Music

Olivia Rodrigo Explains Why She Thinks Gwen Stefani Is the ‘Prime Example’ of a ‘True Artist’

It’s no secret that the pop-punk influences laced into Olivia Rodrigo‘s Sour and Guts albums can be directly traced back to artists such as Gwen Stefani — she even has No Doubt‘s “Just a Girl” on her pre-show playlist, which blares over the venue speakers before each of her Guts World Tour concerts. 

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Now, the 21-year-old pop star is opening up about her love for the “Hollaback Girl” singer, telling Nylon for Stefani’s cover story published Tuesday (April 9), “Gwen’s ability to evolve and explore different styles of music, songwriting and aesthetic while still remaining true to herself is incredibly inspiring.”  

“To me, she’s a prime example of an artist who defies stereotypes and preconceived boundaries and just makes stuff that she thinks is cool,” Rodrigo continued. “If that’s not a true artist, I don’t know what is.” 

The new interview comes just days ahead of No Doubt’s highly anticipated reunion at this year’s Coachella, which kicks off Friday (April 12). According to the “Drivers License” artist, she first discovered the band when she was 15, pressing play on its 2000 album Return of Saturn nearly two decades after it was first released (and subsequently debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200). 

“Gwen sang about being a woman moving about this world in detail that I had never before heard put to music,” Rodrigo recalled of the experience. “She unapologetically sings about things ranging from wanting to make out with someone to fantasizing about having a husband and kids. There’s so much heart in every word she says, and every song feels like it’s ripped from the diary of the coolest girl you know.” 

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The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series alum will be on the road for the next four months, most recently playing her third of four scheduled Guts shows at Madison Square Garden. Following her final New York City performance on Tuesday, she’ll head overseas for a European leg beginning April 30 in Dublin. 

Stefani’s most recent releases have come in collaboration with her husband, former The Voice co-coach Blake Shelton. The pair released a cover of The Judds’ “Love Is Alive” in 2023, followed by a duet titled “Purple Irises” earlier this year. 

“When you’re in love and have truly aligned values, nobody can get to us,” the GXVE Beauty founder told Nylon of the country crooner. “You can say whatever you want to say about our relationship — I mean, a week ago we were getting divorced again or something. It’s just lies. The truth is the truth, and we know what that is. And so that [negativity] would never penetrate just by me being vulnerable and sharing a song that I didn’t write for anybody else but myself and Blake.” 

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