Born and raised in Fullerton, CA, Stefani had a musical epiphany at the age of 17. She had fallen in love with the Madness and Selecter records her brother, Eric Stefani, was playing constantly. Seeing Fishbone, the Untouchables, and other bands involved in Los Angeles' ska revival scene only reinforced her interest in music, so she was more than ready when her brother asked her to join a ska band he was forming with a friend named John Spence. Gwen originally shared lead vocals with Spence but in December of 1987 he committed suicide, leaving the band -- now called No Doubt -- with an uncertain future. According to numerous interviews with the bandmembers after their breakthrough, Gwen was the glue that held No Doubt together during these hard times, pushing the group to keep trying. She was also romantically involved with the band's bass player, Tony Kanal, by this time.