Gwen Stefani Gets Candid on Gavin Rossdale Split, Says She 'Didn't Want to Fail' at Marriage
By Desiree Murphy
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Gwen Stefani is reflecting on her "mind-blowing," "crazy" year.
The "Misery" singer is featured on the cover of Glamour's 2016 Women of the Year issue, and in her accompanying honorary interview, she gets candid on her highly publicized split from Gavin Rossdale, making her first solo album in a decade and what it's been like having her three kids -- Kingston, 10, Zuma, 8, and Apollo, 2 -- join her on tour.
"Sometimes to be woken up again in life, you need to go through some really bad, hard times," Stefani says of her roller coaster ride of a year. "I feel like I got woken up this year."
The No Doubt frontwoman called it quits from Rossdale in August 2015, after nearly 13 years of marriage. Although she's since moved on with Blake Shelton, whom she says was "an unexpected gift," Stefani admits she felt embarrassed about getting a divorce.
"I don't think you'll talk to one person who didn't make it in a marriage who's not gonna feel that way," she dishes. "The intention of being married is the vow, right? You want to put everything into it to make it a success. And all I had to look at was the huge success of my parents: They just had their fiftieth anniversary."
"I had to work really hard at marriage, all the time, like everybody, but ours was extra hard, when you add that we're from different countries, both of us being in music, and celebrity," she continues. "[Marriage] was the one thing I didn't want to fail at. People can say whatever they want to about me, and I don't get too affected. But I didn't want them to think I was a failure. There's nothing weird about how I felt."
Following her split from the Bush frontman, Stefani hit the studio and created her latest album, This Is What the Truth Feels Like -- her first to debut at No. 1. It wasn't long after the album's release that she announced she'd be going on tour.
"I never thought that would happen again," she confesses. "Being a mom -- like, I think I overdid it. The timeline's crazy: I got pregnant with Kingston, my oldest, on tour for Love. Angel. Music. Baby. I stayed on tour till I was four and a half months along. Gave birth. Went in the studio, made The Sweet Escape. Went back on tour when he was eight months. When I got home, I got pregnant with my middle boy, Zuma. Went on tour with No Doubt when he was four months, and when I got home, I didn't feel good. There were too many plates spinning."
This time, Stefani says she "needed to tour" for her "own triumph."
"To be like Rocky [Balboa] at the top of the steps, like, 'I just did three shows in a row. I'm that mentally healthy, physically healthy, strong, and I can do it with three boys on a tour bus!'" she adds. "And I did it!"
Stefani admits she wasn't sure if her boys would be as excited about spending months and months on the road, but by the end, they were stoked to be by her side to experience it all.
"They all wanted to be at the venue, working," she gushes. "My middle boy, Zuma, literally worked every night -- he had a light, and he walked me on and off the stage, and opened the curtain when I'd run back to change outfits."
"At one point I asked him, 'Do you want to come out and do a bow at the end with us?'" Stefani continues. "He really wanted to. He did it one time and was like, 'Uh, I have stage fright -- I'm not doing that anymore!' But he loved being in the wings."
During her tour shows, Stefani performed a range of hits -- from new songs like "I Used to Love You" and "Red Flag," to No Doubt's beloved classics, "Don't Speak" and "Just a Girl."
"I'm in a different place now," she says of creating new music and being able to tour. "I'm in such a new place. It's all about the future for me. Not really just the future -- but the moment right now."
"It doesn't matter what comes out of this, as far as my career -- this isn't about a hit," she adds. "It's about saving my life."
Along with Stefani, Glamour selected a number of other stars who have achieved greatness this year, including Ashley Graham, Miuccia Prada, Zendaya, Simone Biles, Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi, Stanford sexual assault survivor Emily Doe, and anti-ISIS activist Nadia Murad. The magazine also named its first-ever Man of the Year, Bono. All will be honored at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Nov. 14.
"In this historic year for women, Glamour is proud to honor these wonderful and wildly diverse trailblazers," Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive explained. "Each honoree, including our first-ever Man of the Year, Bono, is changing the conversation and the culture, and making life better not just for herself -- or himself! -- but for all women."