Sometimes the greatest love can blossom out of heartbreak.
In a new interview with Billboard, Shelton reveals that he and Stefani found solace in each other as they both endured gut-wrenching breakups. In fact, the 40-year-old still remembers the moment he told Stefani, then just an acquaintance, about his impending divorce.
“I won’t forget that day,” he says. “I looked over at Gwen—who I didn’t really know—and she had these huge tears in her eyes.”
Shelton expected Stefani would launch into a cliché pep talk, but instead, she took the opportunity to come clean herself.
“I thought it was going to be another one of those ‘things are going to be OK’ talks,” he says of Stefani, his fellow coach on NBC’s The Voice. Instead, “She said, ‘I’m going through something very similar to what you’re going through. I understand. And I hate it.'”
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At the time, Stefani was only weeks from announcing her own divorce from Gavin Rossdale, her husband of well over a decade.
“That’s kind of how our friendship and bond started, that day,” Shelton says. “It went from that, to checking in on each other once a week through email—’This s–t happened to me, what happened to you?’—to maybe three times a week, then every day, to ‘Hey, here’s my phone number if you ever want to text.’ Next thing I know, I wake up and she’s all I care about, and I’m wondering if she feels the same about me.”
Shelton readily admits that despite all the good that’s come of it, his divorce was a very low point in life. He turned to music to help cope.
“When you have a broken heart—at least, when I do—you got to get it out of your system,” Shelton says. “You want people to sympathize with you. I was at rock bottom, in the middle of hell.”
But time does heal wounds, and Shelton credits Stefani for pulling him out of such a dark place.
“Gwen saved my life,” he says. “Who else on earth could understand going through a high-profile divorce from another musician?”
Shelton will return to the show that landed him love when the 11th season of The Voice premieres Sept. 19.