Friday, 23 April 2010

Countdown: Women Who Rock - #10, Gwen Stefani



#10 - Gwen Stefani

"I'm just a girl,
Take a good look at me
Just your typical prototype."






The Gwen Stefani of today is super pop in its finest form. No Doubt Gwen is a completely different entity, obtaining commercial success that few female rockers have ever achieved with the release of Tragic Kingdom in 1995. Tragic Kingdom went diamond in the US, eventually selling over 16 million copies worldwide. 'Don't Speak,' the third single off the album, spent a record breaking 16 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart, becoming the band's most popular and signature song.

The overwhelming mainstream success didn't keep up though on follow up album, Return of Saturn, which had less of a pop-rock focus. Gwen showed that she was continuing to grow as a frontwoman and it's here that she was achieving popularity as a fashion icon, a status she maintains to this day. Return of Saturn would receive a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album, losing out to the Foo Fighters There Is Nothing Left to Lose.

Stefani credits Blondie's Debbie Harry as a major influence and this was oh so very clear with the release of Rock Steady. Reggae and Dancehall heavily influenced the album and brought No Doubt back to the forefront of the mainstream. 'Hey Baby' was a massive success, but contained almost nothing of the No Doubt of old and paved the way for Gwen to launch her solo career.

No Doubt has been back on the touring circuit since last year and is back in the studio with an album to be release sometime this year. It could be the career defining album that either solidifies their position as one of the greatest rock bands, more in line with Tragic Kingdom, or takes them further down the road they started with Rock Steady. I'll take option one thanks. Rock Gwen.... rocks.

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