Formed in 1986 in Anaheim, California, United States as a ska punk band inspired by Madness, the lineup of No Doubt initially comprised John Spence as lead vocal, Gwen Stefani on back-up vocal, and Eric Stefani on keyboards. While playing the party-band circuit around Anaheim, the trio picked up bassist Tony Kanal. Hardened by the suicide of Spence in December 1987, No Doubt nevertheless continued; Gwen became the lone vocalist and the group added guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young. During their early years on the party scene, they played with Sublime, and Brad Nowell sang on No Doubt's Total Hate 95. Gwen Stefani returned the favour on Saw Red.
No Doubt's live act began to attract regional interest, and Interscope Records signed them in 1991. The band's debut a year later, an odd fusion of '80s and ska, sank without a trace in the wake of the grunge movement. As a result, Interscope refused to support No Doubt's tour or further recordings. The band responded by recording on their own during 1993-94; the result was the self-released The Beacon Street Collection, much rawer and more punk-inspired than the debut. Eric Stefani left just after its release, later working as an animator for The Simpsons. By late 1994, Interscope allowed recordings to resume, and Tragic Kingdom was released in October 1995. The album's third single, Don't Speak, which although originally written by Eric was later altered by Gwen to document her breakup with bassist Tony Kanal. Tragic Kingdom went platinum and has sold over 15 million copies to date. As Tragic Kingdom obtained success, the band toured furiously until late '97.
After a long break, the band had prepared a more mellow, and powerfully dramatic album entitled Return Of Saturn. It emphasized Gwen's encounters with men, her biological clock, and miscellaneous topics. Although the album had a completely different approach to it, the band was making rock music with less of a punk/ska flare. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts in early April of 2000, and then declined to a flop. The public never did justice to the album, and it serves as a favorite for many die-hard fans.
While touring in Jamaica for Return of Saturn, the band wanted to try adding reggae to their music, and making more of a dance rock record. 20 months after Return of Saturn debuted, the band was quick to jump on the creation of Rock Steady, relased in December of '01. The singles Underneath It All and Hey Baby became international dance club symbols as top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. This album proved that No Doubt had not lost their potential with the public, and that they could appeal to various groups of people.
In 2004, No Doubt announced they would be going on hiatus after the release of the singles compilation The Singles 1992–2003, which contained one new song, a cover of experimental rock band Talk Talk's "It's My Life". Tony Kanal did several projects with Gwen and other artists. Adrian Young married and had a child; Tom Dumont formed a new band, Invincible Overlord, often plays with Matt Costa's band. Gwen embarked on a sucessful solo career which consisted of two albums - "Love. Angel. Music. Baby." and "The Sweet Escape". The first of these albums contains the single "Hollaback Girl", a song which was inescapable for most of 2005 and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won her a Billboard Award for first track to reach 1 Million legal downloads ever. The self titled track off "The Sweet Escape" went on to become her most notorious calling card.
With the hiatus officially over in late 2008, No Doubt have announced tour plans for 2009, kicking it off on May 2nd in Atlantic City and will wrap it up with four dates in Irvine, CA, on July 31 and August 1, 2, & 4. They will be taking a studio on the road with them to continue recording music for their next album and will be looking to the fans coming out to the tour for inspiration. The album is expected in late 2009/early 2010. They will be featured as fictional 80's band "Snowed Out" on Gossip Girl on May 11th performing their cover of Adam and the Ants 'Stand and Deliver.' Fans who purchase top tier tickets for the upcoming tour will receive a code for a digital download including this recording and all of No Doubt's studio albums - Self-Titled, The Beacon Street Collection, Tragic Kingdom, Return of Saturn, Rock Steady, The Singles 1992-2003, and Everything in Time.