How Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton Took Their Super-Public Love Off the Radar

Perhaps because Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are enjoying marriage off-camera, people speculate that they've split up to fill the void.

By Natalie Finn Apr 13, 2024 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Gwen Stefani Addresses Blake Shelton Divorce Rumors

You can't be the flavor of the month every month.

And so Gwen Stefani and Blake Sheltonwho started dating in such a public fashion and seemed so in love that skeptics assumed the whole thing had to be fake—toned it down.

And then, reader, a few years later they got married and lived happily every after.

Not that anything is ever so easy, even for the queen of their very un-tragic kingdom.

"In my own relationship, even though I know the truth of what's happening today, you still create drama in your own mind about your insecurities and what might happen," Stefani told NYLON recently, "I was in that phase of the relationship with Blake and getting paranoid."

Hence the inspiration behind her latest duet with Shelton, "Purple Irises."

Yet the song is ultimately hopeful and romantic for a reason: "The truth is I am in love with my best friend," the 54-year-old explained, "and all this s--t I'm thinking of in my brain, that's all it is—I'm overthinking."

And speaking of overthinking...

The Voice: Memorable Musical Moments

Perhaps because Stefani and Shelton, who split their time between L.A. and Oklahoma, aren't on The Voice together anymore and have sort of retired into It Couple emeritus status, a lot of rumors about trouble in paradise tend to crop up to fill the void.

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

"But when you're in love and have truly aligned values, nobody can get to us," Stefani said. "You can say whatever you want to say about our relationship—I mean, a week ago we were getting divorced again or something. It's just lies. The truth is the truth, and we know what that is…"

And they've come such a long way from the days of people following their every move and logging every glance.

Though the way they look at each other is still pretty heart-melting.

ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM

So it's not as if they've been hiding, but looking back to how public they were when they first got together in 2015, they were more akin to a couple of giddy teenagers in love—not that there's anything wrong with that.

And their level of seriousness may have felt more surprising since their relationship came so soon on the heels of the end of Stefani's 13-year marriage to Gavin Rossdale, with whom she shares sons Kingston, 17, Zuma, 15, and Apollo, 10, and Shelton's divorce from Miranda Lambert. But for awhile they were so out there it almost felt staged—and when it became obvious they were the real deal, then the grievance was that they were a tad too ubiquitous.

When the couple themselves agreed with that assessment or not, they eventually became part of the celeb-couple furniture.

Shelton's Doing It to Country Songs Tour taking up the first half of 2017 when they weren't busy with The Voice, and then Stefani not doing the NBC competition's 13th season helped remind people that they did, indeed, still lead separate lives. Nor were they in a rush to get engaged or have babies, or whatever else they were rumored to be in a rush to do.

Blake Shelton Bites Gwen Stefani's Shoulder in The Voice Group Shot

In October 2017, fellow Voice judge Adam Levine indicated they were still going strong, telling Howard Stern that Shelton and Stefani were not only the real deal but positively nauseating in private.

"They're so in love it's disgusting," Levine cracked. "It's so funny. They found each other at really interesting times in their lives. It's really beautiful."

"Because it's in the public eye, a lot of people want to have their own bulls--t opinions about it, but I'm, like, there," he acknowledged. "I see it every day. I have a pretty unique perspective on it, and it's real, man." That being said, "I'm so affectionate and gross with my wife—[bit] this is a whole other level of…vomit."

Steve Granitz/WireImage

The (media) break also allowed for a little bit of mystery to develop—where are they? how are they doing? is everything fine?!—until it was time to get back out there for some publicity— Stefani, for a Christmas special, and Shelton for The Voice...and because he was the surprise choice for People's Sexiest Man Alive that November.

"I feel bad for her," Shelton said on Ellen, referring to his girlfriend. "She has been in the spotlight as the symbol of beauty and now this...It's going to be humbling for her, but I think she's got a big enough heart that she can do it. Beauty comes from within."

Stefani gave People's pick an enthusiastic endorsement, and says she was the one who encouraged him to accept the honor.

"For me, it's just that big ol' heart and that sense of humor," she gushed to Ellen DeGeneres. "He doesn't even take himself seriously and he's just such an incredible person. And that's sexy to me."

Not to mention, she told E! News, "How rad is my life right now? Like, how good does that make me look?!"


Meanwhile, she was gradually getting used to Shelton's more rural comfort zone.

"You've turned into a proper farm girl now, you really have," Chelsea Handler teased Stefani when the singer appeared on her Netflix show.

"My nature growing up was Orange County, the beach, that was our nature," the SoCal native mused. "That was it, you know. And that was beautiful, incredible. But to be able to experience middle of America and the gorgeous Oklahoma—it is very beautiful there...I actually wrote a Christmas song while I was there."

"What a coincidence," Handler cracked.

"I love going there because I feel like it's so... I get to do nothing, and I never get that here in L.A.," Stefani said. Asked if it was a bit of a culture shock the first time she went, she quipped, "Blake is a culture shock."

But she doesn't mind being off the grid with him.

Read on for the sweetest things Shelton and Stefani have said about each other through the years:

Let the Rumors Begin

"I think he's hot, don't you? But to be super honest, it is kind of crazy we both went through the same thing at the same time. There's been so many people that I've gotten so much comfort from. Just people coming to me and telling me their story. Not confiding, but sharing, which has just helped me see things from a different perspective and move forward." —Gwen to Ryan Seacrest in November 2015

Look of Love

"How can I not be [in love]? She is the greatest. She is the greatest." —Blake on Today in March 2018. 

"Saved My Life"

"When you have a broken heart—at least, when I do—you got to get it out of your system. You want people to sympathize with you. I was at rock bottom, in the middle of hell...Gwen saved my life. Who else on earth could understand going through a high-profile divorce from another musician?" —Blake to Billboard in July 2016

Country Livin'

"I grew up in Orange County, so I don't know if you've been down there, but it's nothing like the middle of America and our nature was the beach. So to be able to be in Oklahoma and be able to experience a ranch kind of vibe is just something I never ever had, so it's just been really, it's been great, amazing." —Gwen on Jimmy Kimmel Live in August 2020

Wedding Bells

"You know, what? I love weddings. The kids love him. We love him. Everybody loves him. He is lovable! I think about it all the time." —Gwen to Ellen DeGeneres when discussing marrying Blake

Fierce Fashion

"[My style is] more feminine than ever before. It's probably because I'm super in love and have a really manly man. I enjoy letting that part of me come out now because when I was in No Doubt, I never thought of myself as sexy. Even in my 30s, I was a tomboy. I hardly ever carried a purse." —Gwen to InStyle in July 2018

Sexiest Man Alive

"He doesn't even like to do a photo shoot. You can never convince him to do it. So he just called me like, ‘They want me to do this.' And I was like, ‘You should totally do it! You're so sexy!'" —Gwen's reaction to Blake being named People's Sexiest Man Alive

Hot Commodity

"He's so good at the show, I mean, he's just so magical. Blake is literally a unicorn. Like anywhere he goes, people are just attracted to him, and he's such an incredible talent." —Gwen on SiriusXM's Andy Cohen Live in September 2019

Biggest Fans

"Setting here watching @gwenstefani rehearsals it continues to shock me the amount of GIANT hits this girl has written... I highly recommend y'all catch her Vegas show if you can get tickets!!!" —Blake on Twitter in June 2018

(Originally published March 1, 2018, at 6 a.m. PT

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