Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton Sing They ‘Never Knew a Love Like This’ in Sweet New Duet, ‘Purple Irises’

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Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are doing what they do best! The couple has reteamed up for another sweet musical collaboration, dropping their new song on Friday. 


With “Purple Irises,” Stefani and Shelton harmonize as they reflect on the passage of time in a relationship and sticking with the one you love. The release comes just days before Stefani is set to perform at the Super Bowl LVIII TikTok Tailgate on Sunday, with Shelton set to join her for a debut performance of the song. 

“‘Purple Irises’ is a song that comes from the idea that when you plant something you are planting hope and watching love grow,” Stefani says in a press release for the track. “Weathering all the different seasons of growth. We are in this together, we planted the seeds together and we are growing together.” 

Shelton adds, “We both love this song so much.” 

Warner Music Nashville and Interscope Records

The nostalgic anthem begins with Stefani and Shelton singing together, “But if someone comes along and tries to love you like I love you / Don’t know what I’d do, don’t wanna lose you.” 

The 54-year-old No Doubt frontwoman then takes over, considering the concept of aging. 

“Everything fades, everything dies / Put me in a vase, but you can’t / You can’t stop time,” she croons. “It’s not 1999 / But this face is still mine / The way you look at me / I swear my heart hits rewind.” 

On the chorus, Shelton jumps back in as they vocalize together. 

“Wonder why you took a risk / On a broken heart you cannot fix,” the couple croons. “No, I never knew a love like this / Now I’m picking purple irises.” 

Later, Stefani asks, “And do you still think I’m pretty? / And are you happy?” 

Shelton, 47, goes solo in his heartwarming response. 

“It’s not 2014 / But you still look good in those jeans,” he declares. “Lookin’ in the mirror / Do you see what I see?” 

The retro-inspired single art shows Stefani rocking a blue denim jumpsuit and platform sandals while laying on a vintage couch, as a denim-clad Shelton plays guitar and smiles while seated beside her. 

Written by Stefani with Svante Halldin, Jakob Hazell and Niko Rubio, the track was produced by Scott Hendricks and recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. It is available now via Warner Music Nashville and Interscope Records. 

“It’s a song Gwen wrote with a couple of friends of hers, and I fell in love with it the first time I heard it,” Shelton said in his statement. “She knew there was something different about it and asked me to come in and sing with her. My longtime producer, Scott Hendricks, produced it, and Gwen’s been wanting to work with him for a long time now, and it’s turned into this really cool and different song that can live anywhere.”

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani perform during the CMA Summer Jam at Ascend Amphitheater on July 27, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. CMA Summer Jam will air on ABC on September 2, 2021. – Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

In recent weeks, Stefani has been sharing a number of photos depicting real purple irises.

She shared the first pic on Jan. 29, which showed a few purple irises laying on a Polaroid photo of Stefani and Shelton hugging, under which is written in blue marker, “Never knew a love like this.”

The second post came the following day and featured a vase full of the purple flowers sitting in a window bay with a card that read, “To: Pretty Girl, Love, Blake.”

Shelton and Stefani famously met on the set of The Voice in 2014. 

Stefani was previously married to Gavin Rossdale, but they split in 2015 after 13 years of marriage. Meanwhile, Shelton was previously married to his first wife, Kaynette Williams, from 2003-2006, then married Miranda Lambert in 2011. Shelton and Lambert also broke up in 2015 after being married for four years.

The duo initially bonded over their shared heartbreak while working together on The Voice. After dating for five years, Shelton proposed to Stefani in October 2020, and the couple married in July 2021.

“Purple Irises” marks the latest in a growing list of collaborations between the couple. Most recently, they rerecorded the iconic 1984 ballad “Love Is Alive” for The Judds tribute album last year. Before that, they worked together on “Go Ahead and Break My Heart” in 2016, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” in 2017, “Nobody But You” in 2019, and “Happy Anywhere” in 2020. 

In a recent interview with ET, Stefani gushed about putting out new music in 2024.

“I’m excited about that,” she said. “I’ve been working on this for a long time. I’ve finally landed in that place where I’m obsessed, where I can’t stop listening, so I feel like I’m somewhere.”


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