Gwen Stefani Opens Up About Overcoming Childhood Dyslexia Through Music

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

She’s been in the music business for 35 years, and now Gwen Stefani reveals how she overcame childhood dyslexia through her musical talents. 

While speaking to E! News during the New York Women in Communications 52nd Annual Matrix Awards on Wednesday (October 26th), Gwen Stefani opened up about how music has impacted her life. 

“It’s something that I never expected—that I would be a communicator,” Gwen Stefani explained, noting she had dyslexia. “And now when I look back at it, it’s like that’s what I was. I just was literally channeling my story through music, and what I think I loved about the music was there were no rules.

Also speaking about her childhood, Gwen Stefani admitted that she just felt like she didn’t really fit in when everyone else was understanding. “I was like, ‘What is going on? I’m drowning,’” she recalled. “But then when I found music, it was like I was able to communicate with very few words. Just being honest and being who I am somehow translated to like, some kind of universal heartbreak thing that everyone has.” 

Gwen Stefani’s Husband Blake Shelton Presents Her With New Award

Meanwhile, during her appearance at Wednesday’s event, Gwen Stefani was presented with a special award by her husband and fellow The Voice coach, Blake Shelton.

Gwen Stefani Once Said She Learned About Her Dyslexia Through Her Sons

During a December 2020 interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Gwen Stefani opened up about her sons’ learning challenges. She also said that she learned a thing or two about her dyslexia through her sons. 

“One thing that I’ve discovered through having kids is that I have dyslexia,” Gwen Stefani stated at the time. “I feel like a lot of the problems that I have had or even decisions that I’ve made for myself stem from that.”

Gwen Stefani further explained that while she was a good girl in school, she struggled when it came to academics. “I didn’t do any bad stuff. It was just really hard for me to function in that square box of school,” she said. “That everybody was supposed to be understanding. My brain didn’t work like that; it still doesn’t. But it works in different ways.” 

Gwen Stefani then said that sons, Kingston, Zuma, and Apollo struggle with reading. However, she’s giving them every advantage in order to succeed. “[My sons] get all these benefits,” she went on. “They have these incredible teachers and schools and they don’t have to have shame about it. They understand that their brain functions in a different way. All of our brains do.”

In regards to how dyslexia impacted her self-esteem, Stefani added, “I didn’t know any of this until now, but I think that I didn’t have any confidence in myself.”