Just a Girl In the World
Gwen Stefani got her start in the music business with the California rock group No Doubt, which formed in 1986.
Their big songs "Just A Girl" and "Don't Speak" are still bangers and continue to hold up as fun singles that showcase Stefani's playful voice.
Their album Tragic Kingdom went diamond, so nothing can take that away from them.
Stefani then decided to hit the road on her own, and she's had a pretty good career of it so far. Stefani is currently a coach on "The Voice," so when Stefani speaks, people listen.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of her hit album Love. Angel. Music. Baby. The album, released Nov. 12, 2004, features backup dancers Harajuku girls. Their stage names come from the title of the album.
One of the lyrics Stefani sings on the album is an ode to them:
"Harajuku Girls, I'm looking at you girls, you're so original girls, you're just so fly and you parade around."
It All Fits Together
Stefani spoke to Refinery 29 in January about the ongoing success of L.A.M.B.
"I go to my Vegas shows and it’s really fulfilling to look out into the crowd and people will hold up a L.A.M.B. bag from back in the day. It’s really gratifying and it makes me feel good."
I really put my soul into every part of it. I’d spend five hours finding the right shade for a jacket. I did that for a lot of years."
Was It Appropriation?
At the time of her collaboration with Harajuku Girls, Stefani faced complaints of cultural appropriation.
Stefani spoke with Billboard ahead of the 15th anniversary of Love. Angel. Music. Baby., and discussed those complaints.
She says she thinks people got that the album was to express her love to another culture.
“When it first came out, I think people understood that it was an artistic and literal bow down to a culture that I was a superfan of.
When the Harajuku Girls came out, it was like, you’re not even real, you’re a dream. It wasn’t like, 'You’re not real because you’re Asian.' Are you kidding me? That would be horrifying!”
She Just Loves Them
She further explained that she was just trying to express her love for the group.
“I wanted to write a song that talked about my love for Harajuku. When you’re from Anaheim and never traveled outside of your city until you’re 21 years old, it was really crazy to go to Japan. My dad went there a lot because he worked with Yamaha motorcycles, so I had a fascination from a young age.”
The attacks are still lingering, 15 years after the fact, yet Stefani has not backed away from showing her love for the Harajuku Girls.