Gwen Stefani Reveals The Hit Song That Predicted Her Divorce

“There was so much loaded f*cking stuff in that song.”

NEWTON, IA - JULY 24: Singer Gwen Stefani performs during a concert before the Hy-Vee Salute To Farm...
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Gwen Stefani’s inner turmoil is sometimes reflected in her songwriting before she even realizes it. In a new interview with Nylon, the singer revealed that her 2006 hit “The Sweet Escape” foreshadowed her divorce nearly a decade before it happened.

In 2002, Stefani married Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale, with whom she shares her three sons, 17-year-old Kingston, 15-year-old Zuma, and 10-year-old Apollo. She wrote “The Sweet Escape” about a couple who was weathering a rough period in their relationship, but it took a little while for her to realize how much those words applied to her.

“It makes me cry,” she said. “I listen to the lyrics of that song, and it’s like: ‘Whoa!’ There was so much loaded f*cking stuff in that song that was going on in my private life that it’s just crazy. It’s foreshadowing the future.”

Stefani was also experiencing stress at the time. She had just given birth to her first child when Interscope Records president Jimmy Iovine called and asked her to get into the studio with “The Sweet Escape” producer Akon. “I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’” she said. ‘The baby’s nine weeks old!’ ... [But] Jimmy’s always right.”

Gwen Stefani’s Nylon cover shoot.Nylon / Domen & Van De Velde

The twosome hit it off and immediately created one of the biggest hits of their careers. “The Sweet Escape” stayed in the Billboard Top 10 for 15 weeks and peaked at number two. (Ironically, Akon’s solo hit “Don’t Matter” blocked it from the top spot.)

Stefani recalled that the song’s catchiest hook came in at the last minute. “We’re sitting there, it’s done, and Akon goes, ‘Wait, I got one other idea.’ He walks in the booth like: ‘Woo-hoo!’” she said.

Stefani and Rossdale eventually divorced in 2015 after 12 years of marriage. A year later, she told The New York Times that she wouldn’t reveal details about their split. “If I could, I would just tell you everything, and you would just be in shock,” she said. “It’s a really good, juicy story.”

While she’s still holding that story close to her chest, Stefani has moved on. She met her current husband, country singer Blake Shelton, in 2014 when the two were co-judges on The Voice.