Gwen Stefani spoke out about how writing songs helped her in her struggle with dyslexia.
The 53-year-old singer first revealed that she had the learning disorder, which is characterized by difficulties with reading, spelling and writing, in 2020.
Stefani was honored at the New York Women in Communications 52nd Annual Matrix Awards on Oct. 26 and reflected on dyslexia’s impact on her life in her acceptance speech.
“Being dyslexic definitely has had challenges for me in my life, and I will say the dyslexic advantage has probably made me who I am,” the “Don’t Speak” hitmaker told the audience, per the DailyMail.com.
She continued, “The moment I wrote my first song – I had no idea that I could do that. It just happened – it unlocked something inside me.”
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The three-time Grammy Award winner joked that despite her challenges with spelling, she “went on to teach the whole world how to spell bananas,” referring to lyrics in her 2004 hit “Hollaback Girl”.
Stefani’s husband Blake Shelton presented her with the Matrix Award, which she received in recognition of her career achievements. In his speech, Shelton, 46, said that he was “very excited” and “extra proud” of his wife, according to People magazine.
“Obviously, my favorite award ever, Blake Shelton, for marrying me. Wow, this is surreal — weird Blake talking about me like that,” Stefani said at the beginning of her speech.
“Thank you so much, you’re such a babe, and you’re so awesome.”
In a December 2020 interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Stefani shared that she first discovered she had dyslexia when her children began having difficulties learning to read.
“One thing that I’ve discovered through having kids is that I have dyslexia — everyone has things that happen and mine was that,” she said.
“And I feel like a lot of the problems that I have had or even decisions that I’ve made for myself stem from that, because now the children — obviously, it’s all genetic — they have some of those issues.”
The No Doubt singer shares sons Kingston, 16, Zuma, 14, and Apollo, 8, with her ex-husband Gavin Rossdale, 57.
“But now they get all these benefits,” she continued. “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, you know what I mean?”
Stefani admitted that she struggled with learning and “failed at school” when she was younger.
“I was a good girl. I didn’t do any bad stuff. It was just really hard for me to function in that square box of school that everybody was supposed to be understanding,” she explained.
“And my brain didn’t work like that; it still doesn’t. But it works in different ways that are probably a gift that other people can’t do.”
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