Gwen Stefani is best known for her unique vocals, striking appearance and long career, but where did it all begin?
Gwen Stefani’s first song as a solo artist was What You Waiting For, featuring in the number one spot on her debut album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Although technically, the first song Stefani featured on was as part of the long-time alt-rock band No Doubt. Their self-titled debut album featured a song called Let’s Get Back, the first on the tracklist featuring Stefani’s vocals.
Read on to learn more about Gwen Stefani’s impressive musical history.
Longer Than You’d Think
Gwen Stefani entered the solo scene in 2004, with a debut album featuring tracks that would solidify her legacy as an accomplished artist. While some songs on the setlist were entirely forgettable, tracks like Hollaback Girl and Rich Girl remained iconic for years to come.
However, while Stefani released this debut album in 2004, it certainly wasn’t her first foray into the music industry. Gwen Renée Stefani was born in California in 1969, and was immediately introduced to the world of music by her parents. While a child, they exposed her to folk music and artists that would help shape her impending musical career.
This career essentially started when Stefani was in high school, when she took to the stage to perform a Sound of Music track in a talent show. Not long after, Stefani began providing vocals for her brother Eric’s ska band, No Doubt. This is where Gwen would truly discover music and begin exploring the wider industry.
In this Facebook post from 2012, you can see Gwen Stefani as a young teenager with her brother, having just attended a ska concert.
By 2020, Gwen Stefani’s career had spanned a whopping thirty six years, an impressive feat for any artist. It was in No Doubt that her voice would be revealed to the world for the first time, on tracks such as Ache, Get on the Ball, and Move Me. No Doubt would go on to perform for decades to come, and would ultimately feature a huge roster of talent, totalling twenty members by 2020.
Gwen Stefani’s solo career was arguably much more successful than her group venture with No Doubt. Despite the band having released six albums over the course of twenty years, only a handful of songs were really iconic. As a solo artist, Stefani released four albums from 2004 to 2017. It was her mid-2000s albums that generated the most attention: Love. Angel. Music. Baby, and The Sweet Escape.
To an entire generation of young people, the upbeat and punchy pop and alternative tracks would become iconic. The most popular tracks featured in those earlier years of Stefani’s solo career were the likes of Hollaback Girl and The Sweet Escape. You can watch the music video for Sweet Escape on YouTube below.
As her life and career progressed, Stefani began exploring other ventures. She took up roles in various movies and television shows, wherein she most often played herself. In 2014, Stefani signed as a coach for the reality TV show, The Voice. She proved to be a popular judge during this time, and would return for a further three seasons later on.
As of 2020, Stefani had the ability to boast several impressive accolades. Aside from her success as a group and solo artist (with three Grammy Awards), she was also considered a fashionista and philanthropist. She has supported many charitable causes and organizations, tending to lean traditionally towards those that favour children and those less fortunate.
However, all her success started with those early No Doubt songs, and then her solo career. She wouldn’t be where she is today without the initial triumph of tracks such as Don’t Speak, from No Doubt.