Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts: Gwen Stefani marks the 25th anniversary of “Don’t Speak”

In another installment of “This will make you feel old,” today Gwen Stefani is marking the 25th anniversary of one of her biggest hits ever: “Don’t Speak,” by her band No Doubt.

Tweeting a snippet of the video, Gwen wrote, “25 years and 815 million views on youtube later…thank u for listening and re-listening to my music all these years! happy anniversary #dontspeak!”  She added the hashtags #skaforever, #nodoubt and #myhomies.

“Don’t Speak” was written by Gwen Stefani and her brother Eric.  It started out as a love song, but after Gwen’s boyfriend, No Doubt bass player Tony Kanal, ended their seven-year relationship, she turned it into a breakup song.

Gwen also shared a vintage video of the group discussing how they turned the song’s iconic video into a story about the band breaking up.  As drummer Adrian Young explains that Gwen wrote the song about her “relationship,” Tony tries to look casual and uninterested.

When “Don’t Speak” was released, it was a huge success on radio, but because it wasn’t commercially available as a single, it wasn’t allowed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 — that was the rule back then.  However, it did reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart, racking up a then-record 16 weeks in the top spot.

Interestingly, “Don’t Speak” was kept out of the number-one spot on Billboard’s Alternative Airplay by the song “Swallowed,” by the band Bush. Of course, in 2002, Gwen married Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale.  They divorced in 2016.

“Don’t Speak” ultimately became the most-played song on American radio in 1996, earned two Grammy nominations, and won the Best Group Video award at the 1997 MTV VMAs.





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