After laying low this year following the birth of her first child, Gwen Stefani is roaring back into action with a variety of projects. According to her Web site, Stefani is "hard at work" on new mate

After laying low this year following the birth of her first child, Gwen Stefani is roaring back into action with a variety of projects. According to her Web site, Stefani is "hard at work" on new material with an eye on releasing her second solo album before the end of the year.

The as-yet-untitled set will include a number of Pharrell Williams collaborations that didn't make the cut on Stefani's 2004 debut, "Love.Angel.Music.Baby, including the Slim Thug-featuring "Breakin' Up."

Stefani has also logged studio time with her No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal, Akon and producer Swizz Beatz. Despite having a head start on another album, the artist told Billboard.com late last year she was resisting the temptation to go right back in the studio.

"Honestly, I need to get inspired," she said. "I don't have a real focus of musical inspiration right now and it was so strong with 'Love.Angel.Music.Baby.' I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I had such a fire of inspiration and I feel like I used it all up."

"Love.Angel.Music.Baby," which has sold 3.8 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, was supported with a tour that started small but more than doubled in size due to demand.

"I just wanted to hear the fans sing the songs back and make it feel real," Stefani said. "Being in a band that [has toured for] so many years, to not have that be part of this album just felt like I would be missing out. The initial tour was only 19 shows and it turned into 42."

According to Stefani's site, a concert DVD, "Harajuku Lovers Live," will also arrive before the end of the year. The film was shot at Arrowhead Pond in Stefani's hometown of Anaheim, Calif., and was directed by Sophie Muller.

Finally, this fall will see the release of eight dolls inspired by the album and tour that are reflective of "the distinctive style and personality which have made Gwen Stefani an icon," her site says. The dolls will be bundled with interchangeable outfits as well as Stefani posters, trading cards and other accessories.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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