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Gwen Stefani - LA's Little Lamb

Aug 21, 2007
When Eric Stefani asked his then 17 year old sister Gwen to sing with his band No Doubt, a calypso/jazz/blues band, he couldn't have known he was watching history in the making. Watching as his little sister began what would for her become a launching pad to pop diva fame. For eight years, she was the lead singer for the band. Although she began a solo career in 2004, her association with No Doubt lasts to this day. Collaborating with artists like Linda Perry, The Neptunes and others, she styled her first album - L.A.M.B. after the '80s and 90's music she listened to in school. (L.A.M.B. is also the name of her fashion line)

Her albums include 2007's Sweet Escape and Love.Angel.Music.Baby.(L.A.M.B.), 2005's Maximum Gwen Stefani as well as re-releases of those albums in different formats.

Born to Patti and Dennis Stefani in Fullerton, California she was raised in Anaheim where she attended Loara High School and where she first performed onstage singing "I Have Confidence" from The Sound of Music. Oddly, she was discouraged from taking music lessons to train her voice. Her "loopy and unpredictable" style would eventually give her the unique and personal sound that has helped define her music.

Named after a flight attendant in the 1968 novel Airport, the name Gwen is Welsh and means "blessed". And if you asked her she'd probably agree. Besides her rising stardom and success in the fashion world, in May of 2006, she gave birth to Kingston James McGregor Rossdale at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She is married to Bush guitarist and lead singer Gavin Rossdale. Now that little Kingston is a litte over a year, Gwen says she can't wait to get pregnant again, but not while on tour.

Many of the women in Gwen's family are seamstresses so it's little surprise that we find she's also a talented fashion designer. Both she and her mother Patti, made much of Gwen's clothes when she was young. During her onstage debut back at Loara High, she wore a tweed dress she'd made herself taking inspiration from a dress worn in The Sound of Music. Her bold, sometimes brazen style of music is reflected in her designs, with realistic depictions and bold patterns, a technique called trompe l'oeil, French for "trick the eye".

L.A.M.B., which stands for Love, Angel, Music, Baby, is a fashion line created by Stefani and incudes elegant, flowing eveningwear and pants, tee shirts, jackets, and boots made with fabric and materials found in locations around the world including South America, Asia, and India. This 3-dimensional, vivid artwork is something you'd find Gwen wearing around the house chasing after little Kingston or in a mural on the side of a building in France.

Hers is a wrestless spirit though and her thirst for adventure not being satisfied with pop divadom and fashion design, Gwen tried her hand at acting. She auditioned for and got the role of Jean Harlow in Martin Scorsese's 2004 film The Aviator. Scorsese was struck by Stefani's resemblance to Harlow. It was the perfect role for the sassy, Platinum Blonde (since 9th grade) but she was extremely nervous. She tried to convince herself "It's only a small part..." (she couldn't even find it in the script). Says Gwen "Acting is a lot different than singing. It's not as theatrical, it's a lot more subtle, and that's a lot harder..." She got acting tips from the film's star, Leonardo DiCaprio, also a blonde since 9th grade (unconfirmed). She has numerous other film and television credits including Zoolander, where she played herself(Does that count?), and many movie soundtracks.

She may have started out playing little clubs in her big brother's band but Gwen Stefani has re-invented herself a number of times and with each transformation, a bright, shiny new butterfly emerges ready to fly and take on new challenges. A strong and independant spirit, she's not afraid to take the plunge, has an apparent distaste for convention and oh yea, she thinks being pregnant is romantic. More power to you, Miss Gwen!
About the Author
Ron Berry writes for Essay Street and operates I Scored Tickets an online source for tickets to concert, theater, nascar and other sporting events.
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