Date of Birth: October 3, 1969
Place of Birth: Fullerton, California, USA
Height: 5' 6"
Best Known For: Being the lead singer for the band No Doubt
|Gwen Stefani Biography
Gwen Stefani was born in Fullerton, CA, but raised in Anaheim, CA, with her two brothers, Eric and Todd, and her sister Jill. Her father, Dennis Stefani, is Italian American, and her mother Patti Flynn is of Irish and Scottish descent. After Stefani graduated from Loara High School in 1987, she attended California State University Fullerton.
Stefani and her brother Eric began the band No Doubt the same year she graduated high school. She started as a back up vocalist in the group, but became lead singer when the original lead, John Spence, committed suicide in December of 1987. In 1989, two members joined No Doubt, guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young.
After playing numerous gigs and parties, No Doubt attracted the attention of Flea, bassist for Red Hot Chili Peppers. He recorded a demo for the band in 1990, which led to a deal with Interscope Records in 1991. The label considered their 1992 self-titled debut album a flop and refused to financially support a tour or further recordings, but the band refused to give up.
Now self-funded, No Doubt went back to the studio and recorded a collection of songs they had written, but had not added to the first album. The Beacon Street Collection appeared in 1994, and did well enough to draw back the attention of Interscope. Around this time, Eric Stefani left the group to become an animator for The Simpsons and Stefani and Tony, who had been dating for many years, ended their relationship. Stefani wrote a collection of songs about the breakup which appeared on No Doubt's third album, Tragic Kingdom.
With the smash singles "Just a Girl," "Spiderwebs," and "Don't Speak," the album reached the number one spot in Billboard and garnered two Grammy nominations. The press began to focus on Stefani's role in the band. Voted one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People," video and photo shoots focused on her and rumors spread that the other three members of the band were unhappy with the lack of attention they received. This topic of discussion continued as the band released Return of Saturn in 2000 and Rock Steady a year later, but it was overshadowed during this time by new gossip -- Stefani's romantic relationship with Bush's frontman, Gavin Rossdale. She also started doing some work outside the band, lending her vocals to the remix of electronica artist Moby's "Southside" and rapper Eve's "Let Me Blow Your Mind."
After Rock Steady, No Doubt took a break. Stefani approached Kanal about producing an off-the-cuff solo project that would be influenced by her non-ska favorites. Prince, the Time, Club Nouveau, and Madonna were the names thrown around and the idea was to make the project "fast and easy." Over time, the "fast and easy" record morphed into something much bigger. Old friend, former labelmate, and hit songwriter Linda Perry became involved and the project became much more polished, slick, and dance-oriented. A pile of high-profile collaborators -- Dr. Dre, the Neptunes, Dallas Austin, Andre 3000, Nellee Hooper, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis -- became involved.
In September of 2004, the infectious and hyper dance single "What You Waiting For?" appeared with its accompanying video dominating MTV. The album, Love.Angel.Music.Baby, hit the shelves in November with surreal artwork that introduced Stefani's four-woman "posse," the Harajuku Girls. The all-Asian Harajuku Girls were inspired by Stefani's fascination with the Harajuku Girls of Japan, young club kids that have a flippant and fun attitude toward fashion. Based on a dance hall cover of Fiddler on the Roof's "If I Were a Rich Man," "Rich Girl" became the next smash single with the anthem "Hollaback Girl" becoming success number three.
While singles from Love.Angel.Music.Baby were dominating pop and dance radio, Stefani appeared as Jean Harlow in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator. She also branched out from singing when she introduced her own clothing line called L.A.M.B.Stefani dated fellow band member, Tony Kanal for eight years. In 1996 she met her husband Gavin Rossdale, frontman for Bush, at a concert they were playing together. Stefani and Rossdale married on September 14, 2002. They welcomed their first child, Kingston James McGregor Rossdale, on May 26, 2006 in Los Angeles.
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Heavenly Celebrities: Gwen Stefani
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