TBT: Gwen Stefani Said She Noticed "Red Flags" in Her Old Music About Gavin Rossdale
She's come to realize it's all "part of my life journey."
Who: Three-time Grammy-winning singer and fashion designer Gwen Stefani, 53, and Grammy-nominated musician and lead singer of the English rock band Bush, Gavin Rossdale, 57.
How They Met: In 1995, Stefani and Rossdale met when her band, No Doubt, opened for his band, Bush and the Goo Goo Dolls, while on tour.
At the time, a newly-single Gwen had just broken up with her bandmate and first boyfriend, Tony Kanal. “When I met him and looked up at him, I was like, ‘Whoa.’ It was different,” she told Howard Stern in 2016 about meeting Rossdale for the first time. “I was in quite a rebellious place because I was feeling really rejected. Somehow he got my phone number, and that was that. He stalked me, I think."
Gavin’s recollection of events differed slightly from Gwen’s version. Rather than calling Gwen to ask her out on a date, he threw a party in hopes of her attending. “I threw a party in New Orleans just as an excuse to hang out with her,” Rossdale confessed to Details magazine, per Bustle. “We drank a bunch of hurricanes and went around the French Quarter. We had our first kiss that night, just walking around, being careful to step over the puddles of pee.” The next day, they hung out again — this time, sober and somewhat embarrassed from what happened the night before.
Seven years after that fateful meet-cute, the pair got married and, later, welcomed three sons — Apollo, Zuma, and Kingston.
Why We Loved Them: Gwen and Gavin’s rock n’ roll relationship wasn’t always easy. Over the 20 years they were together, the two experienced some low points in the public eye (from a paternity scandal to alleged affairs and divorce rumors) but still managed to make it out on the other side.
Even Stefani once admitted to Cosmopolitan that she and Rossdale had been through so much as a couple that “it’s a miracle” they stayed together for as long as they have.
And years before that, she revealed that her marriage to Rossdale was her “biggest accomplishment” during an interview with Marie Claire. “My biggest accomplishment is my marriage so far. Because it’s hard, everyone knows it’s hard,” Gwen said, adding: “[Marriage] is something that I always wanted to do successfully. It was a dream of mine. I like the official-ness and the family-ness of it all, having the same name and making decisions together.”
When They Peaked: Their wedding day on September 14, 2002.
Gavin and Gwen tied the knot at a 17th-century Catholic church in London, and while the venue was traditional, the bride’s dress certainly was not. For the occasion, Gwen wore an instantly-iconic custom pink ombre gown by John Galliano for Dior that coordinated with her signature red lip.
The Breakup: After two decades together and thirteen years of marriage, Stefani filed for divorce from Rossdale in August 2015, citing irreconcilable differences.
"While the two of us have come to the mutual decision that we will no longer be partners in marriage, we remain partners in parenthood and are committed to jointly raising our three sons in a happy and healthy environment," the couple said in a joint statement. "To that end, we respectfully request privacy from the media during this time."
Reports began to surface that the reason for the divorce was because Rossdale cheated with the couple's nanny.
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A year after separating from Gavin, Gwen spoke to Cosmopolitan about the end of her marriage for the first time without going into too many details. “Nobody except for my parents, the people involved, and whoever they told [know specifics],” she said. “Nobody would believe it if I could really say what happened. I went through months and months of torture.” Asked if she ever confirmed her suspicions about Rossdale, Gwen revealed: "All you have to do is listen to every single song I’ve ever written, and it’s all there. It’s an ongoing theme that I’ve had for a long time.”
Talking about her songwriting again, Stefani said she would "get sick" when listening to old music about her relationship with Rossdale. "Because of my situation right now, which we all know what I’m talking about, I feel like I go back and listen to a lot of that stuff, and I’m, like, I get sick,” she explained during an interview with radio show The Tommy Show. “You look at the songs and go, ‘That was a red flag. That was a moment where I was feeling just as bad as I feel today, and why did I keep it up?”
Gwen added that while she wished her split from Gavin "didn't happen," she's come to realize it's all "part of my life journey."
Gavin, meanwhile, shared that his divorce from Stefani was the "most embarrassing moment" of his life during an interview with The Guardian in 2020. When asked to name a time he was most embarrassed, the rocker replied: "The gross and lopsided specter of the crumbling of my marriage."
Where They Are Now: Months after filing for divorce from Rossdale, Stefani's friendship with her Voice co-star Blake Shelton, who was also going through a similar situation with his ex-wife Miranda Lambert, turned romantic. The two began dating in November 2015, and five years later, they were engaged. In 2021, Gwen and Blake tied the knot at country singer's Tishomingo ranch in Oklahoma over the Fourth of July weekend.
Following her split from Gavin, Gwen came out with her first solo studio album in a decade, This Is What the Truth Feels Like, in 2016, with songs like "Misery" and "Used to Love You" seemingly about her ex-husband. The next year, she came out with a Christmas album titled You Make It Feel Like Christmas, which included a duet with Shelton by the same name.
In September 2022, Gwen revealed that she has no plans for releasing new music and is instead, focusing on her marriage and her beauty brand GXVE.
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Rossdale dated German model Sophia Thomalla in 2017 before splitting a year later. He moved on with another model, Natalie Golba, but that relationship also didn't last, and they broke up in 2020. He is now dating the actress and singer Courtlyn Cannan.
In addition to his decade-spanning music career as the lead vocalist of Bush, Gavin also has a new side hustle. Soon, the rockstar will show off his skills in the kitchen with a cooking show titled E.A.T. With Gavin Rossdale.
#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.
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