Gwen Stefani

From Academic Kids

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Gwen Stefani

Gwen Rene Stefani (born October 3 1969) is an American singer and the frontwoman of the band No Doubt who launched a successful solo career in late 2004.

Contents

Beginnings

Stefani was born in Fullerton, 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 Cal State Fullerton, and at Loara High School (class of 1987), 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. Gwen became the group's lead singer after original frontman John Spence committed suicide in December 1987.

First success

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Stefani on the cover of No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom, 1995

The band's second studio album, 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 on by 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. Gwen had dated Kanal for eight years until he ended the relationship because he needed more space. She slipped into depression after touring for Tragic Kingdom.

The album also spun off the moderate successful hits, "Excuse Me Mr." and "Sunday Morning", which were released as singles fourth and fifth, respectively.

Stefani met Bush guitarist Gavin Rossdale in 1996 at a concert she was playing with No Doubt. On September 14 2002, they were married.

Solo career

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Stefani on the cover of her debut solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., 2004

Gwen duets with The Artist formerly known as Prince on the song "So Far, So Pleased" from his 1999 album Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic. The same Prince produced album features rap by Eve of Ruff Ryders, who later collaborated with Gwen. Stefani's solo efforts found early success in a pair of popular 2001 duets, the "Southside" remix with techno 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 "Southside" (credited as "Moby featuring Gwen Stefani") and "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (credited as "Eve featuring Gwen Stefani") respectively, both in 2001.

The first single released was "What You Waiting For?" It debuted at number one on the Australian ARIAnet 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 dropped out of the top thirty quite rapidly. Even though the song didn't perform all that well on the charts, it was a dance hit, climbing to number nine on the U.S. dance club play charts. However, the song received little audience on dance radio, and ultimately not peaking in the top forty.

Stefani's first solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. was released in the U.S. 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, impressive for a debut solo artist. (Although her previous status is what most likely debuted it at such a high number.) Her album was certified platinum (1,000,000 copies sold) after only four weeks of sales.

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" from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. 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.

Love.Angel.Music.Baby.'s third single, "Hollaback Girl", 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 or 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, until "We Belong Together", a ballad by Mariah Carey, overtook it. Since its tenth week, and currently the thirteenth week, "Hollaback Girl" sits at number two, due to "We Belong Together". In Australia, "Hollaback Girl" debuted at number one, where it hailed for one week, selling over 5,000 copies.

When the song was released in the UK, 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, illustrating that Stefani wasn't going to be halted so easily. "Hollaback Girl" also helped Love.Angel.Music.Baby. climb to a new peak of four in the UK.

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.

"Cool" will be the fourth single, and its video will be shot in Italy.

Harajuku

The release of her solo album has also brought attention to Stefani's entourage of four harajuku girls. Named Love, Angel, Music, and Baby respectively 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 their namesake area, Stefani's harajuku girls are usually flamboyantly dressed (sometimes in a somewhat "Gothic Lolita" style), and they have been featured in her music videos, press coverage, 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 has drawn criticism from some quarters; for example, Mihi Ahn at Salon.com writes: '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'. [1] (http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2005/04/09/geisha/)

Certification

  • "What You Waiting For?" is certified platinum.
  • "Rich Girl" is certified double platinum.
  • "Hollaback Girl" is certified platinum.
    • Love.Angel.Music.Baby. is certified 5x platinum worldwide.

Unreleased tracks from L.A.M.B.

"Parental Advisory": Produced by Rich Harrison who worked on Beyonc Knowles' "Crazy In Love". The song pokes fun at dancers with moves better suited for the strip clubs than the dance clubs.

"Wonderful Life for Him": Written with Linda Perry. Gwen first abandoned this song as it was very personal to her. Then she rediscovered it six months later and thought it was great! The song is written about a boy that she dated in high school that recently died.

"You Started It": Written with Pharrell Williams.

"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. As if coincidental in some sort of way, "What You Waiting For?" was written the following day.

Trivia

Gwen has created a successful fashion line, named L.A.M.B, which showcases clothing which Gwen would wear 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 height is 1.68m.

She is dyslexic.

Stefani likes to listen to bands like 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.

When not touring, or working on her other projects, she shares two homes with her husband, Gavin Rossdale, in the area ofLos Feliz, California neighborhood of( Los Angeles), and 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 natural hair colour is brown, though she has coloured it blue and pink before. Her two trademarks include her famous platinum blonde hair, and her extremely red lipstick.

Stefani has been quoted saying, "I think I've been able to fool a lot of people because I know I'm a dork. I'm a geek." [2] (http://www.nodoubt.com/band/Articles/07Axcess.htm)

Discography

Studio albums

Singles

  • 2004: "What You Waiting For?" — #47 US; #4 UK; #11 CAN; #1 (2 weeks) AU (Gold)
  • 2005: "Rich Girl" (feat. Eve) — #7 US; #4 UK; #4 CAN; #2 AU (2x Platinum)
  • 2005: "Hollaback Girl" — #1 US (4 weeks); #8 UK; #2 CAN; #1 (1 week) AU (Platinum)
  • 2005: "Cool" —

US Single Sales: 1.4 million

External links

fr:Gwen Stefani it:Gwen Stefani ja:グウェン・ステファニー nl:Gwen Stefani fi:Gwen Stefani sv:Gwen Stefani

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