Sheryl Suzanne Crow (born February 11, 1962) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Her music blends rock, country and pop into one mainstream sound, and she has won nine Grammy Awards. Crow is also a left-wing political activist.
She has performed with the Rolling Stones and has sung duets with Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, John Mellencamp and Kid Rock, among others, and appeared on backing vocals for Tina Turner. Crow's recordings have appeared on the soundtracks to Cars, Erin Brockovich and Tomorrow Never Dies, among many others.
Sheryl Suzanne Crow was born in Kennett, Missouri on February 11, 1962. Her parents are Wendell, a trumpet player and lawyer, and Bernice Crow, a piano teacher. The third child of the family, she has three siblings: older sisters Kathy and Karen and younger brother Steven.
While studying at Kennett High School, Crow was a majorette and an All-State track athlete, medaling in the 75-meter low hurdles. She also joined the Pep Club, the National Honor Society, Future Farmers of America, Freshman Maid, Senior Maid and Paperdoll Queen. She then enrolled at the University of Missouri, in Columbia, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Composition, Performance and Education. While in college, Crow sang in a local band, Cashmere. She was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta social sorority, Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women, and the Omicron Delta Kappa Society. Later, Crow was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Southeast Missouri State University, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
The First Cut Is the Deepest
If It Makes You Happy
After graduating from college, Crow worked as a music teacher at the Kellison elementary school, in Fenton, Missouri. Teaching during the day allowed her the opportunity to sing in bands on weekends. Later, she was introduced to local musician and producer Jay Oliver. He had a thriving studio in the basement of his parents' home, in St. Louis, and helped her by using her in advertising jingles. Her first jingle was a back-to-school spot for the St. Louis department store Famous-Barr. McDonald's and Toyota commercial jingles soon followed. She was quoted in a 60 Minutes segment as saying she made $40,000 on her McDonald's commercial alone.
Crow toured with Michael Jackson as a backup vocalist during his Bad World Tour from 1987-1989 and often performed with Jackson on "I Just Can't Stop Loving You".
Crow also sang in the short-lived Steven Bochco drama, Cop Rock, in 1990. The following year, she performed "Hundreds of Tears", which was included in the Point Break soundtrack.
In 1992, Crow recorded her first attempt at her debut album with Phil Collins' producer Hugh Padgham. The self-titled debut album was slated to be released on September 22, 1992, but was ultimately rejected by her label. However, a handful of cassette copies of the album were leaked along with press folders to be used for album publicity. This album has been widely dispersed via file sharing networks and fan trading over the years. In the meantime, Crow's songs were recorded by major artists such as Celine Dion and Wynonna Judd.
She then began dating Kevin Gilbert and joined him in an ad hoc group of musicians known to everyone in the group as the "Tuesday Music Club". Group members, Gilbert, David Baerwald and David Ricketts (both formerly of David & David), Bill Bottrell, Brian MacLeod and Dan Schwartz share songwriting credits with Crow on her debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club.
The group existed as a casual songwriting collective prior to its association with Crow, but rapidly developed into a vehicle for her debut album after her arrival. Her relationship with Gilbert became acrimonious soon after the album was released, and disputes arose about songwriting credits. Gilbert was found dead in his sparsely furnished Los Angeles apartment on May 17, 1996, apparently an accidental death.
Tuesday Night Music Club went on to sell more than 7 million copies in the US and UK during the 1990s. The album also won Crow three Grammy Awards, in 1995: Record of the Year, Best New Artist and Best Female Vocal Performance.
1990s: early mainstream success
Crow at The Grove of Los Angeles, California in 2002, with co-guitarist Peter Stroud
Crow appeared in the "New Faces" section of Rolling Stone in 1993. The album featured many of the songs written by Crow's friends, including the second single, "Leaving Las Vegas". The album was slow to garner attention, until "All I Wanna Do" became an unexpected smash hit in the spring of 1994. As she later stated in People, she found an old poetry book in a used book store in the L.A. area and used a poem as lyrics in the song. The singles "Strong Enough" and "Can't Cry Anymore" were also released, with the first song ("Strong Enough") charting at #5 on Billboard and "Can't Cry Anymore" hitting the Top 40. Crow received several Grammy awards in 1994: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "All I Wanna Do"; Record of the Year for "All I Wanna Do"; and Best New Artist. She performed at the 1994 and 1999 Woodstock Festivals, as well as the Another Roadside Attraction in 1997.
Crow supplied background vocals to the song "The Garden of Allah" from Don Henley's 1995 album Actual Miles: Henley's Greatest Hits. In 1996, Crow released her self titled second album. The album had songs about abortion, homelessness and nuclear war. The debut single, "If It Makes You Happy", became a radio success and netted her two Grammy awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Rock Album. Other singles included "A Change Would Do You Good", "Home" and "Everyday Is A Winding Road". Crow produced the album herself. The album was banned from sale at Wal-Mart; in "Love Is A Good Thing," Crow suggests that guns sold by Wal-Mart too easily fall into the hands of children. In 1997, Crow contributed the theme song to the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. Her song "Tomorrow Never Dies" was nominated for a Grammy Award and Best Original Song Golden Globe. Crow collaborated on Scott Weiland's 1998 album, 12 Bar Blues.
In 1998 Crow released The Globe Sessions. During this period, she discussed in interviews having gone through a deep depression, and there was speculation about a brief affair with Eric Clapton. The debut single from this album, "My Favorite Mistake", was rumored to be about him, although Crow claims otherwise about a philandering ex-boyfriend. Crow has refused to say who the song was about telling Billboard Magazine on the release of her album. "Oh, there will be just so much speculation, and because of that there's great safety and protection in the fact that people will be guessing so many different people and I'm the only person who will ever really know. I'm really private about who I've had relationships with, and I don't talk about them in the press. I don't even really talk about them with the people around me." Despite the difficulties in recording the album, Crow told the BBC in 2005 that: "My favorite single is 'My Favorite Mistake'; it was a lot of fun to record and it's still a lot of fun to play." The album won Best Rock Album at the 1998 Grammy Awards. It was re-released in 1999, with a bonus track, Crow's cover of the Guns N' Roses song "Sweet Child o' Mine", which was included on the soundtrack of the film Big Daddy. The song won the 1999 Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Other singles included "There Goes the Neighborhood", "Anything But Down" and "The Difficult Kind". Crow won Grammy best female rock vocal performance for "There Goes the Neighborhood" in 2001.The Globe Sessions peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200 chart, achieving US sales of 2 million as of January 2008.
Later in 1998, Crow took part in a live concert in tribute to Burt Bacharach, in which she contributed vocals on One Less Bell to Answer, while wearing a full-length black formal dress.
In 1999, Crow also made her acting debut as an ill-fated drifter in the suspense/drama The Minus Man, which starred her then-boyfriend Owen Wilson as a serial killer.
She also released a live album called Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live From Central Park. The record featured Crow singing many of her hit singles with new musical spins and guest appearances by many other musicians including Sarah McLachlan, Stevie Nicks, the Dixie Chicks, Keith Richards and Clapton. "There Goes the Neighborhood" was included in the album, eventually winning the Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Crow also appeared on Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons, duetting with Emmylou Harris on the Parsons song, "Juanita".
2000s: expanding career
Crow at Houston Livestock show and Rodeo.
Crow had been involved with the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF) since the late 1990s, performing at fund-raisers and befriending Sharon Monsky. In 2002, as a result of her friend Kent Sexton dying from scleroderma, she interrupted work on her new album C'mon C'mon to record the traditional hymn "Be Still, My Soul", to be played at his funeral. In November of that year it was released as a single, with the proceeds going to SRF. Crow's "Steve McQueen" won the Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy.
Crow opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, wearing a shirt that read "I don't believe in your war, Mr. Bush!" during a performance on Good Morning America and posting an open letter explaining her opposition on her website. Crow, performing with Kid Rock at the 45th annual Grammy Awards, wore a large peace sign and a guitar strap with the words "No War."
Crow recorded the song "Kiss That Girl" for the film Bridget Jones's Diary. She also recorded a cover version of the Beatles' song "Mother Nature's Son" for the film I Am Sam. Crow duetted with rapper Kid Rock on the crossover hit single "Picture". She also assisted Rock on the track "Run Off to L.A."
Crow collaborated with Michelle Branch on the song "Love Me Like That" for Branch's second album, Hotel Paper, released in 2003. Crow was featured on the Johnny Cash album American III: Solitary Man in the song "Field of Diamonds" as a background vocalist, and also played the accordion for the songs "Wayfaring Stranger" and "Mary of the Wild Moor". In 2003, Crow released a greatest hits compilation called The Very Best of Sheryl Crow. It featured many of her hit singles, as well as some new tracks. Among them was the ballad "The First Cut is the Deepest" (originally a Cat Stevens song), which became her biggest radio hit since "All I Wanna Do". She also released the single "Light In Your Eyes", which received limited airplay. "The First Cut is the Deepest" earned her two American Music Awards for Best Pop/Rock Artist and Adult Contemporary Artist of the Year, respectively.
In 2004, Crow appeared as a musical theater performer in the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely.
Crow at Crossroads 2007.
Her fifth studio album Wildflower was released in September 2005. Although the album debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts, it received mixed reviews and was not as commercially successful as her previous albums. In December 2005, the album was nominated for a Best Pop Vocal Album Grammy, while Crow was nominated for a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for the first single "Good Is Good". However, she ultimately lost in both categories to Kelly Clarkson. The album got a new boost in 2006 when the second single was announced as "Always on Your Side", re-recorded with British musician Sting and sent off to radio, where it was quickly embraced at Adult Top 40. The collaboration with Sting resulted in a Grammy-nomination for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. As of January 2008, Wildflower sold 949,000 units in the U.S.
In 2006, Crow contributed the opening track, "Real Gone", to the soundtrack for Disney/Pixar's animated film Cars. She also voices Elvis in the film. Crow was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in mid-February 2006, her doctors stating that "prognosis for a full recovery is excellent."
Crow's first concert after her cancer diagnosis was on May 18 in Orlando, Florida where she played to over 10,000 information technology professionals at the SAP Sapphire Convention. Her first public appearance was on June 12, when she performed at the Murat Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The singer also appeared on Larry King Live on CNN on August 23, 2006. In this show she talked about her comeback, her breakup with Lance Armstrong, her past job as Michael Jackson's backup singer, and her experience as a breast cancer survivor.
In late 2006, Crow was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the song "Try Not To Remember" (Best Original Song category) from the film Home of the Brave.
Crow wrote a foreword for the book Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips, author Kris Carr's book that was based on her 2007 documentary film Crazy Sexy Cancer. Crow contributed her cover of the Beatles's "Here Comes the Sun" on the Bee Movie soundtrack in November 2007. She contributed background vocals to the Ryan Adams song "Two" from the album Easy Tiger.
Crow at Memphis, TN (August 18, 2007).
Crow returned with her sixth studio album Detours which was released on February 5, 2008. Detours debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling about 92,000 copies in its first week and an additional 52,000 copies in its second week.
Detours was recorded at Crow's Nashville farm. Her son, Wyatt, makes an appearance on the song "Lullaby for Wyatt," which is featured in the movie Grace Is Gone. "The songs are very inspired by the last three years of events in my life," Crow said of a time that found her battling breast cancer and splitting with partner Lance Armstrong.
"Shine Over Babylon" was the first promotional single from the album (download only). The first 'official' single to be released from the album was "Love Is Free", followed by "Out of Our Heads".
Crow has also recorded a studio version of "So Glad We Made It" for the "Team USA Olympic Soundtrack" in conjunction with the 2008 U.S. Olympic team sponsors AT&T. Crow has also stated that $1 of each ticket purchased for her 2008 tour will be donated to the United Nations World Food Programme. Sheryl's next studio album is expected for an early 2010 release.
A&M Records will re-release Sheryl's debut album, "Tuesday Night Music Club" as a deluxe version CD/DVD set on November 17, 2009. The DVD will feature music videos for each of the album's singles.
Crow at the Revlon Run Walk 2007.
On the red carpet at the 2006 CMA Awards, Crow reported that she was working on a country music album. According to Entertainment Weekly, Wildflower, at one point was to be followed, in about six months, by a "pop record." According to Crow, Wildflower was the "art record," which she felt she had earned the right to make, following the success of The Very Best of Sheryl Crow.
Crow began dating cyclist Lance Armstrong in 2003. The couple announced their engagement in September 2005 and their split in February 2006.
In 2006 Crow was treated for breast cancer, and had "minimally invasive" surgery in Los Angeles in February 2006, followed by radiation therapy.
At the 2006 CMA Awards, Crow performed the songs "What You Give Away" with Vince Gill, and "Building Bridges" with Brooks & Dunn and Vince Gill.
Crow is due to appear in a series of magazine advertisements in February for Revlon. In this, she uses the Buddy Holly classic "Not Fade Away" to sell the cosmetics of her sponsor. The iTunes page states that net proceeds will benefit breast cancer research.
Crow was featured in the February 21, 2008 issue (#1046) of Rolling Stone. The article discusses how the singer beat cancer and returned with Detours. Rolling Stone says "Detours is Crow's most powerful and most personal record yet."
On May 11, 2007, Crow announced on her official website that she had adopted a two-week-old boy named Wyatt Steven Crow. The child was born on April 29, 2007. She and Wyatt make their home on a 154-acre (0.62 km2) farm outside Nashville, Tennessee.
Global warming activist Laurie David and Crow participated in a "Virtual March" that began on April 9 2008. at SMU in Dallas, Texas and continued on to select cities, including: College Station, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; New Orleans; Birmingham, Alabama; Auburn; Gainesville, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Charlottesville, Virginia; Nashville, Tennessee; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; College Park, Maryland and Washington, D.C.. The 90-minute presentation will include remarks by David, a short performance by Crow, clips from An Inconvenient Truth, clips from top comedians, and a dialogue with students. She worked with Reverb, a non-profit environmental organization, for the Stop Global Warming tour.
At the 2007 White House Correspondents Dinner, Crow engaged Karl Rove in a heated exchange about the Bush administration's policies on global warming.
Crow lent her voice to the 2008 song, Just Stand Up. The proceeds benefited Stand Up to Cancer. As a result of SU2C fundraising endeavors, the SU2C scientific advisory committee, overseen by the American Association for Cancer Research was able to award 73.6 million dollars towards novel, groundbreaking cancer research.
Crow participated with First Lady Michelle Obama in a forum for promising girls in the Washington, D.C. public schools in March 2009.
This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Please improve this section if you can. (August 2009)
Crow was a main stage act at Lilith Fair and has contributed many songs to movie soundtracks and special projects that were never made available elsewhere. They include: "D'yer Mak'er" (Encomium: Led Zeppelin Tribute), "Solitaire" (from The Carpenters' tribute album If I Were A Carpenter), "L? Ci Darem la Mano" from Don Giovanni (Pavarotti & Friends For War Child), and "Resuscitation" (The Faculty). In 2006, Crow contributed the opening track, "Real Gone", to the soundtrack for Disney/Pixar's animated film Cars. She also voices Elvis in the film.
The song "All Kinds of People," from Tina Turner's 1996 album Wildest Dreams, was penned by Crow, but Crow's version was never released. However, Crow contributed her vocals to the song on Turner's album.
In 1996 Crow recorded the song "On The Outside" for The X-Files TV show's soundtrack Songs in the Key of X.
Crow participated in a charity concert for Don Henley's Walden Woods. The concert was released to AT&T customers on a limited edition CD.
Crow recorded the song "Kiss That Girl" for the film Bridget Jones's Diary. She also recorded a cover version of the Beatles' song "Mother Nature's Son" for the film I Am Sam.
Crow recorded "Old Habits Die Hard" as a duet with Mick Jagger on the soundtrack for the movie remake Alfie in 2004.
She collaborated with Stevie Nicks, producing and performing on several tracks on Nicks' 2001 album, Trouble in Shangri-La, and later toured with her. Crow also appears with Nicks in her video for Sorcerer. Another track, "It's Only Love", was written by Crow and she later released her own version on C'Mon C'Mon. Nicks had also worked with Crow on the soundtrack to the film Practical Magic (1998). Nicks had also covered Crow's song "Somebody Stand By Me", which was used on the soundtrack to Boys on the Side (1995). Nicks wrote the lyrics to, and performed backing vocals on the song "You're Not the One", which Crow released as a B-side to "Soak Up the Sun" in 2002. Crow and Nicks are close friends and Crow inducted Fleetwood Mac into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Crow provided backing vocals for the Counting Crows song "American Girls" off their 2002 album Hard Candy.
Crow collaborated with US singer-songwriter Michelle Branch on the song "Love Me Like That" for Branch's second album, Hotel Paper, released in 2003.
Crow has also recorded duets with Tony Bennett, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, Steve Earle and Willie Nelson, all of which have been released on various albums. She claims the Stones to be an early influence.
Crow and John Mayer co-headlined a tour in late 2006.
Starbucks' "Hear Music" label released a deluxe edition of Crow's favorite songs in 2006, featuring Crow's own versions of James Taylor's "You Can Close Your Eyes", Willie Nelson's "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain", Aretha Franklin's "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)", and Jeff Trott's "The Few That Remain". "You Can Close Your Eyes" was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Female in 2006.
Crow was also featured on the Johnny Cash album American III: Solitary Man. She was featured in the song "Field of Diamonds" as a background vocalist, and also played the accordion for the song "Wayfaring Stranger".
Crow collaborated on Scott Weiland's 1998 solo album, 12 Bar Blues.
Crow supplied background vocals to the song "The Garden of Allah", a single from Don Henley's 1995 album Actual Miles: Henley's Greatest Hits.
"Favorite Year", on the Dixie Chicks album Taking the Long Way words and music are credited to Sheryl Crow, Martie Maguire and Natalie Maines.
She most contributed background vocals to the Ryan Adams song "Two" from the album Easy Tiger.
She also contributed her cover of Beatles' Here Comes The Sun on the Bee Movie soundtrack in November 2007.
On July 15, 2008 she sang the National Anthem at the All Star Game at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY. On July 14, 2009 she repeated the performance at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO.
Crow performs during the final day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.
She also performed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention on 28 August 2008. Afterwards she was one of the major performers on the Get Out And Vote tour headlined by Beastie Boys, along with Tenacious D, Santogold, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Ben Harper among others. The artists taking part urged show-goers to register to vote, openly in favor of Barack Obama. The tour mostly targeted swing states, with Crow performing at shows in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Her first-ever Christmas album, Home for Christmas, hit HALLMARK stores on September 30, 2008.
Honors and awards
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Sheryl Crow
Upon playing a concert in Philadelphia for the 4th of July in 2009, Crow received an Honorary degree in Music Production from Temple University on July 2 2009.