Gwen Stefani Is Shining Brighter Than Ever

Gwen Stefani Is Shining Brighter Than Ever

The pop-rock icon has gone from 'Tragic Kingdom' to Viva Las Vegas.

The pop-rock icon has gone from 'Tragic Kingdom' to Viva Las Vegas.

Text: Jake Viswanath

This interview appears in the pages of V114 Fearless Gigi Hadid Issue on newsstands now! Order your copy at shop.vmagazine.com.

Gwen Stefani has only three solo albums to her name (along with a Christmas album), but her impact in the music industry would make you think otherwise. Her output, both as a solo artist and lead singer of No Doubt, helped to define the music and fashion worlds for an entire generation.

After over two decades in the game, she’s not slowing down. Last month, Stefani mounted her Las Vegas residency, “Just a Girl,” which tells the story of her career and the music that soundtracked it. “It’s a great time for me to do a show like this because I feel like I’m in a place in my life where I’ve written enough music that I can do a theatrical stage show,” she says.

As one of the music industry’s most enduring chameleons, Stefani has been the queen of ska and a chart-topping solo artist, started her own blockbuster fashion line L.A.M.B., and held down a high-profile judging gig on The Voice opposite boyfriend Blake Shelton. But Stefani is looking forward to the stability of the Vegas residency, which kicked off at Planet Hollywood on June 27. “It gives me a little more freedom to do things I couldn’t do on tour,” she says.

An Orange County native, Stefani’s personal connection to Vegas runs deep. “Some of my first memories are of my grandpa coming home from Las Vegas with silver dollars to give us,” she says. “I remember wondering what this place was because it had quite a weird stigma in my family since my parents were so conservative.”

Stefani’s first exposure to Sin City, she recalls, was a kind of rite of passage. “The first time I went to Vegas was with No Doubt,” she says. “We’d go in our van and it was usually the first stop of the tour. Everybody would use up all of their per diems gambling. We were just kids. It was just close enough to home that we could go there, but it was far enough away that it felt like we had to work hard to get there.”

With “Just a Girl,” Stefani has joined the ranks of the increasingly saturated Las Vegas legends club—and she’s been sizing up the competition. “I went to see Jennifer Lopez, Backstreet Boys, and Elton John, and it was really exciting,” she says. “They all love doing the show and thought it was a great experience.”

Like Britney Spears and Celine Dion before her, she plans to prove that a Vegas stint no longer signals semi-retirement, saying she’ll release new music whenever she pleases. “Writing songs is one of the greatest gifts I have in my life,” Stefani teases. What better place to find inspiration than Viva Las Vegas?

ILLUSTRATIONS BY APIRAT INFAHSAENG, PHOTO COURTESY OF ZUMA PRESS, INC. / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
Credits: ILLUSTRATIONS BY APIRAT INFAHSAENG

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