Gwen Stefani Is Falling in Love With the Country Music Writing Community
Gwen Stefani isn't afraid to say it: She has no business in country music. That she has two No. 1 songs and an ACM Awards nomination is mindblowing, but she's not taking the blessings for granted.
Fiancé Blake Shelton has guided Stefani's country music education since they started dating 5-and-a-half-years ago, and lately she's had opportunities to witness the sense of community in and around Nashville. It remains to be seen how that will shape her next studio album, but it has paid off in other ways. The reggae-rock star has two No. 1 country singles and is up for Music Event of the Year at the 2021 ACM Awards.
"I really just hopped on a couple songs, which was an honor," Stefani tells Ellen DeGeneres during an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. "I never in my wildest dreams would imagine being part of that. And to be on a song that goes No. 1 in a genre that I have no business being part of, twice, and now up for these awards, it’s pretty monumental and exciting and unexpected."
"Happy Anywhere" and "Nobody But You" are the two songs she and Shelton took to No. 1 on country airplay charts, the latter nabbing a nomination for next month's awards. While the couple live in Oklahoma and Los Angeles, Stefani says she feels a part of the Nashville songwriting community, even if she's just a welcomed fan.
"I feel so much respect and I’ve learned so much from just all the songs that Blake has, like, shown me and just the different artists. I relate to that because I'm a songwriter," she says.
The former No Doubt star spoke with DeGeneres from her L.A. home and talked about the joys of writing an album on Zoom while her kids schooled in the next room. While in Oklahoma, Stefani was like Eva Gabor in the '60s TV show Green Acres. The family found a baby armadillo and some hogs to care for. At one point, she may have worked a chainsaw.
“We had about 12 people there. I was cooking, I was cleaning, doing laundry. All this homeschooling … it was a lot and it was a lot of fun at the same time," she says.
Last week, Stefani released a new song called "Slow Clap." It's the follow-up to her song "Let Me Reintroduce Myself."
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