Pop singer Gwen Stefani had to be persuaded to record a duet with hip-hop superstar Akon because she didn't know who he was. Stefani was asked to collaborate with the SMACK THAT singer on her new single THE SWEET ESCAPE, but was initially reluctant to do so as she had never heard his music. She says, "What was I thinking? He is awesome but I'd just had the baby and was all over the place. I'd been sent his CD and the head of my label kept telling me I just had to work with this guy. "I didn't want to go through the pain of trying to work with someone I didn't know." However, Stefani is now an Akon fan. She adds, "I'd totally work with him again and now we're going on tour together."