Gwen Stefani “really looked up to” Madness growing up.
The No Doubt singer has revealed that one of her first introductions to the ska genre that her band were part of the resurgence of in the 1990s, was the ‘Baggy Trousers’ hitmakers from Camden Town in London.
Gwen – who grew up in California – is quoted by the Daily Star newspaper’s Wired column as saying: “I was 17 when my brother was getting into these ska bands and discovered mu from England and this band called Madness and would bring all their records home.
“When we got into Madness it felt like underground weird mu and they really sang about their culture and Camden Town, and we really looked up to England and London – that mu and Stiff Records. That led us into reggae and all the ska acts and they united in a scene.”
The ‘Don’t Speak’ hitmaker recently returned with her first solo mu in four years, ‘Let Me Reintroduce Myself’, which saw her go back to her ska and reggae roots in homage to her time as the frontwoman of No Doubt.
And the 51-year-old star has admitted she cried when her fiancee Blake Shelton told her she was number 16 in the iTunes chart with the track, because she didn’t think anyone would be interested in hearing her new mu.
She added: “I was standing in the kitchen the day the song came out and Blake (Shelton, her fiance) came in and said: ‘Oh my God you’re number 16 on iTunes.
“I just burst out crying and I didn’t even know that I felt like that.
“I whole reason we wrote it was that I was feeling like an underdog or over, like nobody would listen anymore.
“I’m fine with that, I’ve had my time, 30 years I’m good.
“But the one thing that still fuels my fire is writing mu, you get addicted to that feeling, that taste of blood.”