Gwen Stefani is well known for her time as the lead singer of No Doubt and her humorous, self-effacing take on hyperfeminine stereotypes. However, as a solo artist, she has also seen stunning success. You may have seen the news of her recent 2021 wedding to fellow singer Blake Shelton, but did you know they’ve also worked together? The couple made the Billboard charts with at least one of their mutual tunes. Here are the top ten best Gwen Stefani songs of all time.
10. What You Waiting For?
Even when you’re already successful, everyone suffers from self-doubt now and then. If a fantastic singer (Gwen Stefani) were going to write a song to pump themselves up when they were feeling worried, it would be What Are You Waiting For? This song talks a lot about time and how holding back won’t help you reach your goals. The title says it all.
Hopefully, you’re not ‘waiting for’ the rewards of your hard work. Luxurious is about appreciating the good life, primarily when you’ve worked hard to achieve it. Treating yourself isn’t wrong. It’s necessary. More importantly, Luxurious is about having someone to share that good life with for the rest of your days.
8. Nobody But You (Duet With Blake Shelton)
All great singers need great classic songs, and there’s no more timeless subject than love. Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton sing this emotional, lovely song together. The lyrics are about how much the couple wishes they’d gotten together sooner and how glad they both are that they didn’t miss out on falling for each other. Nobody But You is the perfect date-night country song. Last year the couple performed this song live at the 62nd Grammy Awards. While the lyrics say, “I wanna say it now, wanna make it clear, for only you and God to hear,” this vocal duet clearly doesn’t mind sharing their joy with crowds.
7. South Side (with Moby)
Naturally, Blake isn’t the only one Gwen has worked with over the years. South Side is a wild ride of a song that gets stuck in your head easily. Despite the media success of this song, Moby has said he dislikes it. The tune is so easy to listen to that people don’t pay attention to the lyrics or meaning. There’s a dark undertone to South Side that is easy to forget because it sounds happy, but it’s about crime and death and how completely acceptable those subjects have become in the public eye.
The song Cool is from Gwen’s 2004 debut solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. The song is a surprisingly mature take on dealing with your ex. The singer talks about being ‘cool’ with hanging out together after time has passed and reminiscing and being happy after you both move on.
5. Rich Girl (with Eve)
Rich Girl is all about the money and the things wealth could bring. Gwen and Eve sing about mansions, expensive clothing, and gold. However, in the middle of a song that talks about how men can’t impress the singer, and money is everything, there’s a break to talk about how worthless it all is without love. All the cash, cars, and jewels in the world can’t give you the same feeling like love in the end, but at least you can wallow in misery in style in a Galliano gown.
4. Wind It Up
If you ever wondered whether Gwen Stefani could yodel, Wind It Up doesn’t answer that question, but it looks that way at first. At the beginning of the video, Gwen lip-syncs to a sample of The Lonely Goatherd from the musical The Sound of Music while dressed in what can only be described as a sexy nun costume. What does it all mean? According to Stefani, it’s not about anything at all except the way boys watch girls dance. Not everything has to have a more profound significance to be worth doing. Some songs are just for fun.
3. Sweet Escape (With Akon)
Every couple fights sometimes. You rarely hear about it in songs unless they’re post-breakup apology-style tunes. Sweet Escape from Gwen’s second solo album is not about a relationship that’s over. Instead, it’s about working it out after a stupid fight and making up. The singer talks about getting away from her rude behavior to a more idyllic world.
2. Let Me Blow Ya Mind (Eve & Gwen)
Seeing Eve and Gwen Stefani work together is so much fun; they did it twice. Hip hop suits Gwen, but then again, what doesn’t? She has a voice and style that is versatile and delightful yet utterly unique. The video shows the song’s meaning, which is about two women having fun and doing as they please. This is the perfect complement to their other collaboration Rich Girl.
1. Hollaback Girl
You can’t put together a list of Gwen Stefani songs without including her smash hit Hollaback Girl. A Hollaback Girl is the sort of woman who is flattered and responds cheerfully to catcalls. That is not Gwen’s style. While the singer clearly understands that she looks like a barbie doll to most people, songs like Hollaback Girl and Just a Girl are her way of clapping back at a world that doesn’t always care to look beyond her beauty. As Genius.com points out, the whole song is a reaction to Courtney Love, who tried to bully Gwen, but ultimately landed her a number one single instead.
There’s no one like Gwen Stefani for making you want to dance and then turning things around with the lyrics, so you truly have to listen to appreciate the meaning behind those often happy-sounding tunes. Whether she has all the money in the world, or love, or both, it’s easy to throw yourself into any one of her four solo studio albums. When you finish listening to this top ten list, head back and listen to No Doubt for a blast from her past and then finish up the Just A Girl EP to see how far she’s come without losing her artistic integrity.