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Interview BuzzFeed.News

Buzzfeed.News Interview July 18, 2018
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7

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Part 7

At one point in the set, she pulled a couple wearing shirts that read Im His Gwen and Im Her Blake onstage; at another, she invited a trio of girls from the front row to assist with an onstage costume change. Wearing Harajuku Girls from Target! she exclaimed. Thanks, Mom! Each set change featured a video of Stefani in one, she narrated a slideshow of pictures from her childhood in Orange County, describing her girly girl past; in another, she spoke directly to the camera about how her dreams of family, and her confidence, were destroyed, but how shes managed to find them again.

During the last set, Stefani told the audience how thrilled she was to wear a cowgirl outfit in front of Blake Shelton who she pointed to, right in the front row. When she sang Used to Love You, every woman over the age of 35 collectively lost their *bleep*; for Dont Speak, the catwalk rose slowly into the air amid a deluge of red and silver confetti. The entire show was one bombastic contrast building on another. It was deliriously, fantastically, perfectly Gwen Stefani.

All this went down at the end of a roller coaster of a news day: That morning, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he would step down from the court, making way for a Trump appointee with the potential to dismantle or significantly dilute Roe v. Wade. When Stefani reached Just a Girl, I was primed for her to slow down the chorus and lead the women in *bleep* you, Im a girl!

But thats not what happened. She led the guys in the room, as she always has, and giggled when they sang along. Then she asked where her girls were: We all know whats going to happen now, right? she said. Youre gonna make my ears bleed. Im just a girl, she sang. Im just a girl! the crowd roared back. Im just a girl in Vegas! she yelled back. Because thats ALL. THAT. YOULL LET ME BE! She sang the end like a primal scream, off-pitch and dissonant, like something Ive never heard come out of Stefani. It wasnt aggressive or angry, but it wasnt cute or sarcastic, either. It wasnt necessarily what I wanted. But it was Stefani, having the last word. ?

CORRECTION

July 17, 2018, at 10:17 p.m.

Suzi Quatro was a groundbreaking musician who also appeared on Happy Days. An earlier version of this post understated the breadth of her career as a musician and implied she was a character on the show.

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