by Zach Johnson | Fri., Dec. 4, 2015 6:00 AM
Eat your heart out, Gavin Rossdale.
Gwen Stefani is everywhere these days, and on Thursday, she performed her post-breakup single "Used to Love You" on NBC's The Tonight Show. Backed by The Roots, Stefani—dressed to the nines in a white jumpsuit—gave one of her most emotionally raw performances to date. Host Jimmy Fallon noted that it was her "most personal" song ever, and it was no exaggeration.
Rossdale, whom the song was written about, has yet to comment on "Used to Love You." Earlier that day, Stefani opened up about how writing, recording and performing the song has been a cathartic experience. "I'm just a regular girl," she said on Elvis Duran and the Z100 Morning Show. "But what I'm saying is when my boyfriend dumped me, you know, who I thought was the love of my life, I just wrote songs. I started writing songs; I didn't even know I could write a song! And all of a sudden I became empowered, like it became like a wake up! This is my gift, and that's crazy because now I'm doing it again and I hadn't done it in a long time."
In fact, she said, "I hadn't been able to write in a long time."
"I went into the studio, and everybody knows pretty much what happened to me. I got a divorce or whatever, which completely was not in the plan at all," she admitted. "At that time, I was like, I wanted to go in and write and I had a plan to make a record, and I made a record the year before really, but I hadn't written it."
Musically, at least, her surprise split from Rossdale has been a blessing. "I think what happens is that in your life you go through so many different phases. Especially with success or with art, you can get blocked. I think that with everything that had gone down in my life in the last five years, I got blocked," the No Doubt singer said. "I got really insecure about it and even during the solo period I was so scared to go in with someone. They're going to have so many expectations of me, and what if I can't write something? And how did I ever write anything? I looked back and I didn't know how it happened. It's a miracle because it channels down, it's literally a spiritual experience writing songs. Like how did those ideas come?"
With her new single growing in popularity each day, Stefani told Elvis Duran, "I cannot believe how rad and magical my life is. I woke up and I'm No. 5 on iTunes this morning with 'Used to Love You,' which is like a true miracle to have a song that is so reflecting this crazy, crazy year for me. I just can't believe I'm going to be on the radio and I'm here right now and that this is happening! Can you pinch me?...I just wanted to say it because it doesn't sink in. It's just so insane!"
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights at 11:35.
(E! and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)
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