Gwen Stefani isn't just famous for her music y'no!?
We love Gwen Stefani so much that we thought we’d dig out 11 facts you may not have known…
She’s a true Cali girl
Born in Fullerton, California, on 3 October 1969, Gwen was named after a stewardess in Arthur Hailey’s 1968 novel Airplane.
Gwen was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child. Difficulties with reading and writing meant she found school challenging and had to repeat a year.
Gwen, now 45, is the second of four children. Her older brother Eric set up the band No Doubt, playing keyboards, and asked Gwen to sing backing vocals in 1986. She became lead singer when original singer John Spence committed suicide. Eric left No Doubt in 1994 to work as an animator on The Simpsons.
Gwen’s first job was serving ice cream at a Dairy Queen in Anaheim.
She’s always struggled with her weight. In high school she joined the swim team to try to lose weight and has admitted that she’s been on a diet since sixth grade. Speaking about how she maintains her body, she’s said: ‘It’s an ongoing battle and it’s a nightmare. But I like clothes too much and I always wanted to wear the outfits I’d make.’
Slow start in music
After signing to Interscope Records in 1991, No Doubt’s self-titled first album was released in 1992 without success. The band self-released second album The Beacon Street Collection in 1995. But it was third album Tragic Kingdom, released the same year, that catapulted them to fame.
The album’s first hit Don’t Speak was inspired by Gwen’s break-up with band member Tony Kanal, whom she dated for seven years. Performing the hit track alongside his ex-girlfriend was difficult for Tony, who’s since said: ‘We were on tour with Tragic Kingdom for 28 months. We were going through the break-up and in every interview we were talking about it, so we were opening this wound on an hourly basis. It was so brutal I don’t know how we made it through.’
Hitting the big time
Gwen took time out from her studies at California State University to tour with the band following the release of Tragic Kingdom. She thought they’d be gone for two months, but the tour ended up lasting two and a half years. Needless to say she never went back!
Marriage and kids
She met her future husband Gavin Rossdale in 1995 when the band supported his band Bush. The on-off romance was rocky and the pair spent considerable time apart, but they finally wed on 14 September 2002 in London with a second wedding in Los Angeles two weeks later. Gwen said her marriage was ‘her biggest accomplishment’, adding: ‘Because it’s hard, everyone knows it’s hard’. In 2004 the couple’s relationship was rocked when a paternity test revealed model Daisy Lowe was his daughter – he’d previously had a relationship with Daisy’s mum Pearl. Sadly Gwen and Gavin’s marriage wasn’t to last and they announced their divorce last month, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’. They have three sons together: Kingston, nine, Zuma, seven, and Apollo, 19 months.
Before she joined The Voice US as a judge in 2014, Gwen had appeared in film Zoolander and hit TV shows Dawson’s Creek and Gossip Girl.
In 2011 Gwen donated £650,000 to Save The Children following the earthquake in Tohoku, Japan.