Gwen Stefani — pop star, fashion icon, coach-turned-high-profile adviser on NBC’s The Voice — is usually a grateful woman. “I’ve had a lot of blessings,” she says.
“But then, there’s this unlucky-in-love situation that’s, like, a concept.”
Stefani, 46, can be a bit mystified by it: “My parents are actually together since senior high school, as have my buddy and sister-in-law,” she highlights. “But I understand which everybody has positive and negative things happen.”
Indeed, this past year alone provided the singer/songwriter with a serious mixed bag. After she divorced Gavin Rossdale, her husband since 2002 along with the father of her three sons, luck shone on Stefani available as fellow Voice coach and country star Blake Shelton. The two began dating last fall, after Shelton with his fantastic wife, Miranda Lambert, separate as well.
That variety of experience is reflected on This Is What the Truth Feels Like, the No Doubt frontwoman’s first solo album in a very decade, out Friday.
“It’s actually the first time I’ve written an archive about being happy,” Stefani says, though she adds that this songs — several crafted as recently as January — are informed by “the tragedy,” as she identifies her breakup with Rossdale. “I have no idea what else to refer to it as. The horrible thing that happened.”
It was at February 2015, Stefani recalls, “that I found out playing was likely to change forever. Instead of planning to die, I believed to myself, I’m not likely to go down. I’m gonna turn this into music.”
She began writing sessions in June, and “then started at The Voice in July. And everyone knows so what happened after that. … It was like, whoa — I didn’t identify that coming! All of a sudden, I got saved.”
Stefani isn’t going to, this time, elaborate to be with her relationship with Shelton. “I’ve already said a whole lot about it,” she says, sounding a tad sheepish. Advising her beau on Voice “did intimidate me a small bit — by sitting with someone just like the king of country and possess country artists trying to put my two cents in. And with the added layer that we’re in a very different place together. But it was actually super-fun.”
Stefani, whose last album with No Doubt, 2012’s Push And Shove, sold 259,000 copies, in accordance with Nielsen Music, said co-writers on Truth “that I don’t cherish hits.” She’s looking forward to fans to listen to the songs live, but “I have three kids, therefore it is never gonna be like it had been before, an authentic tour. I don’t observe how I can make it happen, with him or her at school.”
During summer vacation, perhaps? “I’d feel unhealthy about that. ‘So now you’re planning to give up your entire summer so that you can sit on a bus while I sing songs?’ ”
More soberly, Stefani says, “I see my children half the time now,” on account of her custody arrangement with Rossdale. “That, for me, is devastating. At the same time, I’ve been capable to recover the best way I have. … I know that things are likely to keep unfolding and evolving, and I have faith that everything’s about to get better and much better.”