Top 10 Gwen Stefani / No Doubt Singles

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10. No Doubt - "It's My Life" (2003)

No Doubt - It's My Life
No Doubt - "It's My Life". Courtesy Interscope

"It's My Life" first hit the pop charts in the 1984 original recording by British new wave band Talk Talk. Their version climbed to #31 on the US pop chart and topped the dance chart. It is considered a classic of 1980s new wave. No Doubt covered the song for their greatest hits album collection The Singles 1992-2003. The group reportedly listened to hundreds of 1980s songs looking for the best choice for a cover. Their recording of "It's My Life" earned them a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal. It also reached the top 10 on the US pop chart while crossing over to the top 20 at adult contemporary radio and #32 at alternative radio. The accompanying music video won MTV Video Music Awards for Best Group and Best Pop Video.

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9. No Doubt - "Underneath It All" featuring Lady Saw (2002)

No Doubt - Underneath It All featuring Lady Saw
No Doubt - "Underneath It All" featuring Lady Saw. Courtesy Interscope

The song "Underneath It All" was influenced by Gwen Stefani's relationship with then boyfriend, and later husband, Gavin Rossdale. The line, "You're really lovely underneath it all" comes from a journal entry Gwen Stefani made after spending a day with him. Jamaican dancehall artist Lady Saw delivers a guest toast in the song. Lady Saw first appeared on the US pop charts with a guest appearance on Vitamin C's 1999 single "Smile." "Underneath It All" climbed to #3 in the US making it one of No Doubt's biggest pop hits. It also hit #1 at mainstream pop radio and #2 at adult pop radio. No Doubt won a Best Pop Performance By a Duo Or Group With Vocal Grammy Award for the record.

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8. Gwen Stefani - "Cool" (2005)

Gwen Stefani - Cool
Gwen Stefani - "Cool". Courtesy Interscope

"Cool" was released as the fourth single from the album Love, Angel, Music, Baby. It is heavily influenced by 80s new wave pop. Pop and R&B producer Dallas Austin co-wrote and co-produced "Cool." The lyrics reflect Gwen Stefani's earlier romantic relationship with No Doubt member Tony Kanal. The accompanying music video directed by Sophie Muller includes many flashbacks to the pair's former relationship. "Cool" hit #1 on the US dance club chart while peaking at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also crossed over to adult contemporary and adult pop radio.

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7. No Doubt - "Hella Good" (2002)

No Doubt - Hella Good
No Doubt - "Hella Good". Courtesy Interscope

If you want to know what 80's pop with a new millenium technological sheen sounds like, listen to "Hella Good." No Doubt's best music rides on irresistible pop hooks, and this is one of the best. A bumping contemporary beat pushes along 80's style keyboards making it nearly impossible to keep from moving your body. No Doubt put the record together in collaboration with the Neptunes, the songwriting and production team of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. "Hella Good" peaked at #3 at mainstream pop radio and topped the dance chart. It earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Dance Recording. 

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6. No Doubt - "Hey Baby" (2001)

No Doubt - Hey Baby
No Doubt - "Hey Baby". Courtesy Interscope

With this single, lead vocalist Gwen Stefani solidified her image with young listeners as the coolest 30-something woman in pop music. She is brilliant at simultaneously sounding like she understands the hippest of contemporary pop (the Bounty Killer guest rap doesn't hurt) while having the wisdom of an adult several years out of high school. This may also be the first time chamomile had a major role in the lyrics of a hit song. "Hey Baby" was one of the first songs written for the album Rock Steady. It was another song inspired by Gwen Stefani's long-distance relationship with boyfriend Gavin Rossdale. "Hey Baby" peaked at #5 on the US pop chart and broke into the top 10 at adult pop radio. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocals.

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5. Gwen Stefani - "Rich Girl" featuring Eve (2004)

Gwen Stefani - Rich Girl featuring Eve
Gwen Stefani - "Rich Girl" featuring Eve. Courtesy Interscope

Few doubted that Gwen Stefani's first step into the solo spotlight would be a success. "Rich Girl," featuring rapper Eve, and produced by rap master Dr. Dre, ably demonstrates Gwen Stefani can seamlessly blend hip hop and sampling of Broadway hits (in this case Fiddler On the Roof's "If I Were a Rich Man") as additional elements in her musical blender. Gwen Stefani had previously collaborated with rapper Eve on the single "Let Me Blow Ya Mind," a top 10 hit for Eve."Rich Girl" peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a top 10 pop hit around the world.  

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4. Gwen Stefani - "The Sweet Escape" featuring Akon (2006)

Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape featuring Akon
Gwen Stefani - "The Sweet Escape" featuring Akon.

Featured artist Akon developed the beat for "The Sweet Escape" before he met in the studio with Gwen Stefani.  Reportedly, after meeting they wrote the song in about ten minutes. It is a lilting, light, doo-wop influenced song. "The Sweet Escape" became the title song for Gwen Stefani's second solo album and climbed to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It crossed over to reach the top 3 at both adult contemporary and adult pop radio. It was also a top 10 pop smash around the world. "The Sweet Escape" earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.

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3. No Doubt - "Just a Girl" (1995)

No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom. Courtesy Interscope

Filled with new wave thrash and Gwen Stefani's vocals that fall somewhere between Blondie and Lene Lovich, "Just a Girl" broke No Doubt into the national consciousness. The reggae breaks give an early indication of the group's ability to effortlessly move from one genre of music to another and appeal to the widest range of fans. "Just a Girl" was the first single by the band to show their chart potential. It reached #10 at alternative radio while climbing to #23 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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2. No Doubt - "Don't Speak" (1996)

No Doubt - Don't Speak
No Doubt - "Don't Speak". Courtesy Interscope

Before this massive ballad hit, few people expected a song to reach the top 10 on both alternative and adult contemporary music charts. The yearning beauty of the song combined with No Doubt's credibility with alternative rock fans made the song a huge hit on radio across genres. The song spent a phenomenal 16 weeks at the top of the mainstream pop radio chart. By the time "Don't Speak" faded from radio playlists Gwen Stefani's quirky voice was one of the most recognizable in popular music. Gwen Stefani co-wrote the song with her brother Eric Stefani before he left No Doubt. The record was produced by Matthew Wilder who is best remembered for his own top 5 pop hit single "Break My Stride" from 1984. "Don't Speak" earned Grammy Award nominations for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocals.

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1. Gwen Stefani - "Hollaback Girl" (2005)

Gwen Stefani Hollaback Girl
Gwen Stefani - "Hollaback Girl". Courtesy Interscope

For "Hollaback Girl" Gwen Stefani headed into the studio with the Neptunes Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. It was a last minute addition to the album Love, Angel, Music, Baby. The song was at least in part a response to a comment Courtney Love made in an interview with Seventeen magazine: "Being famous is just like being in high school. But I'm not interested in being the cheerleader. I'm not interested in being Gwen Stefani." "Hollaback Girl" is an attitude song influenced by cheerleader chants. The song reached #1 on the US pop chart, was the first song to sell one million digital copies, and it received a Grammy Award nomination for Record Of the Year.

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