This past Summer of Celebrity Heartbreak was, as its name suggests, not kind to famous couples — and among the breakups were Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, my favorite '90s rocker pair. The No Doubt singer and the Bush frontman announced in August that they had decided to divorce after 13 years of marriage and three children together, and in the time since, fans, including myself, have been wondering what went wrong between good ol' Gwen and Gavin. Well finally, there's something new to add to the equation: Stefani's new song, "Used to Love You," could be about Rossdale. The Voice coach debuted the very personal and somber tune, produced by J.R. Rotem, at the her MasterCard Priceless Surprises concert in New York City on Saturday night, and the lyrics certainly point to a relationship gone wrong.
"This song is really special," Stefani told the audience at Hammerstein Ballroom, and later tweeted that it would be her new single. She sang the track at the concert while a video of her near tears played in the background. The lyrics to "Used to Love You" are some of the saddest to come so far from the normally upbeat Stefani, who has been behind hot tracks such as "Spark the Fire," "Hollaback Girl," "Spiderwebs," and "It's My Life." I mean, just check out how the new song starts:
Thought this would happen
I’ve let it sink in,
Fans never thought it would happen either, Gwen. It's sweet, if sad, to know she also thought she and Rossdale were in it for the long haul.
But alas, love in real life doesn't always work out perfectly like in the movies, as Stefani continues singing.
You go, I’ll stay
You can keep all the memories
I was the best thing that ever happened to you
I thought you loved me the most
It sounds like Stefani is looking to make a new start for herself, letting her ex "keep all the memories." As for the last line, well, this wouldn't be the first time Stefani has written about question marks in her relationship with Rossdale. In 2000, No Doubt released the album Return to Saturn (one of my personal favorites), which featured songs like "Simple Kind of Life," "Ex-Girlfriend," "Marry Me," and "Bathwater" — all of which notably dealt with developments in her relationship with Rossdale, according to Rolling Stone.
And this song, with lyrics like the ones below, seems to confirm that the relationship is over for good.
There were no boundaries
But you just pushed me,
Nobody taught you
Nobody taught you how to love
Ouch. That's a shot straight to the heart, but it's also a continuation of one that Stefani has made before. In No Doubt's 2012 album Push and Shove, Stefani sings a similar lyric on the song "Dreaming the Same Dream" — "How many times can a promise be broken? / Who taught you how to love?" I guess now Stefani knows the answer.
Rossdale and Stefani first met in 1995, when No Doubt and Bush toured with the Goo Goo Dolls in what sounds like my '90s dream tour. From there, their love flourished, culminating in a wedding in 2002. They've definitely had their ups and downs in the past 13 years of marriage — they have sons Kingston, Zuma, and Apollo (who was born in 2014); meanwhile, a DNA test conducted in 2004 proved that Rossdale is the biological father to Pearl Lowe's daughter Daisy Lowe, who is now 26. But even after all the bands, the tours, the kids, and the perfect couple name, it ultimately just couldn't work out between the rockers — and finally, Stefani's new song might give some clues why.
Watch the video and listen to the song below.