Gwen Stefani on Taking Anguish and Making ‘Something Good’ Through New Music
“I had to make something good out of it,” the singer said of her divorce.
— -- Gwen Stefani's new album resulted from her efforts to heal and "make something good" out of the breakup of her marriage to rocker Gavin Rossdale, the singer told "Good Morning America"'s Lara Spencer in a candid interview that aired today.
Stefani, 46, said she channeled her feelings into creativity, coming up with her new hit album, "This Is What the Truth Feels Like."
Her first new solo album in a decade debuted March 18 at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and Stefani opened up about what inspired it -- including the breakup of her marriage to Rossdale and her new romance with country music star Blake Shelton, who is her co-host on "The Voice."
"I have gone through a lot," the Grammy Award winner told Spencer. "But I feel like, that is, you have to be grateful for that. Because if I didn't do that, then I wouldn't have this. And so you have to be grateful for all of it."
Spencer asked her about how she channeled her pain into creativity.
"I think that I just .... I can't even find the words," the "Make Me Like You" singer said. "I felt like, 'Wow, I can't go down. This is not who I am. I'm not going to fail.'"
Stefani, who has three sons with Rossdale, added: "I had to make something good out of it. So I tried to write because I know that that was my gift. And I was like, 'I'm going to do this. I'm going to make this into music.'"
She described being in the studio as "magic," adding that she told her label: "I just want to write a record. I don't care about anything except for getting this out, and, like, healing, and being honest, and real, and truthful."
She said she added that she didn't care what the style the record was, or even about its commercial success.
"Like, why would that matter to me at this point? Like, nothing matters. I'm just trying not to die right now," she recalled saying then.
The singer split with 50-year-old Rossdale in August after 13 years of marriage. Tabloids have reported that Rossdale had been having an affair with their children's nanny.
One of the tracks on the album is "Red Flag." Spencer asked her about the significance of the title.
"You know, I think we all find that there's red flags that we ignore in our lives. And so that was kind of that one for me," Stefani replied.
Spencer also asked about the happy song, "Make Me Like You," seemingly inspired by Shelton. Stefani said it was "one of my favorite songs to write."
She added: "It just came out. It was like, I had been feeling that way. Like, it's just exactly what I felt that day ... 'I miss you right now. Here it is.' You know what I mean? And everybody in the room was just kind of like, 'Whoa, this is happening right now.' It was written fast. Like, 10, 15 minutes."
Stefani and Shelton began dating last November, months after her split with Rossdale. Shelton, 39, and fellow country star Miranda Lambert had divorced in July after four years of marriage.
After the recent tumult in her life, Stefani said it feels natural to open herself up through her work.
"It feels like I'm supposed to be doing this right now and sharing my story ... And I really hope that this record brings pleasure and, I don't know, documents people's, you know, lives in this moment. And I just -- I'm so happy to share it," she said.
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