Gwen Stefani Once Shared the Moment She Knew She ‘Made It’ as a Singer

Gwen Stefani is an award-winning singer. She has released numerous hit songs both with the group No Doubt and as a solo artist.

It’s hard to imagine there was a time when Stefani was unknown in the music industry, but she started out as an ordinary girl in California. Stefani once recalled the moment she knew she had “made it” as a singer.

Gwen Stefani smiling
Gwen Stefani | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Gwen Stefani thought she would just be singing for commercials in high school

While some people have big dreams for themselves, Stefani’s career goals in high school did not include a Grammy win or world tour. In fact, she had low expectations.

In March 2021, the singer posted a picture of herself from her teenage days on Instagram. According to Today, it was taken from the newspaper at Loara High School, which Stefani attended in the 1980s.

In response to the question, “What do you think you will be doing in ten years?,” Stefani responded, “I will be out of college and hopefully be singing for Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials or even better McDonalds commercials. That’s what I’ll be, the Kentucky Fried Chicken Girl.”

Gwen Stefani had low expectations for No Doubt’s career

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Stefani joined No Doubt in 1986 when she was 17 years old. Even when No Doubt was getting attention from music industry execs, Stefani still didn’t think she would become a star.

“We did a showcase, and Jimmy Iovine [chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M] said to me that day—which, I didn’t know who he was; I didn’t really care—‘You’re going to be a star in five years,’” she told Elle in 2011. “And I was just thinking to myself, like, ‘In five years, I’m going to have kids, and I’m not going to be doing this,’ because five years at that age seems like forever.”

Stefani recalled that No Doubt’s song “Don’t Speak” became number one “five years on the dot.” As many fans may know, this eventually led Stefani to become a popular singer in the entertainment industry.

When Gwen Stefani realized he had ‘made it’ as a singer

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Speaking to GQ in March 2021, Stefani looked back at the time when she and No Doubt were still just playing shows in California as a local act. She talked about playing her first live show and how the group first handled the money they earned.

She was also asked to talk about the first time she felt she had “made it” as a singer.

“It was doing a noontime concert at the college I was studying at, a Cal State College, where big bands such as Fishbone and Red Hot Chili Peppers had played previously,” Stefani said. “So many people had come from all over the place that the grass was torn up afterwards and I remember thinking, ‘Holy crap, we’re huge.’ I went to class the next day and people were passing their notebooks down asking for my autograph.”

She also added, “It was weird, being in two roles – a student and then also being in the band that played yesterday.”