Blake Shelton + Gwen Stefani — Country Music’s Greatest Love Stories
For proof that lasting, happy love is possible after heartbreak, look no further than Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani's relationship. Though the pair may have originally bonded over the painful fact that they were each going through a high-profile divorce, that friendship ultimately blossomed into one of country music's all-time most smitten romances.
Shelton and Stefani first met back in the spring of 2014, when Stefani signed on as a coach for Season 7 of NBC's televised singing competition, The Voice. Shelton was also coaching on the show, along with Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams, and the two struck up an on-set friendship, but nothing more, as both singers were married to other people.
For his part, Shelton was already one-half of a country superstar marriage, as he'd tied the knot with Miranda Lambert three years prior. But in July of 2015, Shelton and Lambert announced that they were getting divorced. "We are real people, with real lives, with real families, friends and colleagues. Therefore, we kindly ask for privacy and compassion concerning this very personal matter," the couple said in a joint statement at the time.
Meanwhile, trouble was brewing in Stefani's marriage, too, and the following month, she announced her split from rocker Gavin Rossdale after 13 years of marriage. In a statement, Stefani and Rossdale explained that their priority moving forward would be to remain committed co-parents of the three sons they share.
Stefani and Shelton's friendship deepened in the wake of their divorces, as both understood the unique pain of going through a highly publicized breakup. In fact, looking back at that time in a 2016 interview, Shelton went so far as to say that Stefani saved his life.
"Sometimes when you think things couldn’t be worse and you can’t make it through another day, you never know what’s right around the corner that can save your life — that’s literally what happened for me," he told the Tennesseean. "The fact that we were able to be there for each other and relate to each other in that way like nobody else on Earth ... There’s so much out there that is crazy, to have a shoulder and somebody that can be there for you and relate and understand, it literally saved my life.”
Shelton and Stefani went public with their relationship in November of 2015. From then on, neither could hide how smitten they were with each other, with Shelton even buying Stefani a horse so the two could go riding together.
Their partnership proved equally fruitful when it came to music: In May of 2016, they duetted on "Go Ahead and Break My Heart," a song that they co-wrote, on Shelton's 10th studio album, If I'm Honest. The following year, in 2017, they teamed up once again for "You Make It Feel Like Christmas," the title track of Stefani's first-ever full-length holiday project.
Meanwhile, wedding and engagement rumors began to ramp up; however, the two stars remaining coy in interviews about their long-term future plans.
In 2019, Stefani returned once again to the coach's chair on The Voice, where Shelton had remained a mainstay throughout every season -- her first time back on the show since she and Shelton publicly announced their relationship status -- which made for some fun, playful onscreen banter as the two got competitive with each other to take home the win. (Ultimately, neither of them did: Coach Kelly Clarkson celebrated victory that season, with her country-leaning team member Jake Hoot.)
Off the set of The Voice, Shelton and Stefani continued to prove that their musical chemistry was no fluke. In January of 2020, Stefani was a guest vocalist on "Nobody But You," a single that Shelton sent to country radio off of his Fully Loaded: God's Country record. The pair also appear together in the music video for the song, which rocketed up the country charts, becoming Stefani's first-ever No. 1 hit on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.
Their duet proved so successful, in fact, that the two singers subsequently repeated the experience, dropping "Happy Anywhere" as a single that July. That duet also shot up the charts, hitting the top spot on Mediabase's Country Top 30 chart for the week ending Dec. 6. Stefani celebrated the milestone on social media, writing "Sure is fun being number one but with you it's another level!!!"
In October of 2020, Shelton and Stefani shared exciting personal news to go along with their career success, revealing that they'd officially gotten engaged. Afterwards, Shelton admitted that it was the COVID-19 pandemic that gave him the final push he needed to pop the question, saying that quarantining together made him extra confident that Stefani was the person with whom he wanted to spend the rest of his life.
Meanwhile, recent interviews have found Stefani gushing over her new fiancé, saying that she likes "almost everything" about Shelton.
"He's just a very generous, generous guy," she specified. "He's full of love and generosity ... and he's a smart, smart guy as well. So you feel safe: You can lean on him and trust him."
That didn't stop her from gloating when she beat Shelton in the Season 19 The Voice finale, though. Stefani got her first-ever win as a coach on the show in 2020, when her team's finalist, Carter Rubin, was crowned the season champ. (Still, Shelton has won The Voice six times -- more than any other coach in the show's history.)
As for when the happy couple plan to tie the knot? Shelton has said that the wedding will take place in 2021 at the very earliest, as the couple are waiting until it's safer to invite friends and family to a large gathering.