
album; it is a duet with rapper Eve, and produced by Dr. Dre. "Rich
Girl" is an adaptation of a 1990s pop song by British reggae
musicians Louchie Lou and Michie, which itself is partly a cover
of the song "If I Were A Rich Man" from the musical Fiddler
on the Roof, written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick.
The third single taken from Love. Angel. Music. Baby., "Hollaback
Girl" became Gwen Stefani's first North American and second Australian
number-one single; it peaked at number eight in the United Kingdom.
The song became the first U.S. digital download to surpass sales of
one million. The fourth single "Cool" was released on July
5, 2005 in North America and August 22, 2005 elsewhere in the world,
becoming a substantial hit but did not match the chart success of
its predecessor. It reached the top twenty in the U.S. and UK, the
top ten in Australia and number one in Canada. The music video for
"Cool," filmed in Lake Como, Italy, shows Gwen Stefani paying
homage to her Italian heritage as well as 1950s bombshells Marilyn
Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Sophia Loren, and Brigitte Bardot.
"Luxurious" became the fifth single release from Love.
Angel. Music. Baby., and her sixth single "Crash" was
released in early 2006 in lieu of the production of L.A.M.B.'s sequel,
which Gwen Stefani postponed because of her pregnancy.
Gwen Stefani received five Grammy award nominations on December
8, 2005. She was nominated in the following categories: Best Pop
Vocal Album, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Album Of The Year,
Record Of The Year, and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Gwen Stefani did
not receive any awards at the Grammys on February 8, 2006.
Though Gwen Stefani has had an extremely successful solo career with
her album Love.Angel.Music.Baby., she plans on recording with No
Doubt in 2006, although recording may be halted due to her pregnancy.
It's been reported that the remaining members of No Doubt have
gone back into the studio in mid-March and that bandmate Tony Kanal
has already penned some new songs.
The release of her solo album has also brought attention to Gwen Stefani's
entourage of four Harajuku Girls. Named Love, Angel, Music, and
Baby by Gwen 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, Gwen 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, Gwen Stefani's adoption of this
component of Japanese culture drew criticism from Mihi Ahn at Salon.com,
and others who feel that Gwen Stefani has stripped Japanese street fashion
of its authenticity and created yet another example of the 'submissive
Asian female' stereotype. Wrote Ahn,
Gwen Stefani has taken the idea of Japanese street fashion and turned
these women into modern-day geisha, contractually obligated to speak
only Japanese in public, even though it's rumored they're just plain
old Americans and their English is just fine... she's swallowed
a subversive youth culture in Japan and barfed up another image
of submissive giggling Asian women.
According to the Jan/Feb 2006 edition of Blender magazine, stand-up
comic Margaret Cho has labelled the Harajuku Girls as a "minstrel
show" that reinforces ethnic stereotypes of Asian women.
Gwen Stefani and her husband Gavin Rossdale announced in December 2005
they are expecting their first child together. The baby is said
to be due in late May or early June of 2006. She has been seen shopping
for baby clothes in neutral colors, because she and Rossdale don't
want to know the sex of their baby until he or she is born in June.
Despite this fact, Gwen Stefani and Rossdale announced in April 2006
that their baby is a girl, further substantiated by Gwen Stefani's pink-themed
Gwen Stefani has created a successful fashion line, named L.A.M.B.,
which showcases clothing that Gwen Stefani is often seen wearing herself.
She reportedly received an $8 million advance for associating her
name with the line. The line also includes handbags and purses.
Celebrities such as Nicky Hilton, Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra,
Nicole Richie, Jenny McCarthy, Alicia Keys and Halle Berry have
been seen sporting her fashion line and LeSportsac bags.
Although Gwen Stefani's natural hair color is brown and she has previously
colored it blue and pink, she is known for her famously platinum
blond hair and bright red lipstick. She has dark brown eyes.
Gwen Stefani claims to be a "female shooter."
Gwen Stefani's nicknames are Sunshine and G-loc.
She designed and promoted a camera for Hewlett-Packard.
Gwen Stefani's favourite bands include Sublime, 311, Blur, Radiohead,
Madness and Jamiroquai.
Gwen Stefani is close friends with Shirley Manson, lead singer of the
Gwen 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.
Gwen 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.
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 Doubts
Tragic Kingdom was stolen from the Fullerton Museum Centre in Orange
County, United States. Speculation circulates that the dress might
have been sold.
Gwen 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."
Gwen Stefani had two weddings; one in London and one in California.
Gwen Stefani has been quoted in saying that she and Madonna share a
common Italian relative. Gwen Stefani has claimed that her great aunt
married a man from Detroit, Michigan (the area of Michigan that
Madonna is from) with the last name "Ciccone."
As a friend to Bradley Nowell, of the ska/punk band Sublime, Gwen Stefani
staged a benefit concert in Southern California following his death.
She still keeps close friendly ties with all members of No Doubt.
The original Italian pronunciation of her surname Stefani is Stèfani
(first syllable stressed)
2004 Love. Angel. Music. Baby
2000 "South Side" (with Moby)
2001 "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (with Eve)
2004 "What You Waiting For?"
2005 "Rich Girl" (featuring Eve)
2005 "Hollaback Girl"
2005 "Can I Have It Like That" (with Pharrell Williams)
This article (or parts thereof) is
copied from an article on Wikipedia.org
- the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community.
Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles
provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the
accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed
under the terms of GNU
Free Documentation License.