Gwen Stefani is reflecting on being a solo artist versus part of a group — and how fiancé Blake Shelton fits into that framework.
During an appearance this week on DJ Khaled's The First One podcast, the 51-year-old singer compared bouncing songs off of her No Doubt "family" to figure out what to include on their albums, to doing the same thing with Shelton, and how the process is much different but still crucial for her.
"When you're on your own [but used to] collaborate [ing] and writing with a bunch of different people, you kind of feel like you need someone to do that with," Stefani explained.
She added, "Yesterday, Blake and I sat down and listened to, like, every song — which is a lot of songs — and just put our favorite stars by which ones. We definitely bounce off each other."
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The "Slow Clap" singer cites Shelton's decorated career in country music and his longtime stint on The Voice for her reasons behind trusting him to be part of her creative process, telling Khaled, 45, "I really rely on him a lot for what his taste is."
"He knows all genres from being on that show, you know what I'm saying? He has a really good ear for hits, or just songs that are just the ones that we all like," Stefani said. "So I definitely lean on him a lot."
But Stefani went on to clarify that while she relies on Shelton for his ear and input, the country music star doesn't contribute to helping her write her own tunes. "I wish he would write with me, but he doesn't really write anymore," the singer admitted. "We've actually written three songs together — we wrote a Christmas song together, and then we wrote two other songs."
"But he just doesn't like writing that much," she said, adding with a laugh, "It makes me so mad."
Shelton and Stefani were recently nominated for an Academy of Country Music Award for their loving duet, "Nobody But You." They previously performed the track at the 2020 Grammy Awards.
Speaking to Ryan Seacrest on the E! red carpet that night, they confirmed the song was not originally written as a duet. But as Shelton explained, "Once we listened to it, we realized it's actually a perfect duet, especially for us — the lyrics of the song just fit our story perfectly."
"Believe it or not … we were in the gym, I was watching her work out, listening to the song and it was like, 'Wait a minute. You need to sing on this song with me,' " he said at the time. "It just all came together."
But the collaboration doesn't mean the couple plans to make an album together. "I don't think so [but] we have done a lot of music together, actually," said Stefani. "We wrote two songs together — that's a lot. Because he never [duets]. He's sharing his talent with me!"
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