Gwen Stefani Shares How Blake Shelton Changed Her Life: 'I Didn't See Any of This Coming'

The rocker talks life in Oklahoma and the challenges of touring with kids.

Gwen Stefani is opening up about a big left turn in her life. The 53-year-old superstar talks Blake Shelton, motherhood, and her shocking new love of gardening in Wednesday's cover story for People magazine

"I didn't see any of this coming with Blake. This was just a big old 'What?' It was an amazing gift to experience love like that for the first time," Stefani says of her relationship with the country superstar, which began when the pair met while working on The Voice. During the show's ninth season in 2015, Stefani was in the midst of her divorce from Gavin Rossdale while Shelton was dealing with the end of his marriage to Miranda Lambert

"He's changed my life ... when I [started dating] Blake, that's when I felt home, like, 'Oh, this is where I'm supposed to be, with this guy," she continues. 

The couple, who wed in July 2021, officially call Oklahoma home, where they fully embrace the farm life. Looking back on her own Southern California roots, Stefani can't help but poke fun at herself as a self-described "garden flower nerd."

"When I was young, I'd walk home from school and see my mom in her shorts doing her gardening, and my dad would be cutting the trees and make me pick up the branches. I'd be like, 'I'm never having a tree at my house,'" she tells the mag. "When we get to Oklahoma, we're constantly working — and it's a different kind of work. It's probably what my mom was doing back in the day, and now I get it!"

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While she's currently working as a coach on season 24 of The Voice -- its first without series stalwart Shelton -- her priorities lie with her children. Stefani shares three sons with her ex-husband: 17-year-old Kingston, 15-year-old Zuma, and 9-year-old Apollo. 

"I took Kingston on a world tour [when he was nine months old]. I would have to nurse him, then get onstage, come off, and he would twirl my ponytail," she says. "That's when things got really hard for me emotionally. That time is so precious, and you don't want to miss anything." 

The No Doubt frontwoman says she set forth a plan for herself as a working mother. 

"When my kids were teenagers, I really wanted to make sure that I was home for them," she reveals. "And here we are." 

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The "Sweet Escape" singer returned to the singing competition this season, following Shelton's departure after season 23 earlier this year, and she of course did so in flawless style. The pop star sported a black-and-white checkered ensemble -- bra top, high-waisted skirt and flowing cape -- with a matching bow on her high ponytail, and glam done by makeup artist Anthony Nguyen, who used KVD Beauty and GXVE products to create her look. But the real highlight was her signature jewelry.

As seen in the season's first sneak peek, the singer donned her beloved "Shelton" and "Stefani" necklaces for the big night, keeping her husband of two years close to her heart as she heard the first blind auditions of The Voice season 24.

This isn't the first time that Stefani has rocked the necklaces on the show, but it is the first time without Shelton by her side -- with Reba McEntire taking over Shelton's seat in her first season as a coach.

For more on the return of The Voice, watch below.