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 liberal 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.
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
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, and sang a duet with Kenny Loggins on the
track "I Would Do Anything" from his album Leap of Faith.
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
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
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".
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
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,
In 2004, Crow appeared as a musical theater performer in the Cole Porter
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
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,
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
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 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 a late spring 2010
A&M Records have re-released Sheryl's debut album, "Tuesday Night Music
Club" as a deluxe version 2CD/DVD set on November 17, 2009. The bonus CD
contains unreleased songs and B-sides, and a new mix of "I Shall Believe".
The DVD features music videos for each of the album's singles.
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
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.