Stefani opens up to PEOPLE exclusively about being on tour with her three sons

By Melody Chiu
October 14, 2016 05:02 PM
Credit: Source: Gwen Stefani/Instagram

Gwen Stefani is one rockin’ mama.

Over the summer, the “Used to Love You” singer hit the road for her tour, and she had three special guys in her crew — Kingston James McGregor, 10, Zuma Nesta Rock, 8, and Apollo Bowie Flynn, 2, her three sons with ex Gavin Rossdale.

“I was scared. I hadn’t toured in seven years and one of the big reasons was because it’s really hard to do [it with kids],” the singer, 47, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “The first couple days, I was like ‘What have I done?’ This is a disaster! I couldn’t get them to sleep. I was exhausted.”

But after getting into the groove of things, “it was magical,” says Stefani. Kingston “was being protective” while Zuma practically became a working member of the crew.

“Zuma would play with the crew all day long and suddenly he has a headset on and a little flashlight,” says Stefani. “To have him walk me off and on stage, that was hilarious and adorable. He did it religiously every single night!”

On one particular day, Zuma had gone to the water park for a fun outing and “was so tired,” recalls Stefani, who’s executive producing Nickelodeon’s new animated series Kuu Kuu Harajuku (airing Saturdays at 9 a.m.). “He just sat on the chair and we were like, ‘You can go to bed! What are you doing?’ And he’s like, ‘No, I gotta finish!’ ”

Now with school back in session, Stefani and her boys are settling back into life in Los Angeles and their daily routines.

“Being on tour, I love it, but I love family time. When I’m not on tour or in the studio or at The Voice, I’m usually with my parents or brother and sister-in-law. I don’t feel like I’m in a Hollywood world. That’s just not my reality.”

For much more on Gwen Stefani’s life now and how she found love and happiness again, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday. To shop her limited-edition Harajuku Lovers by Gwen Stefani Red Hot! capsule collection, visit Time Inc.’s e-commerce destination People Shop (sales will benefitthe American Red Cross Home Fire safety prevention program).