Finally! On Monday, March 28, Gwen Stefani soared straight to No.1 with the release of her third studio album, This Is What the Truth Feels Like. This is the former No Doubt frontwoman’s first-ever solo LP to reach the coveted top spot on the Billboard 200.
Nielsen Music reports that This Is What the Truth Feels Like sold 84,000 equivalent album units during its first week in stores, 76,000 of them pure album sales. Billboard ranks an album’s success based on multi-metric consumption (including traditional album sales and track equivalent albums) and streaming equivalent albums.
While Stefani’s latest effort has ranked the best among her career, its first week sales still failed to surpass her previous records. According to Billboard.com, the 46-year-old pop star’s 2006 album, The Sweet Escape, peaked at No. 3 and sold 243,000 units in its first week, while her solo debut, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., reached No. 5 but sold 309,000 in its first week in 2004.
After splitting from husband Gavin Rossdale in summer 2015— and then rebounding big-time with also newly single Blake Shelton — Stefani decided to write her most personal record yet.
"Then [my cowriters and I] wrote a song called ‘Rocket Ship,’ and that’s when the label said to me, 'Listen, we think this overall album you’re writing is too personal. We don’t think people are going to relate. You should just put out an art record.' And I was like, 'Are you kidding me?'” she told Refinery29 earlier this month. “I’m literally channeling God here. I’m saving my own life with this record and you come and punch me in the face?' The next day I went in and told [my cowriters], 'Let’s write the most f--king personal shit, ever — opposite of what anyone would want to hear.' And that’s when we wrote 'Used to Love You.'”
The mom of Kingston, 9, Zuma, 7, and Apollo, 2 — who she shares with Rossdale — also credits her newfound romance with fellow Voice coach Shelton, 39, for inspiring This Is What the Truth Feels Like.
"I think that when you go through what I went through, or what I’m still going through, you think you’re hopeless. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” she explained to Refinery29 of Shelton, who divorced Miranda Lambert back in July. “You panic. It was a really super-unexpected gift to find a friend, somebody who happened to be going through the exact same thing as me, literally mirroring my experience. I don’t think it’s an accident that that happened. It saved me."
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