Gwen Stefani Says the Emotions in Her Heart-wrenching 'Used to Love You' Video Were 'All Very Real'

"I've never put a record out where I'm actually going through things in real time," says Stefani, who announced her split from ex Gavin Rossdale in August

Photo: Raymond Hall/GC Images

Gwen Stefani is opening up about the meaning behind her new single, “Used to Love You,” for the first time.

The Voice star joined her fellow coaches – Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams – on the Today show Tuesday, where Matt Lauer asked her about the meaning behind her heart-wrenching music video for the track.

“Your personal life has also been in the headlines. Fans are looking at this, and are they misinterpreting something here, or is it all right there in front of us, in terms of the meaning of the song?” Lauer asked, alluding to her recent split from husband Gavin Rossdale.

While Stefani, 46, didn’t confirm her divorce was the inspiration behind the song, she did explain the creative process going into the song and video.

“What I’ll say about that is that I’ve never put a record out where I’m actually going through things in real time. Like, [1995 No Doubt album] Tragic Kingdom? I wrote that record over a three-year period, and then it came out, and it was like, two years on tour; it was like this long, drawn-out thing,” Stefani said, adding “Used to Love You” came together very quickly. “I wrote that song a couple weeks ago.”

As for that tearjerker of a music video? All the emotion was real, Stefani explained.

“I sat in front of a camera in a dressing room, randomly – not making a video – just to do some video for the screens behind me [at the New York City show]. And it went out, and it was the video. The video, it was all very real,” she said.

The singer added she appreciates the encouraging reactions she’s received from fans since the clip dropped.

“It’s nice to do music and have that support from everybody,” she added. “I don’t know these people, but … I feel their energy and love coming back at me, and that’s really comforting.”

Somewhere else the singer is seeking motivation: The Voice set.

“Oh my God, for me, it’s given me so much inspiration. I think I wouldn’t even have my new record if it wasn’t for the show,” she told Lauer. “It might be the funnest thing I’ve ever done.”

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