Gwen Stefani: 10 things you never knew about the pop star

Gwen Stefani’s third solo album, This Is What the Truth Feels Like, is earning rave reviews for its raw emotional vulnerability, inspired by her divorce from Gavin Rossdale and new romance with Blake Shelton.

But before the Gwen-aissance, Stefani spent two decades as the lead singer of ska band No Doubt, whose album Return of Saturn celebrated its 16-year anniversary Monday.

In honor of the musical milestone, here are 10 things we learned about Stefani, 46, when she last hosted our Hits 1 Weekend Countdown takeover.

You can catch the Weekend Countdown on Saturdays at 2 am, 6 am, 11 am, 3 pm, & 7 pm ET on SiriusXM Hits 1 (Ch. 2) or on demand.

 

Wildest fan encounter: seeing someone inked up with her autograph. “I feel like the craziest thing a fan’s ever done is saying, ‘Hey, sign my arm!’ and then next time you see them, it’s tattooed,” Stefani said. “You’re like, ‘What? You are so in trouble with your mom right now.’ ”

First concert: Emmylou Harris at the Palomino Club. “My parents picked me up from Girl Scouts, and it was like a special trip with just us three. Emmylou was so beautiful. She had long hair parted down the middle and she had a beautiful voice, and in the middle of the show, she’s like, ‘Excuse me, I gotta go nurse my brand-new baby backstage,’ ” Stefani said. “We were like, ‘Oh my God, that’s crazy!’ Then she went back on stage and sang, and I’ll never forget being able to meet her and being on the cover of Vanity Fair and telling her that story.”

First time on stage: a high school talent show with her band Apple Core — when she also started experimenting with her unique style. “I made this dress … the dress that Maria wears in The Sound of Music when she goes and sings I Have Confidence going to see the children for the first time, and they say to her, ‘That’s the ugliest dress we’ve ever seen.’ ”

Pre-gig ritual: putting on her makeup. “For me, getting ready for the show is my ritual,” she explained, though she admires One Direction’s habit of eating gummy bears together. “Actually, I’m going to try that next time,” she said, laughing.

Thoughts on acting: she found the Hollywood Holy Grail of roles by playing Jean Harlow in Martin Scorsese’s 2004 Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator. “I mean, where do you go after that? That’s pretty awesome,” Stefani said. “So maybe one day I could do something. I like it, it’s fun.”

Biggest fear: heights, plus she’s “a little bit” claustrophobic (not that her audiences would ever notice). “It’s crazy, because sometimes on stage I crawl all the way to the top of the scaffolding, and for whatever reason I’m not really scared when I’m doing that, but when I think about it now, I actually get scared,” she said.

First job: working at Dairy Queen. “That was amazing, except for I probably ate too much ice cream,” Stefani said. “And it was really fun to man the grill.”

Dream collaboration: Fetty Wap. “I’m just going to put that out there, dude,” she said. “I know it’s meant to be, and it’s gonna happen — unless you say no.” We certainly hope he’s like hey what’s up hello.

Favorite food: Stefani said she’s “crazy about anything Italian” because that’s half her heritage, along with Mexican thanks to her So-Cal roots.

Words to describe her new record: “truth, real, honest.”

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