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Gwen Stefani Looks at the Events of Previous Year

Gwen Stefani — pop star, fashion icon, coach-turned-high-profile adviser on NBC's The Voice — is really a grateful woman. "I've had countless blessings," she says.

"But then, there's this unlucky-in-love situation that's, like, a concept."

Stefani, 46, is often a bit mystified by it: "My parents happen to be together since high school graduation, as have my friend and sister-in-law," she highlights. "But I understand that everyone has positive and negative things happen."

Indeed, not too long ago alone provided the singer/songwriter with a good mixed bag. After she divorced Gavin Rossdale, her husband since 2002 as well as the father of her three sons, luck shone on Stefani by means of fellow Voice coach and country star Blake Shelton. The two began dating last fall, after Shelton and the wife, Miranda Lambert, break up as well.

That choice of experience is reflected on This Is What the Truth Feels Like, the No Doubt frontwoman's first solo album in the decade, out Friday.

"It's truly the first time I've written a list about being happy," Stefani says, though she adds how the songs — several crafted as recently as January — are informed by "the tragedy," as she identifies her breakup with Rossdale. "I have no idea of what else to think of it as. The horrible thing that happened."

It what food was in February 2015, Stefani recalls, "that I found out my entire life was planning to change forever. Instead of looking to die, I thought to myself, I’m not planning to go down. I’m about to turn this into music."

She began writing sessions in June, and "then started at The Voice in July. And everyone knows what actually transpired after that. ... It was like, whoa — I didn’t note that coming! All of a sudden, I got saved."

Stefani won't, this time, elaborate to be with her relationship with Shelton. "I've already said a whole lot about it," she says, sounding a tad sheepish. Advising her beau on Voice "did intimidate me a tiny bit — to stay with someone such as king of country and have absolutely country artists and attempt to put my two cents in. And with the added layer that we're within a different place together. But it was super-fun."

Stefani, whose last album with No Doubt, 2012's Push And Shove, sold 259,000 copies, as outlined by Nielsen Music, shared with her co-writers on Truth "that I don't cherish hits." She's longing for fans to listen to the songs live, but "I have three kids, so it will be never planning to be like it had been before, an actual tour. I don't observe how I can achieve that, together at school."

During summer vacation, perhaps? "I'd feel below par about that. 'So now you’re likely to give up your entire summer in order to sit on a bus while I sing songs?' "

More soberly, Stefani says, "I see the children half the time now," because of her custody arrangement with Rossdale. "That, for me, is devastating. At the same time, I've been capable to recover the way in which I have. ... I know that things are likely to keep unfolding and evolving, and I have faith that everything’s likely to get better and much better."

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