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Gwen Stefani turns dark moments into beautiful art

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Gwen Stefani wrote her album “This Is What the Truth Feels Like” in the wake of her highly publicized breakup. (Courtesy Jamie Nelson)
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Gwen Stefani was at the end of her rope when her 13-year marriage to rock star Gavin Rossdale dissolved last year.

“I literally was in the middle of hell in my own personal life,” she says. “I just wanted to get under the covers and eat pizza and cry. But when I was at my darkest hour, it was all about trying to figure out, ‘What is my purpose or gift?’ I remember thinking, ‘God, I’ve got to turn this into something beautiful. I have to make art out of this.’”

The result is the three-time Grammy winner’s third solo album, “This Is What the Truth Feels Like,” which debuted at No. 1.

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Stefani, who replaced Rossdale with her former “The Voice” costar Blake Shelton, is happier than ever today, and ready to share the love with fans, doing it on her “This Is What the Truth Feels Like Tour,” which makes its way to the Shoreline Amphitheatre on Saturday.

The “Rich Girl,” “What Are You Waiting For?” and “Hollaback Girl” singer had been flirting with the idea of touring for quite sometime, but needed new music first. Her pain provided plenty of source material.

When Stefani’s marriage finally unraveled, she remembered how penning tracks such as “Don’t Speak,” “Sunday Morning” and “Hey You!” on No Doubt’s 1995 breakthrough album “Tragic Kingdom” helped her through her breakup with bandmate Tony Kanal.

She hoped this creative outlet would save her from heartache again.

“I just wanted it to be my words, my feelings and what I was going through,” she says. “With ‘Tragic Kingdom,’ songs just came out of me, because I’m devastated that my best friend doesn’t want to be with me anymore. I was also in a really desperate place on this album, where all I have left is my music, so if I do that, maybe I’ll survive.”

These days a more joyful Stefani promises her newfound exuberance will be reflected in her first show in seven years, which includes a brand-new live band, eight dancers, countless costume changes and spectacular visuals, courtesy of her longtime video director Sophie Muller.

“To be able to get up there on stage and feel that love and give that love, there’s something quite satisfying and healing,” she says. “It’s going to be something that’s going to make me feel super empowered.”

IF YOU GO
Gwen Stefani
Where: Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 8
Tickets: $29.95 to $162
Contact: www.livenation.com

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