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Gwen Stefani

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If her older brother Eric hadn’t convinced Gwen Stefani to join his band of fellow Dairy Queen workers in 1986, the perky platinum blonde, may have followed her initial dream to settle down, keep house and raise babies. And if the band had given up after influential LA radio station KROQ refused to play their 1991 pop-ska demo, after their 1992 Interscope debut was a flop or after Stefani and bassist Tony Kanal painfully ended their seven-year relationship in 1993, the ‘90s alternative music scene would have been radically different. Instead, Stefani harnessed the pain and rejection and threw herself into writing Tragic Kingdom, which contained hit singles ”Don’t Speak,” “Spiderwebs” and “Just A Girl.” It would spend nine weeks at No. 1 in 1995 and sell more than 15 million copies worldwide and Stefani, with her frenetic energy, bared (and built) midriff and vermillion lips, became an instant style star. While on tour with Bush in 1996, she starts a long-distance relationship with frontman Gavin Rossdale, which led to marriage in 2002 and parenthood to sons Kingston (2006) and Zuma (2008). She won her first Grammy in 2001 for a duet with Eve and No Doubt followed suit as a band in 2002 (“Hey Baby”) and 2003 (“Underneath It All”), but was not as lucky, despite five nods, with her first solo record 2004’s Love.Angel.Music.Baby. After playing Jean Harlow in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, she launched the L.A.M.B. line with a selection of purses that grew into a full-fledged fashion and lifestyle empire featuring clothes, Harajuku dolls, perfume, shoes and digital cameras. She reunited with the band in 2009 to appear on Gossip Girl and tour, which inspired the 2012 album, Push and Shove.

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