Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape

Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape


Gwendolyn Renee Stefani, 3 October 1969, Fullerton, California, USA. The highly photogenic Stefani became a ubiquitous presence in the world media in the late 90s and at the start of the new millennium, balancing her long-standing commitment to the pop band No Doubt with solo work and acting roles.

Raised in California, Stefani spent most of the late 80s and early 90s struggling to break into the mainstream with No Doubt, with the band's initial preference for new wave and ska-influenced pop finding little favour with the general public. She was shot into the spotlight in 1996 with the international success of the power ballad "Don't Speak" and the attendant Tragic Kingdom. Her on/off relationship with Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale occupied many tabloid pages during the late 90s, with the couple finally marrying in September 2002. No Doubt enjoyed further success during this period with the album Rock Steady, but despite the band's hit profile Stefani chose this moment to branch out into solo work and acting. She collaborated with rapper Eve on the fantastic hit "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" and began work on a solo album.

Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape
The craftily-titled Love. Angel. Music. Baby, released at the end of 2004, saw Stefani teaming up with an array of figures from the urban scene to help fashion a collection of material that would distance her from the rather cuddly pop image she had cultivated with No Doubt. Names such as Dr. Dre, the Neptunes, Dallas Austin, Andre 3000 (Outkast) and Jimmy Jam And Terry Lewis helped push Stefani in a resolutely fashionable, club-orientated direction, with the singer embracing digital R&B and electro-pop with a gusto. The album was a huge commercial success and generated a number of hit singles including "Rich Girl" and "Hollaback Girl" (a US number 1 hit). Shortly after the album's release, Stefani received good notices for her portrayal of Jean Harlow in Martin Scorsese's lavish biopic of Howard Hughes, The Aviator.Copyright Muze UK Ltd. 1989 - 2005

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