Gwen Stefani Gets Asked About Blake Shelton and How Her Split With Gavin Rossdale Led to "Used to Love You"

Speaking of her ex-husband, she tells KIIS-FM's JoJo Wright, "I don't have anything to hide"

By Zach Johnson Nov 10, 2015 12:09 PMTags
Blake Shelton, Gwen StefaniTrae Patton/NBC

There's no doubt about it: Gwen Stefani is an open book. Since her rep confirmed her relationship with Blake Shelton last week, the Voice coaches have made headlines for their hot new romance. In fact, as KIIS-FM's JoJo Wright noted Monday night, "There's a lot going on with you."

"This is one of those weird moments where do you talk about who you're dating now? Do you talk about the breakup?" Wright told the singer. "I'm not going to go with the Blake thing, because I get it. [KIIS-FM's Ryan Seacrest] and everybody's already covered it. Hey, let the girl live! Let the girl date. He seems like a nice guy. Congratulations. Let's go have a drink. But I do want to ask about the previous relationship with Gavin, because that's what the song's about."

But Stefani was open to talking about her relationship with Shelton, saying, "Ask me whatever you want and I'll decide if I want to answer it. How about that?"

"I am curious about Blake. One thing: What does he drink? He always has something in his cup. Probably ain't coffee. Do you even know what's in there?" Wright asked. "I mean, whatever."

Stefani didn't get a chance to answer before he cut to commercial.

Stefani spent much of the interview discussing "Used to Love You," the track she wrote in the wake of her divorce from Gavin Rossdale, with whom she has three sons. "The song was not written that long ago. Like, I w ant to say maybe a month and half ago, which is crazy. I had been writing writing because my life blew up," she said. "Everybody knows that my life blew up last February. I'd just been dealing with that. Unexpected. I was going along thinking that was going to be the rest of my life and it's not. I don't know what happened. I've always wanted to write music so desperately because doing it is one thing that really validates me for myself."

"Being able to song write and look back at those treasures of music is just everything to me. But there's been a lot of insecurity about it, and times where it doesn't work. The more that time goes by, the more insecure I kind of got about it. Last year, right before I started The Voice, I started trying to write again. Not even write! I just had that baby and I was like, 'OK, well I need to make some new music. Maybe I'll try to do it like everybody else does it, like somebody else writes it.' Like make it mine, but with stuff I like—my tastes. I've written so many songs. Why do I have to prove myself that way anymore? I tried doing that, and I had a whole record—like a whole record. I gathered a whole record, changed a few lyrics here and there, but it just didn't feel right," she explained. "It didn't feel right."

"I just knew that I needed to write," she continued. "Even the first day that I went into the studio, I didn't want to get out of bed. You know when you're so down that you just don't want to do anything? I went to the studio and I wrote a song. And it wasn't just writing a song to a track or something. It was like sitting at a piano with a guy I didn't know and an engineer that's sitting there who I didn't know, and all this stuff is going down they didn't know. I wrote this song, and it was called 'You Don't Know Me.' It's probably not even going to be on the record, but it was like the first thing that happened. The channel was opened for the first time and the confidence came back. And it was like, 'Whoa! This is my gift. I have got to do this.' It wasn't even like I want to write songs. It was like, 'I've got to write songs.'"

Stefani declined to go into specifics about "Used to Love You," however.

"There was one night, the epicenter of the whole thing—that's the most I can say about that—and the next day I wrote the chorus to 'Used to Love You,' but I didn't know it was 'Used to Love You.' I just had written all this stuff and it had happened to be in there buried in a bunch of lyrics that I had written. I went to the studio and I had written all these songs that I feel like the record company was like, 'We think it's really great and very artistic. Maybe you should just put it out as an artistic body of work.' It kind of felt like a punch in the stomach, like all the wind got knocked out of me," the No Doubt frontwoman told Wright. "They basically said they didn't think anyone would relate to it and it was too personal. I was like, 'Oh! Ouch!' But I don't know if they were trying to…the next day I wrote 'Used to Love You.' Sometimes you need someone to just pinch you or slap you in the face or punch you in the stomach, which is what they did."

"The next day I walked in and I said to…the guys I'd been writing with, 'I don't care. I just want to write the most noncommercial, the most heartfelt, honest song that I can write right now.' The opposite of what they [wanted]. I was being rebellious. And it just happened to come because it was meant to happen. It was meant to be. I had gone back through my writing and then I found the lyrics and it became the song. They called me the next day…and it was the first time in 25 years the record company calls and says, 'We think you have a really big song. We think you have a hit.' I was like, 'What are you talking about? No one's ever said that to me in my whole life!'"

Stefani hopes people will relate to "Used to Love You" on some level. "I think the most magical thing to me is if you're just really pure and honest and real, people know that. We know that about each other. If you're a liar and a fake, people know that as well," she said. "I don't have anything to hide. How amazing to have something beautiful amongst something so horrible."

Before the interview ended, Wright asked the "Hollaback Girl" singer about The Voice. "Is it true you want to be a permanent member of The Voice. Like, Blake and [Adam Levine] are always there. Maybe you and [Christina Aguilera] could do the thing together," he said. Stefani replied, "That would be amazing. I just love doing it. It's just so fun. I hope I can do it more. We'll see."

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