Gwen-Stefani-Elle.jpgElle is honoring some of the best and the brightest for their May “Women in Music” issue, including Gwen Stefani, Willow Smith, Jennifer Hudson and many more.   

Stefani is rocking the cover, as always, in a stretch wool dress with leather trim by Givenchy. In the mag, on stands April 12th, she dishes on style comparisons to the newest princesses of pop — including Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

“Really? I don’t see myself in
those girls. I usually put pants on,” she says. “I see these girls as more going for
the sex-symbol thing. I was more, in the band, like a tomboy. Of
course, I think every girl is sexy, so there’s going to be a little of
that. But I see a lot of younger artists going more toward the sexy

Smith looks adorable as ever in a custom made tutu and leotard, while
still repping her tough-girl side. Hudson, of course, is flaunting her
new bod in a beaded dress by Diane von Furstenberg.

willow smith jennifer hudson elle Gwen Stefani, Willow Smith, Jennifer Hudson and more featured in Elle's 'Women in Music' issue
The ladies are in the good company of fellow songstresses Adele, Feist, Hillary Scott, Robyn, Stevie Nicks, Florence Welch, Aretha Franklin, and Nicki Minaj in the issue. To see more photos, click over to [On a side note: Franklin looks good.]

Below, we’ve posted some snippets from Stefani’s interview. 

On writing hits: “I do! Why wouldn’t you want that many people listening
to the songs that you wrote? There’s no way to go back after you have
had it. So the intentions of even the solo records were always about
trying to write those guilty-pleasure albums that just get in your head
and you can’t get out. I’m not cool, I’m not into the B-sides. Prince,
who is one of my idols, gave me some advice when I worked with him:
“Have you ever just tried writing a hit? Like, don’t just try writing a
song, try and write a hit song.” I remember him saying that and me
thinking, Yeah, you’re right. Why would you write anything else?”

On her marriage to Gavin Rossdale: “The first time we ever kissed was
right around Valentine’s Day — we were in New Orleans on tour. So,
yeah, I always think about that because it’s unbelievable that we’ve
been able to stay together. I feel so proud of us — it’s one of my
biggest achievements.”

On performing while pregnant: “It was horrible. Certain songs would make
me want to puke.  You feel pretty gross when you are first pregnant.
You don’t feel cute, you feel disgusting. You’re getting fat. It was

On her appearance: “I mean, I’m very vain. That would be my middle name.
Of course I am, you know what I mean? I love the visual.”

On pop music: “When we were growing up, some of the hits were legendary
ones that you hear your whole life. But certain songs, I don’t know if
you’ll ever hear them again. Because that’s what that music is, like a
guilty pleasure, it’s right at the moment. It’s like fashion–it’s now,
then it’s gone.”