As 2016 comes to an end, weâ€™re looking back at another eventful year with highlights and featuring some of the bandâ€™s biggest moments and new projects to look forward to in the new year.
This past year, Gwen made a triumphant return with her third solo album This Is What the Truth Feels Like which spawned two additional singles and a summer tour. We also saw the continued expansion with her two core brands with L.A.M.B. and Gx and the US premiere of Kuu Kuu Harajuku. Gwen also opened up outside of her album with many revealing interviews and features on her personal struggles, the future of No Doubt, and what’s next. She finished the year on a few high-notes after being honored with the RDMA Hero Award and being named one of Glamour‘s Women of the Year.
In 2017, many exciting things are on the horizon and we’re really looking forward to new projects from DREAMCAR and what’s next for Gwen outside of The Voice. She makes her return to the coaching chair for season 12 in February and we’re wondering if she will choose to promote new music or projects of her own in the new year. DREAMCAR is expected to release their debut album in 2017 and are anticipating a possible tour in the future.
We also wanted to take the time to wish No Doubt, their families, our friends and all visitors a Happy New Year! Thank you for everyoneâ€™s continued love, support, contributions, comments, Tweets, and messages for Beacon Street Online that keep us motivated and excited. Weâ€™re really looking forward to what our favorite band has in store for us in 2017 and we hope everyone is as ready as we are!
Make sure vote in our poll letting us know which was your favorite moment from 2016 below!
Debut of L.A.M.B. and Gx Eyewear
Back in July 2015, eye wear manufacturer Tura Inc. announced that they would be collaborating with Gwen on two new collections for both L.A.M.B. and Gx. Gwen said that Tura Inc. was “the right fit” for her and her brands and they had signed to a multiyear agreement for lines of eye wear that she shared that she’s “wanted to do forever.” The debut collections, which featured 12 ophthalmic styles and 12 sunglasses from each brand, were big successes and L.A.M.B. was named EyeVote Reader’s Choice Award winners in multiple categories including best Women, Frames and Sunglasses in 2016.
A new collection of L.A.M.B. and Gx eyewear is set to debut in early 2017 with Gwen front-and-center again in a campaign modeling frames and sunglasses.
Gwen for MasterCard Priceless Japan
In early January, Gwen partnered with high-end fashion designer Keita Maruyama to launch Priceless Japan. In part of her continued sponsorship with MasterCard, Gwen returned to Tokyo for a special concert and cardholders were able to enter in for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to attend Fashion Week Tokyo with her in March. Gwen appeared in several promotional videos with Keita for the campaign and Gwen surprised one lucky cardholder with tickets to MBFWT which went to a long-time deserving fan.
Gwen put on a memorable show in Tokyo and she pulled out a few underrated solo gems for the set list including The Sweet Escape’s “U Started It” and “Fluorescent”.
She also took part in a shoot for Vogue Japan with photographer Maciej Kucia which we’re still waiting to see.
“Make Me Like You” live music video
â€œMake Me Like Youâ€ made history and was the first-ever live music video event which debuted on February 15 during the Grammys during an extended commercial break. Gwen partnered with Target for the Sophie Muller directed video for her second single from her third solo album This Is What the Truth Feels Like released the following month with a special deluxe edition being sold at Target stores exclusively. The video was shot in real-time in one-take and was later uploaded to Gwenâ€™s Vevo channel as the official music video for the single.
One the most memorable scenes (and that had the internet buzzing) takes place in a circular roller-skating rink which features Gwen skating. The camera cuts away shortly and a stunt double for Gwen took her place and ended up tripping and falling which created chaos on-set. Gwen later revealed that the whole stunt was done on purpose to create shock value and helped her trend on Twitter for most of musicâ€™s biggest night. The video ends in dramatic fashion with Gwen being raised to roaring applause and confetti on top of Targetâ€™s elaborate set in the shape of a bulls eye.
The “Make Me Like You” video went on to win several awards throughout the year including being honored at the Association of Independent Commercial Producers and Cannes Lions Entertainment Music Awards.
Gwen made several notable appearances and performances of “Make Me Like You” on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Ellen, The Late, Late Show with James Corden, SNL, Good Morning America, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the Radio Disney Music Awards. The single peaked at #54 on the Billboard Hot 100 and then again re-entered the chart after This Is What the Truth Feels Like was released.
This Is What the Truth Feels Like
Gwen released her third and most personal solo album This Is What the Truth Feels Like on March 17 and truly encapsulated everything we love about her. The album features incredible ballads that sheâ€™s known for with empowering lyrics (â€œTruthâ€, â€œMe Without Youâ€, â€œRareâ€), catchy and surprising tracks (â€œRed Flagâ€, â€œNaughtyâ€), and ready-for-radio bangers (â€œWhere Would I Be?â€, â€œAsking 4 Itâ€) all packed in. Truth‘s production is near perfect and we feel confident in saying Gwen has put out yet another solid album to stack against her previous work. Sheâ€™s back and better than ever â€” the confidence she was able to radiate throughout Truth is inspiring and really showcased what a true artist and songwriter she is.
This Is What the Truth Feels Like landed Gwen her first solo #1 album on the Billboard 200 selling an impressive 84,000 units in it’s first week with over 76,000 true album sales. Truth had topped the iTunes charts worldwide and the exclusive deluxe edition had been flying off the shelves at Target stores all over. Billboard pointed out that incredibly Gwen is only one of five female solo artists that have debuted at the #1 spot outside of their band and/or group.
Truth has so far spawned three singles including “Used To Love You”, “Make Me Like You”, “Misery” and a mildly-successful summer tour that had her performing all across North America.
Gwen released her official (and most recent) music video for â€œMiseryâ€ on May 31 which was directed by Sophie Muller. The video was filmed over two days in early May in an abandoned building once owned by Sears in Los Angeles. Gwen notably mentioned that this was her first â€œtraditionalâ€ music video shoot since 2014 and wanted to showcase as many gorgeous looks as she could. Styled by her team including makeup artist Grgeory Arlt, hairstylist Danilo and styling team Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn, Gwen is seen throughout the video in custom couture and gowns and pieces by On Aura Tout Vu, Gemy Maalouf, Molly Goddard, Rocky Gathercole, Augustin Teboul and La Perla.
The â€œMiseryâ€ video shot to the #1 spot on iTunes pop video charts and clocked over a million and a half views in less than a week. The video also garnered positive media reviews and was featured and praised by many fashion industry insiders.
Gwen performed “Misery” on both The Voice and SNL but the single unfortunately had no impact on the Billboard Hot 100. Thankfully the single was given the #36 spot on Entertainment Weekly‘s list of the 100 Best Songs of 2016.
Gwen returns to The Voice to advise Team Blake
Since her debut on season 7 of The Voice, Gwen has continued to stay close and connected with NBCâ€™s juggernaut singing competition show. She returned earlier this year during season 10 as Team Blakeâ€™s advisor and helped mentor his artists throughout the Battle Rounds. Gwen and Blakeâ€™s chemistry was off-the-charts and you could tell how much respect and admiration that they have for each other. It will be fun to see them compete against one another again this February when Gwen returns back to coach for season 12 of The Voice.
Gwen returned to SNL in early April and was invited to partake in a hilarious sketch with the cast and host Peter Dinklage. Titled â€œMafia Meetingâ€, the sketch quickly went viral for â€œSpace Pantsâ€, a quirky 80s-themed song about pants and shorts covered in â€œintergalacticâ€ patterns resembling our solar system. Gwen made a cameo as herself and came out during the sketch singing along to â€œSpace Pantsâ€. SNL later released a fully recorded version of the song on itâ€™s YouTube page for fans. The sketch was everywhere for weeks after and critics and watchers of the show praised Gwen for her part in it.
Gwen also rocked the stage with two performances including “Make Me Like You” and new single “Misery.”
Radio Disney Music Awards
Gwen was honored and presented with the Hero Award at the Radio Disney Music Awards in late April from close friend and collaborator, Pharrell Williams. Gwen was awarded for her spirit and influence on young minds and for continuing to be a positive rode model over the years.
She shined on the red carpet before the event with niece Stella and treated fans to a surprise performance of â€œMake Me Like Youâ€ â€” on roller-skates!
“Go Ahead and Break My Heart”
Gwen partnered with boyfriend Blake Shelton for a song included on his latest album titled “Go Ahead and Break My Heart”, which garnered positive reviews and success though it was never released as a single. Blake had first starting writing lyrics for the song in regards to “some serious insecurities that we had when we first started down this road with each other”. He later shared what he had written with Gwen and she then helped contribute with lyrics of her own. “Go Ahead and Break My Heart” skyrocketed to the #1 spot on the country iTunes chart and peaked at #70 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Go Ahead and Break My Heart” was never released on it’s own outside of Blake’s album but had a positive impact with critics and fans. The song was praised for it’s crossover sound and the pair debuted their duet live on The Voice followed by another memorable performances on the Billboard Music Awards.
Gwen later took the song out on the road with her inviting Blake onstage throughout her This Is What the Truth Feels Like summer tour. Gwen later returned the favor and made several surprise appearances on a leg of Blake’s tour this past fall.
Gwen appeared on one of the most coveted and popular late-night segments of 2016 on The Late, Late Show with James Corden for Carpool Karaoke in early May. The hilarious sketch features the two jamming out and having a good time along to some of Gwenâ€™s biggest songs including â€œDonâ€™t Speakâ€, â€œThe Sweet Escapeâ€, â€œUsed To Love Youâ€, â€œRich Girlâ€, â€œHollaback Girlâ€ and Queenâ€™s â€œWe Are The Championsâ€. Gwen and James were also joined by A-listers George Clooney and Julia Roberts making it one of the biggest Carpool Karaoke skits of the year. The clip quickly went viral and racked up close to 2 million views after debuting on YouTube shortly after it aired.
Gwen was also included in the year-end special edition of Carpool Karaoke featuring stars throughout the year singing along to Mariah Careyâ€™s holiday staple â€œAll I Want for Christmasâ€.
This Is What the Truth Feels Like North American Tour
Dates for Gwen’s This Is What the Truth Feels Like North American tour were announced and confirmed shortly after the release of her album and had her heading to amphitheaters and stadiums over the summer for the first time since 2009. Eve joined her on the road and the tour kicked off on July 12 in Mansfield, Massachusetts and wrapped up in history-making fashion with two dates closing out the iconic Irvine Meadows Amphitheater on October 29-30.
Unfortunately negative press seemed to follow the tour due to the lack of ticket sales in some parts of the country. Spirits remained high and the fans came out in droves to see a captivating show that included most of her new album in the set along with some surprising No Doubt hits like “Don’t Speak” and “Just a Girl.”
Gwen and Eve’s chemistry was on-fire throughout the summer and the two incorporated their work together with a “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” and “Rich Girl” duet-set in the show that was worth of the price of admission alone. It was pretty incredible to see them together again and brought back all sorts of nostalgia. Gwen also invited boyfriend Blake Shelton onstage a few times during the tour for a special and surprise addition of “Go Ahead and Break My Heart” to the set.
Gwen was featured with a number of other notable artists on the impactful and meaningful tribute single â€œHandsâ€, which benefits the Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, and GLAAD. Artists came together in the wake of the tragedy in Orlando this past June and the single was released exclusively on iTunes. Proceeds from the sales assisted in funding for the families affected by the tragedy with counseling, medical care and education.
â€œHandsâ€ was written by Truth collaborators Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter with BloodPopÂ®.
Howard Stern interview
Gwen made her debut on radio host Howard Sternâ€™s SiriusXM morning show in late July and gave one of her most fantastic and honest interviews in recent memory. Many fans were skeptical about Gwen being on the program due to Howardâ€™s reputation for being harsh, but the interview which lasted close to two-hours was incredible and had Gwen opening up about her brother Eric, No Doubt, her personal struggles and past relationships and much, much more that weâ€™re not used to hearing from her. Howard came across like a professional and really seemed to have done his homework â€” impressing her with facts spanning her career and childhood. Fans truly appreciated her sincere honesty throughout and found this interview to one of the year’s best.
Trolls film and soundtrack
In January 2016, it was announced that Gwen would be starring as DJ Suki in the upcoming animated DreamWorks film Trolls. The film was based on the iconic Troll dolls which have been popular since the 1950s and are predominately known for coming in crazy colors and sizes.
Co-directed by Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn, Trolls was released ahead of the holiday season on November 4, 2016. Gwen was joined by an all-star cast including Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar and Russell Brand for the family-comedy feature. Justin Timberlake also served as executive music producer besides writing original music for the film.
Gwen was also featured throughout the film’s soundtrack with a standout track of her own with “What U Working With?”, co-penned with Justin Timberlake. She also appeared on several songs with the full cast including “Hair Up”, â€œMove Your Feet / D.A.N.C.E. / Itâ€™s a Sunshine Dayâ€, â€œIâ€™m Coming Out / Moâ€™ Money Moâ€™ Problemsâ€ and the Grammy Award nominated “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”.
Though Gwen’s part in the Trolls film was minuscule, it was such an exciting project for Gwen to be apart of and “What U Working With?” was an unexpected track that many fans fell in love with.
Kuu Kuu Harajuku debuts on Nickelodeon
Gwen’s executive produced and co-created animated series Kuu Kuu Harajuku made it’s domestic premiere in the US on Nickelodeon on October 3. She released a series of promotional videos for the series including an adorable mini-music video for the show’s theme and photo shoots. Kuu Kuu Harajuku was one of the network’s most successful shows in 2016 and a second and third season are already in the works.
A line of fashion dolls of G, Love, Angel, Music and Baby are set to be released by Mattel in the spring of 2017. Kuu Kuu Harajuku also premiered all over the globe for the first time after it’s initial debut in Australia in November 2015.
White House Italy State Dinner
Gwen, joined by her family, had the prestigious honor of being invited to perform at the final State Dinner hosted by President Barack Obama on October 18. She looked absolutely stunning in a deep-plunging sparkly gown from Yanina with her hair in a high-ponytail and signature red lips. Though it was private function, the final State Dinner was a highly coveted event and she performed a small intimate set in honor of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi which featured some of her biggest hits and a special performance of â€œGo Ahead and Break My Heartâ€ with boyfriend Blake Shelton.
It was announced in August that Tony had partnered with fellow activists and strong voices in the vegan community to organize the world’s first all-vegan music-festival with Circle V. The all-day festival featured food, arts and crafts, retail pop-ups and prominent speakers and performances. Circle V was held at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood and had thousands of fans of flocking out to the event to support such a near and dear cause with all proceeds benefiting Mercy For Animals.
Plans of a second annual Circle V in 2017 are in the pipeline and we couldn’t be any more proud of the work Tony and his partners were able to accomplish.
Glamour‘s Woman of the Year
Gwen attended and was honored during Glamour magazineâ€™s Women of the Year 2016 Awards gala held at NeueHouse Hollywood. She stunned on the red carpet in Marchesa before heading into the presentation where she was featured alongside her fellow WOYT honorees for her incredible spirit and positive influence on so many around the world. Gwen was welcomed to the stage after a touching video montage featuring interviews with her mother Patti and close friend Pharrell Williams.
During her acceptance speech, Gwen was humbled by the experience and thanked her supportive family and Blake Shelton for â€œkissing her back to life.â€ Her courageousness shined through and she expressed that music was her savior over the last year-and-a-half. Gwen gave an incredible and heartfelt speech at such an empowering event and weâ€™re extremely proud of her and the amazing year sheâ€™s had.
DREAMCAR’s formal announcement
Since February 2015, both Tom and Adrian had mentioned briefly that they had been working on new side projects outside of No Doubt involving new music. While details were still mum on what the boys were up to, earlier this year news broke that Tom, Tony and Adrian were teaming up with AFI lead singer Davey Havok on a project together — and to be exact… a brand new band. Davey shared that he had been approached a few years back about working together and the guys had been in the studio as early as October 2015 writing material. The unnamed band at the time were reportedly shopping around an album’s worth of music and were being managed by Pat Magnarella.
DREAMCAR made an official and formal announcement in late November introducing the band’s name and that more is on the way in 2017. Adrian had mentioned earlier in the year that the band has intentions of touring in the new year and expressed how obvious it was to each other that they had something special. AFI is also set to release a new album of their own in early January and will hit the road to support it shortly after.
As of December 2016, Tony shared that DREAMCAR is in the “final stages” of wrapping up their debut album which is set to release sometime this year. While the guys are still hesitant to put a label on their sound, Tony does describe it as “rock record” and that they were influenced by “’80s stuff that we love.”
We’re extremely excited and looking forward to what DREAMCAR has in store for fans in 2017. It will be interesting to hear what type of dynamic translates on the new record with Davey but we can already tell it’s going to be an exciting time to be a fan.
Looking Forward to 2017
– More L.A.M.B. and Gx Eyewear
Tura Inc. revealed that the upcoming collection of L.A.M.B. and Gx Eyewear will be featured in an upcoming :30 spot during Entertainment Tonight on January 2. Photos have been shared from the new campaign that has Gwen modeling more amazing must-have frames that are expected to hit select retailers in the near future.
In regards to the L.A.M.B. brand, the line has since confirmed that there are no plans for any upcoming seasons and that they are focusing on capsule collections and accessories at this time. L.A.M.B.’s official online retail shop has also since been discontinued.
– The Voice (season 12)
Gwen makes her long-awaited return to NBC’s The Voice in February as a coach alongside returning favorites Adam Levine, Alicia Keys and now-boyfriend Blake Shelton. TODAY announced that she would be returning this past October, shortly before live tapings of the Blind Auditions kicked off in Los Angeles. Host Carson Daly shared on his radio show that Gwen was asked back partly due to fan demand stating, â€œTwitter [was] continually begging us to bring her back.â€
Gwen is such a dynamic force and has proved herself over her past two seasons that sheâ€™s such a strong mentor and contender on the show. She first made her debut on The Voice back in season 7 making it to the Semi Final Round with artist Taylor John Williams and all the way to the Live Finale with artist Jeffrey Austin in season 9.
We’re excited to see Gwen return to The Voice since it’s something that she’s spoken so passionately about in the past. It will also be fun to watch her and Blake’s relationship play out on television now that they are competing against one another again.
– Kuu Kuu Harajuku fashion dolls
Matel announced that they would be releasing a line of Kuu Kuu Harajuku fashion dolls this spring to coincide with the animated series airing on Nickelodeon. People shared a sneak peek at the upcoming HJ5 line which was first reported on back in April 2015.
Details are slowly still trickling out about DREAMCAR, the new band including Tom, Tony, Adrian and Davey Havok, but we know that something is coming in 2017. We’re assuming the debut album is on the horizon from DREAMCAR which Tony describes as a “rock record” that draws heavy inspiration from ’80s music that the group loves. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to hear what they’ve been working on sooner rather than later in the new year and we’re just excited to see how the era plays out. It’s an exciting time to be a fan and Adrian stated that the band plans on hitting the road in 2017.
– The future of No Doubt
With regards to No Doubt, the band has made it clear that there has been no immediate plans for the future. No Doubt will celebrate 30 years as a group in 2017 so weâ€™re hoping something may be in the pipeline for our favorite bandâ€™s milestone anniversary.
– VolleyPay (possibly still in development)
Tom shared in 2015 that heâ€™s been working on a new mobile app with a local Long Beach group called VolleyPay (which you can now request an invite for early access), which he hoped to have out earlier in the spring. The iPhone app is described as a way to â€œaccept ApplePay, credit cards and digital payments with only your iPhone. No bank required.â€ He said that his team had been working on the prototype over the last couple of months earlier in the year and said itâ€™s been really fun. â€œBeing a musician is obviously very creative, and I feel like thereâ€™s so much going on in tech and software that itâ€™s certainly an exciting world. I love all of that and putting my ideas into that world. Long Beach is very inspiring.â€
– Valley of the Kings release / Oslo
Valley of the Kings released two singles from their debut in 2016 and we’re hoping that a release date for their anticipated album will come soon in the new year. Both “Hooligans” and “United We Stand” were strong and we’re dying to hear the rest of what the duo (comprised of Steve Bradley and David A. Elecciri Jr) have been working on.
For those that may have missed it, Oslo (featuring Gabe McNair) also released an EP of their own titled The Morning After and recently premiered their music video for new single “When I’m Through” which you can support on FanBridge.com.
Thanks for looking back at some of the biggest moments from the year and make sure to check out our other Best of 2016 features including our picks for the most Memorable Appearances and Performances and vote for Gwen’s Best Red Carpet Look.