While in the midst of her latest tour in support of solo album This Is What the Truth Feels Like, Gwen Stefani recalled her experience recording the No Doubt song “Waiting Room” with Prince during an interview with Howard Stern. Though recorded in 1999 for the album Return of Saturn, the track ended up appearing on the band’s 2001 album Rock Steady.
For the session, Stefani went to Paisley Park to work with the musician, who was then using the unpronounceable “Love Symbol” as his stage name and had reached out to Stefani to collaborate. Prince had re-written the song and, as Stefani recalls, was on “a whole ‘nother planet, level” of talent.
Stefani spent eight hours in the booth as Prince fed her harmonies to repeat into the microphone, and the singer remembers being scared during the whole experience. “I’m not even that good of a singer,” she told Stern who instantly refuted her harsh critique of herself. “I’m saying technically, as a singer, I have my style, but it’s not like I have a big range. I can sing in tune and I can hear notes, but he’s just like a genius.”
In 1999, “Waiting Room” was not the only song the pair recorded together. Stefani also contributed vocals to Prince’s song “So Far, So Pleased,” which was released that year on the album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic and became the catalyst for Prince originally reaching out to Stefani. During their time together, Prince offered some insight into Stefani’s competition, revealing that he thought Jennifer Lopez, whose single “Waiting for Tonight” was blowing up at the time, was the one she had to watch out for. “I’ve never told Jennifer that, hopefully she’ll hear,” Stefani added. “It was interesting. He just was up on everything.”
From her new solo album to her work with Prince, here are the things we learned from Gwen Stefani.