Gwen Stefani, co-founder and lead vocalist of pop rock outfit No Doubt, has just signed on as a judge of the NBC singing contest program The Voice. It’s been reported that Stefani will fill in for Christina Aguilera, who is on maternity leave. The 44-year-old singer-songwriter, fashion designer and actress will also take up coaching duties on the show, alongside Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams.
NBC had asked Aguilera to stay on for the upcoming seventh season of The Voice, though she declined. Stefani signed a one-year contract as her replacement, and Aguilera plans to return for season 8, after she and finace Matt Rutler welcome their baby girl.
Stefani had previously worked with Williams during a collaboration on her 2004 solo hit Hollaback Girl. Pharrell brought Stefani onstage during his Coachella set last week to perform the song, and gave her an enthusiastic introduction beforehand – “I can tell you right now there’s only one incredible, historical, most important, incredibly talented, fucking awesome, rad girl in the world.”
Here is a clip of the Coachella duet:
Stefani’s voice has been described as unusual and dynamic, and has been noted for its deep vibrato. On the single Cool, her vocal range covers roughly one and a half octaves. Stefani has been influenced by and compared to pop icon Madonna. In 2007, she told Elle magazine, “A lot of my influence came from her early work, like directly, like a Xerox.” Stefani was nominated five times at the 2006 Grammy Awards for her debut solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby., including Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album.
Stefani’s fans are pleased with her new gig:
gwen stefani is gonna be on the voice. if everyone doesn't pick her then I question their sanity.
— hannah lyal (@hannahlyal_) April 19, 2014
Gwen Stefani is a good choice to fill in for Xtina. She is a great artist.
— (@xtinaculture) April 19, 2014
I learnt how to spell bananas from Gwen Stefani
— BRYSEN (@brysenwest) April 17, 2014
Random Madonna/Stefani lore:
Madonna is a distant cousin of Gwen Stefani. Gwen Stefani's great-aunt's mother-in-law shares the same last name with Madonna. #MadonnaFacts
— Madonna Indonesia (@MadonnaDailyID) April 20, 2014
Image via Wikimedia Commons