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Crow, Sheryl

Sheryl Crow

Singer, songwriter

After several years of backup singing for established artists—and one aborted bid at launching a solo career—Sheryl Crow burst onto the pop music scene with 1993's Tuesday Night Music Club, a strong album that included two hit singles, "Leaving Las Vegas" and "All I Wanna Do." Blessed with a voice well suited to her rock ‘n’ roll material and what Rolling Stone's Elysa Gardner termed "naughty-cheerleader good looks," Crow became a ubiquitous presence on MTV and VH-1. In the fall of 1996, three years after her debut, Crow released a second album, Sheryl Crow. That album and her following releases, The Globe Sessions and C'mon, C'mon, were well-received by both critics and the record-buying public, confirming that the singer was more than a one-album wonder.

Born Sheryl Crow, on February 11, 1962, in Kennett, Missouri, Crow grew up in a sturdy Midwestern community that was the backdrop for an outwardly normal childhood. "Sheryl was a cheerleader and a twirler," her sister Kathy recalled in an interview with Rolling Stone's Fred Schruers. "She wasn't shy about getting out and doing something, even if it meant that she had to be out by herself doing it." But while Crow was a popular, athletic student who posted good grades, she endured many nights of what she would later call "sleep paralysis," a condition she shared with her mother. "There would be nights where I would be so afraid to go to sleep," she told Schruers. "In sleep paralysis, sometimes you get to the point where you are sure you're going to die in the dream, and your breathing stops and all that. It's a bizarre and twisted feeling where you feel completely paralyzed."

After graduating from Kennett High School, Crow moved on to the University of Missouri and took music and education classes. After graduation, she relocated to St. Louis, where she spent her days working as a music teacher at an elementary school. Her nights, meanwhile, were spent singing lead vocals in a variety of local rock bands. In 1986 she abruptly left St. Louis for the West Coast, a move that stunned her family and friends. "I'd just broken up with a boy and I was really bummed out," Crow recalled in a conversation with Newsweek's Karen Schoemer. "I got in my car with a box of tapes and I drove from Missouri out to L.A., 28 hours by myself, nonstop. I didn't know a soul in L.A. I pulled in on the 405 at 4:30 in the afternoon, and sat in traffic and just cried my eyes out. Like ‘Oh my God, what have I done?’"

Crow's break came after only six months, however, when she crashed a closed audition and landed a job singing back-up for Michael Jackson's 1987 Bad international concert tour. "Being a background singer—putting on a tight black dress and doing choreography—has very little to do with being a musician," she told Robert Seidenberg in Entertainment Weekly. The exhausting pace of the tour, during which the tabloid press identified her as Jackson's lover, wore her down. Tired and again depressed, Crow endured several difficult months. "When I went through a really bad bout of depression, my mom would call, and my mom and I are very close," she told Schruers, "but she would call, and she would say, ‘You're a cute girl, you're smart, you've got everything in the world going for you,’ and that would just make it worse. Because then it makes you even loathe yourself more for being sick."

Signed with Major Label

Late in 1989, Crow secured a job singing backup for Don Henley, a gig that eventually led to work with Rod Stewart and several other big-name acts. Her studio session work soon caught the attention of A&M Records, which signed her to a recording contract in 1991. Company executive Al Cafaro told Schruers that Crow was "a very, very strong person, with an ultimate, overriding confidence in herself, but constantly assessing where she's at and what's going on." The record company soon arranged to record a solo album for the young singer, but the final product was a mess. Entertainment Weekly's David Browne wrote that the album's "songs lumber from ersatz gospel to forced psychedelia; the production has the sterile glaze of '80s pop." Todd Gold, writing in People, similarly characterized it as a "slick, soulless album." Fortunately for Crow, the decidedly overproduced album was never released. "Had we put out the first bunch of tracks," Crow later told Schoemer, "I would never have been heard of again."

Crow eventually became friends with a group of L.A. musicians who informally jammed together under the name "Tuesday Night Music Club." Their sessions formed the basis—once A&M execs got wind of the sound—of what would become an album much more suited to everyone's liking. The record that became her 1993 debut, Tuesday Night Music Club, put together with the help of a stellar group of musicians and studio wizards that included David Baerwald, David Ricketts, Kevin Gilbert (Crow's boyfriend for a time), and Bill Bottrell. Over the course of just a few sessions the group constructed the outline for Tuesday Night Music Club, and Bottrell and Crow fleshed out the album over the next few months.

However, in the months following the album's release, Crow and several musicians who performed on the album clashed bitterly over a number of issues, from the nature of Crow's tour in support of the album (she recruited lesser-known musicians for the touring band to save money) to her false assertion on David Letterman's show that "Leaving Las Vegas" was autobiographical (Baerwald, a friend of soon-to-be-deceased Leaving Las Vegas novelist John O'Brien, had come up with the song's basic underpinnings).

For the Record …

Born on February 11, 1962, in Kennett, MO; daughter of Wendell (a lawyer and trumpeter) and Bernice (a piano teacher) Crow. Children: one, Wyatt (adopted 2007). Education: Received degree in piano and voice from University of Missouri at Columbia, c. 1984.

Played in Kennett-area bands in late 1970s, early 1980s; played in a Columbia, Missouri-based band called Cashmere; moved to Los Angeles, c. 1986; joined Michael Jackson's Bad tour as back-up singer, 1987-89; sang backup for Don Henley, Rod Stewart, 1989; signed with A&M Records, 1991; released debut A&M album, Tuesday Night Music Club, 1993; performed with USO tour for American troops stationed in Bosnia, 1995; released Sheryl Crow, 1996; released The Globe Sessions, 1998; made film debut in The Minus Man, 1999; released Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live in Central Park, 1999; released C'mon, C'mon, 2002; released Very Best of Sheryl Crow, 2003;Wildflower, 2005; released Detours, 2008.

Awards: Grammy Awards, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "All I Wanna Do," Best New Artist, and Record of the Year for "All I Wanna Do," 1994; Grammy Awards, Best Rock Album for Sheryl Crow and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "If It Makes You Happy," 1996; Grammy Award, Best Rock Album for The Globe Sessions, 1998; Grammy Award, Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Sweet Child O' Mine," 1999; Grammy Award, Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "There Goes the Neighborhood," 2000; Grammy Award, Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Steve McQueen," 2002; Academy of Country Music Award, Vocal Event of the Year, for "Building Bridges," with Brooks & Dunn and Vince Gill, 2007.

Addresses: Record company—A&M, 560 Broadway, New York, NY 10012. Web site—Sheryl Crow Official Site: http://www.sherylcrow.com.

Driven to establish herself as a legitimate talent, Crow toured tirelessly in the months following the album's release. Crow's touring helped give the second single, "All I Wanna Do," the fertile ground it needed to become a monster hit in the summer of 1994. After seven months of struggling to spur album sales, "All I Wanna Do" gave Tuesday Night Music Club the push it needed. Within a matter of weeks, the debut was a hit (eight million copies were eventually sold) and Crow had become a fixture on cable television's video-music channels. Critics noted that the attention was well-deserved. "Her melodic, quirky songs of sexual tension, fulfillment and harassment on Tuesday Night Music Club are both thoughtful and plain fun," wrote Playboy's Vic Garbarini. David Hiltbrand, reviewing the album for People, compared Crow's singer/songwriter abilities to those of Rickie Lee Jones.

Her Woodstock appearance in 1994 enhanced Crow's reputation, as did the three Grammy Awards she received in 1995, including one for Best New Artist of 1994. But after a while, she began to retreat somewhat from the public spotlight. "I was really, by the end of it, very overexposed," she told Schoemer in a 1996 interview with Newsweek. "I've said that it's really great for other female artists to look at me and know what not to do. Part of it was my own fault. I'm an accessible person. I'm willing to do whatever. Not for the fame, but I just kind of went along with it."

Silenced Critics with Follow-Up

In 1995 Crow began to lay the groundwork for her second album, mindful of persistent rumors that she would not have hit it big were it not for the talents of the other Tuesday Night Music Club musicians. The final result was 1996's Sheryl Crow, an album that established her as a talented artist in her own right. "While still working with collaborators," wrote Rolling Stone's Gardner, "[Crow] operates more like a leader than a club member this time, writing a few songs independently and imbuing all of them with a greater sense of who she is and where she comes from. The lyrics seem grittier and more intimate … and the craftsmanship is strong and self-assured." Entertainment Weekly's Browne lauded Sheryl Crow as "a loose, freewheeling yet remarkably robust album that tugs at your heart and feet—sometimes within the same tune."

The album was also controversial. One song, "Love Is a Good Thing," contained lyrics suggesting that guns sold at Wal-Mart stores sometimes find their way into the hands of children. Wal-Mart responded by banning the album from its shelves—a move that industry observers expected to cost Crow hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales—but Crow remained defiant. Indeed, in the weeks following Sheryl Crow's release, the singer seemed more certain than ever of her musical direction and vision. "At the end of the day, I can play a Bob Dylan song and it will be a great song" she told Schoemer. "I hope that 25 years from now some young artist might play one of my songs and it might be a revelation in some way."

In 1997 Crow joined Lilith Fair, an all-woman touring festival organized by singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan. Later, Crow would also be one of the featured performers in the film, Lilith Fair—A Celebration of Women. "Now you have a lot of females who are stepping up to represent women in America or women in the world, becoming role models for young girls," Crow told Chris Willman in Entertainment Weekly. Crow also became involved in a number of other projects in 1997 and the beginning of 1998. She recorded "Tomorrow Never Dies," the theme song for the 1997 James Bond film, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. She also worked with Stone Temple Pilot's former front person, Scott Weiland, contributing to 12 Bar Blues, which was issued in the spring of 1998.

In 1998, Crow returned to the studio to work on material for a new album. Her third album, The Globe Sessions, was released on September 29, 1998, and "My Favorite Mistake" was issued as the album's first single. The Globe Sessions received good reviews in Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly, though Douglas Wolk of Salon labeled the album as, "[…] the soul of normalcy by most standards." Commercially, The Globe Sessions performed well, reaching number five on the Billboard 200, while "My Favorite Mistake" would reach number two on the Adult Top 40 chart. In 1999 The Globe Sessions was re-issued with Crow's cover of Guns ‘n’ Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine." In 1998, she received a Grammy for best rock album for The Globe Sessions. The following year she received a Grammy for best female rock vocal performance for "Sweet Child O' Mine."

Crow stayed busy in 1999, recording a live album, Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live in Central Park and taking on her first acting role in the independent film The Minus Man. Her cover of the Guns n' Roses song "Sweet Child O' Mine" appeared on the soundtrack for Big Daddy. A three-year bout of uncertainty, depression, and a near emotional breakdown precluded any new material from being released until C'mon, C'mon, in late 2002, a few months after her fortieth birthday.

"You get to a point as an artist," Crow told Esquire writer Scott Raab, "where it can be to your detriment to have money and be hanging out with … people who are famous …. It's not been good for my artistry. It's made this record a very difficult record for me to make." Still, Crow's famous friends, including Lenny Kravitz, Liz Phair, Emmylou Harris, and Gwyneth Paltrow, show up on nearly every track of C'mon, C'mon. Critics often pointed out Crow's seemingly contradictory words and actions in reviews of C'mon, C'mon, her contradictory feelings regarding her famous friends, her public lambasts of belly-baring pop stars, and the ambiguity of her image. "Sheryl Crow: VH1 party girl or tormented loner?" asked Entertainment Weekly's David Browne. Still, Browne acknowledged that "C'mon, C'mon [will] jostle its way into your head," and deemed Crow a "supreme craftsperson, the spawn of Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty."

Despite the insecurities that Crow admits plague her recording sessions, she still gets a thrill out of playing live. "I love the communication that goes on when you're playing in front of people," she told Interview's Elizabeth Weitzman. "When you go out and play and the song reaches people, everything else just falls away—the magazine articles, the production. It's that moment that is the reality."

Crow released her next album, Wildflower, in September of 2005, the same month that she announced her engagement to champion bicyclist Lance Armstrong. The album was filled with love songs, but none that referred directly to her relationship. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide described the album as warm, introspective, and subtle. "It's easy to spin Wildflower a couple of times before the songs start to sink in," he wrote. "Once they do, the album seems to be one of her most consistent records and one of her best." Soon after Wildflower was released, Crow's life became intense and difficult. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2006 and underwent successful treatment. She and Armstrong separated around the same time. In 2007, she adopted a son, Wyatt. Meanwhile, she got involved in political activism on issues such as global warming.

Those experiences became the subjects of her next album, Detours, released in February of 2008. One glance at the song titles on the album made that clear: "Make It Go Away (Radiation Song)" described her cancer treatment; "Diamond Ring" went straight at her broken engagement to Armstrong; "Lullaby for Wyatt" was dedicated to her son. Protest songs on the album delivered messages about oil and pollution, the war in Iraq, and the fate of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with sly humor. Her "decade's worth of life packed into two years," as Erlewine of All Music Guide put it, "have led Crow to produce her liveliest, weirdest album since 1996's messy masterpiece Sheryl Crow." Erlewine expressed hope that Detours was not a detour for Crow, "With any luck, this album isn't a one-time journey down a side road but rather the touchstone for the next act in her career."

Selected discography

Tuesday Night Music Club, A&M, 1993.

Sheryl Crow, A&M, 1996.

The Globe Sessions, A&M, 1998.

Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live in Central Park, A&M, 1999.

C'mon, C'mon, Interscope, 2002.

Very Best of Sheryl Crow, A&M, 2003; tour edition, Universal International, 2004.

Wildflower, A&M, 2005.

Detours, A&M, 2008.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, August 29, 1998.

Entertainment Weekly, October 14, 1994; February 24, 1995; September 27, 1996; July 11, 1997; September 25, 1998; April 19, 2002.

Esquire, September 2001.

Interview, October 1998.

Knight-Ridder Tribune News Service, April 7, 1994.

Newsweek, October 24, 1994; September 16, 1996; April 15, 2002.

New York Times, March 12, 1995.

People, November 29, 1993; September 23, 1996.

Playboy, February 1995.

Rolling Stone, December 15, 1994; October 3, 1996; November 14, 1996.

Salon, September 16, 1998.

Time, March 13, 1995; April 22, 2002.

Wall Street Journal, September 11, 1996.

Online

"Detours: Overview," All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:3jfwxz9hld0e (February 17, 2007).

"Sheryl Crow," Salon,http://www.salon.com (June 15, 2008).

—Carol Brennan and Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

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"Crow, Sheryl." Contemporary Musicians. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 28 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Crow, Sheryl." Contemporary Musicians. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. (September 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3273200029.html

"Crow, Sheryl." Contemporary Musicians. 2008. Retrieved September 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3273200029.html

Crow, Sheryl

Sheryl Crow

Singer, songwriter

Headed to Los Angeles

Signed with Major Label

Silenced Critics with Follow-Up

Selected discography

Sources

After several years of backup singing for established artistsand one aborted bid at launching a solo careerSheryl Crow burst onto the pop music scene with 1993s Tuesday Night Music Club, a strong album that included two hit singles, Leaving Las Vegas and All I Wanna Do. Blessed with a voice well suited to her rock n roll material and what Rolling Stones Elysa Gardner termed naughty-cheerleader good looks, Crow became a ubiquitous presence on MTV and VH-1. In the fall of 1996, three years after her debut, Crow released a second album, Sheryl Crow. That album and her following releases, The Globe Sessions, and Cmon, Cmon, were well-received by both critics and the record-buying public, confirming that the singer was more than a one-album wonder.

Crow was born on February 11, 1962, in Kennett, Missouri, a sturdy Midwestern community that served as the backdrop for an outwardly normal childhood. Sheryl was a cheerleader and a twirler, her sister Kathy recalled in an interview with Rolling Stones Fred Schruers. She wasnt shy about getting out and doing something, even if it meant that she had to be out by herself doing it. But while Crow was a popular, athletic student who posted good grades, she endured many nights of what she would later call sleep paralysis, a condition she shared with her mother. There would be nights where I would be so afraid to go to sleep, she told Schruers. In sleep paralysis, sometimes you get to the point where you are sure youre going to die in the dream, and your breathing stops and all that. Its a bizarre and twisted feeling where you feel completely paralyzed.

Headed to Los Angeles

After graduating from Kennett High School, Crow moved on to the University of Missouri and took music and education classes. After graduation, she relocated to St. Louis, where she spent her days working as a music teacher at an elementary school. Her nights, meanwhile, were spent singing lead vocals in a variety of local rock bands. In 1986 she abruptly left St. Louis for the West Coast, a move that stunned her family and friends. Id just broken up with a boy and I was really bummed out, Crow recalled in a conversation with Newsweeks Karen Schoemer. I got in my car with a box of tapes and I drove from Missouri out to L.A., 28 hours by myself, nonstop. I didnt know a soul in L.A. I pulled in on the 405 at 4:30 in the afternoon, and sat in traffic and just cried my eyes out. Like Oh my God, what have I done?

Crows break came after only six months, however, when she crashed a closed audition and landed a job singing back-up for Michael Jacksons 1987 Bad international concert tour. Being a background singerputting on a tight black dress and doing choreographyhas very little to do with being a musician, she told Robert Seidenberg in Entertainment Weekly. At the

For the Record

Born on February 11, 1962, in Kennett, MO; daughter of Wendell (a lawyer and trumpeter) and Bernice (a piano teacher) Crow. Education: Received degree in piano and voice from University of Missouri at Columbia, c. 1984.

Played in Kennett-area bands in late 1970s, early 1980s; played in a Columbia, Missouri-based band called Cashmere; moved to Los Angeles, c. 1986; joined Michael Jacksons Bad tour as back-up singer, 1987-89; sang back-up for Don Henley, Rod Stewart, 1989; signed with A&M Records, 1991; released debut A&M album, Tuesday Night Music Club, 1993; performed on the 1995 USO tour for American troops stationed in Bosnia; released Sheryl Crow, 1996; released The Globe Sessions, 1998; made film debut in The Minus Man, 1999; released Cmon, Cmon, 2002.

Awards: Grammy Awards, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for All I Wanna Do, New Artist, and Record of the Year for All I Wanna Do, 1994; Grammy Awards, Best Rock Album for Sheryl Crow and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for If It Makes You Happy, 1996; Grammy Award, Best Rock Album for The Globe Sessions, 1998; Grammy Award, Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for Sweet Child O Mine, 1998; Grammy Award, Best Fe Rock Vocal Performance for There Goes the Neighborhood, 2000.

Addresses: Record company Interscope Records, 2220 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404. Website Sheryl Crow Official Website: http://www.sherylcrow.com.

conclusion of the tourduring which the tabloid press identified her as Jacksons loverthe exhausting pace of the tour caught up with her. Tired and wracked once again with depression, Crow endured several difficult months. When I went through a really bad bout of depression, my mom would call, and my mom and I are very close, she told Schruers, but she would call, and she would say, Youre a cute girl, youre smart, youve got everything in the world going for you, and that would just make it worse. Because then it makes you even loathe yourself more for being sick.

Signed with Major Label

Late in 1989, Crow secured a job singing back-up for Don Henley, a gig that eventually led to work with Rod Stewart and several other big-name acts. Her studio session work soon caught the attention of A&M Records, which signed her to a recording contract in 1991. Company executive Al Cafaro told Schruers that Crow was a very, very strong person, with an ultimate, overriding confidence in herself, but constantly assessing where shes at and whats going on. The record company soon arranged to record a solo album for the young singer, but the final product was a mess. Entertainment Weeklys David Browne wrote that the albums songs lumber from ersatz gospel to forced psychedelia; the production has the sterile glaze of 80s pop. Todd Gold, writing in People, similarly characterized it as a slick, soulless album. Fortunately for Crow, the decidedly overproduced album was never released. Had we put out the first bunch of tracks, Crow later told Schoemer, I would never have been heard of again.

Crow eventually became friends with a group of L.A. musicians who informally jammed together under the name Tuesday Night Music Club. Their sessions formed the basisonce A&M execs got wind of the soundof what would become an album much more suited to everyones liking. The record that became her 1993 debut, Tuesday Night Music Club, put together with the help of a stellar group of musicians and studio wizards that included David Baerwald, David Ricketts, Kevin Gilbert (Crows boyfriend for a time), and Bill Bottrell. Over the course of just a few sessions the group constructed the outline for Tuesday Night Music Club, and Bottrell and Crow fleshed out the album over the next few months.

However, in the months following the albums release, Crow and a number of musicians who performed on the album clashed bitterly over a number of issues, from the nature of Crows tour in support of the album (she recruited lesser-known musicians for the touring band to save money) to her false assertion on David Lettermans show that Leaving Las Vegas was autobiographical (Baerwald, a friend of soon-to-be-deceased Leaving Las Vegas novelist John OBrien, had come up with the songs basic underpinnings).

Driven to establish herself as a legitimate talent, Crow toured tirelessly in the months following the albums release. Crows touring helped give the second single, All I Wanna Do, the fertile ground it needed to become a monster hit in the summer of 1994. After seven months of struggling to spur album sales, All I Wanna Do gave Tuesday Night Music Club the push it needed. Within a matter of weeks, the debut was a hit (eight million copies were eventually sold) and Crow had become a fixture on cable televisions video-music channels. Critics noted that the attention was well-deserved. Her melodic, quirky songs of sexual tension, fulfillment and harassment on Tuesday Night Music Club are both thoughtful and plain fun, wrote Playboys Vic Garbarini. David Hiltbrand, reviewing the album for People, compared Crows singer/songwriter abilities to those of Rickie Lee Jones.

A subsequent appearance at Woodstock in 1994 further added to Crows reputation, as did the three Grammy Awards she received in 1995, including one for Best New Artist of 1994. But after awhile she began to retreat somewhat from the public spotlight. I was really, by the end of it, very overexposed, she told Schoemer in a 1996 interview with Newsweek. Ive said that its really great for other female artists to look at me and know what not to do. Part of it was my own fault. Im an accessible person. Im willing to do whatever. Not for the fame, but I just kind of went along with it.

Silenced Critics with Follow-Up

In 1995 Crow began to lay the groundwork for her second album, mindful of persistent rumors that she would not have hit it big were it not for the talents of the other Tuesday Night Music Club musicians. The final result was 1996s Sheryl Crow, an album that established her as a talented artist in her own right. While still working with collaborators, wrote Rolling Stones Gardner, [Crow] operates more like a leader than a club member this time, writing a few songs independently and imbuing all of them with a greater sense of who she is and where she comes from. The lyrics seem grittier and more intimate and the craftsmanship is strong and self-assured. Entertainment Weeklys Browne lauded Sheryl Crow as a loose, freewheeling yet remarkably robust album that tugs at your heart and feetsometimes within the same tune.

The album was also controversial; one song, Love Is a Good Thing, contained lyrics suggesting that guns sold at Wal-Mart stores sometimes find their way into the hands of children. Wal-Mart responded by banning the album from its shelvesa move that industry observers expected to cost Crow hundreds of thousands of dollars in salesbut Crow remained defiant. Indeed, in the weeks following Sheryl Crows release, the singer seemed more certain than ever of her musical direction and vision. At the end of the day, I can play a Bob Dylan song and it will be a great song she told Schoemer. I hope that 25 years from now some young artist might play one of my songs and it might be a revelation in some way.

Crows next album, The Globe Sessions, was primarily recorded at her own Globe Studios in New York City. The Globe Sessions includes a song written by Bob Dylan, Mississippi, which never made it onto a Dylan album. An Entertainment Weekly reviewer noted that the rollicking, Rolling Thunder-ish arrangement [of Mississippi] provides the albums highest spirit. In Interview, Crow described the album as more emotional and intimate than her earlier efforts. If you make a record honestly, it is merely a snapshot of who you are while youre recording it.

Crow stayed busy in 1999, recording a live album, Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live in Central Park, taking on her first acting role in the indie film The Minus Man, and contributing a cover of the Guns n Roses song Sweet Child O Mine to the film Big Daddy. The track earned her a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. A three-year bout of uncertainty, depression, and a near emotional breakdown precluded any new material from being released until Cmon, Cmon, in late 2002, a few months after her fortieth birthday.

You get to a point as an artist, Crow told Esquire writer Scott Raab, where it can be to your detriment to have money and be hanging out with people who are famous. Its not been good for my artistry. Its made this record a very difficult record for me to make. Still, Crows famous friends, including Lenny Kravitz, Liz Phair, Emmylou Harris, and Gwyneth Paltrow, show up on nearly every track of Cmon, Cmon. Critics often pointed out Crows seemingly contradictory words and actions in reviews of Cmon, Cmon, her contradictory feelings regarding her famous friends, her public lam-basts of belly-baring pop stars, and the ambiguity of her image. Sheryl Crow: VH1 party girl or tormented loner? asked Entertainment Weeklys David Browne. Still, Browne acknowledged that Cmon, Cmon [will] jostle its way into your head, and deemed Crow a supreme craftsperson, the spawn of Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty.

Despite the insecurities that Crow admits plague her recording sessions, she still gets a thrill out of playing live. I love the communiciation that goes on when youre playing in front of people, she told Interviews Elizabeth Weitzman. When you go out and play and the song reaches people, everything else just falls awaythe magazine articles, the production. Its that moment that is the reality.

Selected discography

Tuesday Night Music Club, A&M, 1993.

Sheryl Crow, A&M, 1996.

The Globe Sessions, A&M, 1993.

Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live in Central Park, A&M, 1999.

Cmon, Cmon, Interscope, 2002.

Sources

Billboard, August 29, 1998.

Entertainment Weekly, October 14, 1994; February 24, 1995; September 27, 1996; September 25, 1998; April 19, 2002.

Esquire, September 2001.

Interview, October 1998.

Knight-Ridder Tribune News Service, April 7, 1994.

Newsweek, October 24, 1994; September 16, 1996; April 15, 2002.

New York Times, March 12, 1995.

People, November 29, 1993; September 23, 1996.

Playboy, February 1995.

Rolling Stone, December 15, 1994; October 3, 1996; November 14, 1996.

Stereo Review, November 1993.

Time, March 13, 1995; April 22, 2002.

Wall Street Journal, September 11, 1996.

Carol Brennan

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Brennan, Carol. "Crow, Sheryl." Contemporary Musicians. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. 28 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Brennan, Carol. "Crow, Sheryl." Contemporary Musicians. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. (September 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3495800028.html

Brennan, Carol. "Crow, Sheryl." Contemporary Musicians. 2003. Retrieved September 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3495800028.html

Crow, Sheryl

Sheryl Crow

Singer, songwriter

Headed to L.A.

Signed with Major Label

Silenced Critics with Follow-Up

Selected discography

Sources

After several years of back-up singing for established artistsand one aborted bid at launching a solo careerSheryl Crow burst onto the pop music scene with 1993s Tuesday Night Music Club, a strong album that included two hit singles, Leaving Las Vegas and All I Wanna Do. Blessed with a voice well suited to her rock and roll material and what Rolling Stones Elysa Gardner termed naughty-cheerleader good looks, Crow became a ubiquitous presence on MTV and VH-1. In the fall of 1996, two years after her debut, Crow released a second album, Sheryl Crow. Well-received by both critics and the record-buying public, Sheryl Crow seemed to confirm that the singer had every intention of establishing herself as more than a one-album wonder.

Crow was born in 1962 in Kennett, Missouri, a sturdy Midwestern community that served as the backdrop for an outwardly normal childhood. Sheryl was a cheerleader and a twirler, her sister Kathy recalled in an interview with Rolling Stones Fred Schruers. She wasnt shy about getting out and doing something, even if it meant that she had to be out by herself doing it. But while Crow was a popular, athletic student who posted good grades, she endured many nights of what she would later call sleep paralysis, a condition she shared with her mother. There would be nights where I would be so afraid to go to sleep, she told Schruers. In sleep paralysis, sometimes you get to the point where you are sure youre going to die in the dream, and your breathing stops and all that. Its a bizarre and twisted feeling where you feel completely paralyzed.

Headed to L.A.

After graduating from Kennett High School, Crow moved on to the University of Missouri and took music and education classes. After graduation, she relocated to St. Louis, where she spent her days working as a music teacher at an elementary school. Her nights, meanwhile, were spent singing lead vocals in a variety of local rock bands. In 1986 she abruptly left St. Louis for the West Coast, a move that stunned her family and friends. Id just broken up with a boy and I was really bummed out, Crow recalled in a conversation with Newsweeks Karen Schoemer. I got in my car with a box of tapes and I drove from Missouri out to L.A., 28 hours by myself, njonstop. I didnt know a soul in L.A. I pulled in on the 405 at 4:30 in the afternoon, and sat in traffic and just cried my eyes out. Like Oh my God, what have I done?

Crows break came after only six months, however, when she crashed a closed audition and landed a job singing back-up for Michael Jacksons 1987 international

For the Record

Born February 11, 1962, in Kennett, MO; daughter of Wendell (a lawyer and trumpeter) and Bernice (a piano teacher) Crow. Education: Received degree in piano and voice from University of Missouri at Columbia, c. 1984.

Played in Kennett-area bands in late 1970s, early 1980s; played in a Columbia, Missouri-based band called Cashmere; worked as elementary-school music teacher in St. Louis for two years; also sang and played keyboards in St. Louis-area bands; moved to Los Angeles, c. 1986; joined Michael Jacksons Bad tour as back-up singer, 1987-89; sang back-up for Don Henley, Rod Stewart, 1989; signed with A&M Records, 1991; released debut A&M album, Tuesday Night Music Club, 1994; performed on the 1995 USO tour for American troops stationed in Bosnia; released Sheryl Crow, September 1996.

Awards: Three Grammy Awards, including best new artist, for Tuesday Night Music Club, 1995.

Addresses: Record company A&M Records, 1416 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028.

concert tour. Being a background singerputting on a tight black dress and doing choreographyhas very little to do with being a musician, she told Robert Seidenberg in Entertainment Weekly. But Id much rather have been doing that than slinging hamburgers somewhere. Yet at the conclusion of the tourduring which the tabloid press identified her as Jacksons loverthe exhausting paceof the tour caught up with her. Tired and wracked once again with depression, Crow endured several difficult months. When I went through a really bad bout of depression, my mom would call, and my mom and I are very close, she told Schruers, but she would call, and she would say, Youre a cute girl, youre smart, youve got everything in the world going for you, and that would just make it worse. Because then it makes you even loathe yourself more for being sick.

Signed with Major Label

Late in 1989, Crow secured a job singing back-up for Don Henley, a gig that eventually led to work with Rod Stewart and several other big-name acts. Her studio session work soon caught the attention of A&M Records, which signed her to a recording contract in 1991. Company executive Al Cafaro told Schruers that Crow was a very, very strong person, with an ultimate, overriding confidence in herself, but constantly assessing where shes at and whats going on. The record company soon arranged to record a solo album for the young singer, but the final product was a mess. Entertainment Weeklys David Browne wrote that the albums songs lumber from ersatz gospel to forced psychedelia; the production has the sterile glaze of 80s pop. Todd Gold, writing in People, similarly characterized it as a slick, soulless album. Fortunately for Crow, the decidedly overproduced album was never released. Had we put out the first bunch of tracks, Crowlatertold Schoemer, I would never have been heard of again.

Crow eventually became friends with a group of L.A. musicians who informally jammed together under the name Tuesday Night Music Club. Their sessions formed the basisonce A&M execs got wind of the soundof what would become an album much more suited to everyones liking. The record that became her 1993 debut, Tuesday Night Music Club, put together with the help of a stellar group of musicians and studio wizards that included David Baerwald, David Ricketts, Kevin Gilbert (Crows boyfriend for a time), and Bill Bottrell. Over the courseof just afew sessions thegroup constructed the outline for Tuesday Night Music Club, and Bottrell and Crow fleshed out the album over the next few months.

However, in the months following the albums release, Crow and a number of musicians who performed on the album clashed bitterly over a number of issues, from the nature of Crows tour in support of the album (she recruited lesser-known musicians for the touring band to save money) to her false assertion on David Letter-mans show that Leaving Las Vegas was autobiographical (Baerwald, a friend of soon-to-be-deceased Leaving Las Vegas novelist John OBrien, had come up with the songs basic underpinnings).

Driven to establish herself as a legitimate talent, Crow toured tirelessly in the months following the albums release. Sheryl toured her ass off, Cafaro told Schoemer. Without that, none of your efforts at radio or video airplay have lasting impact. Indeed, Crows touring helped give the second single, All I Wanna Do, the fertile ground it needed to become a monster hit in the summer of 1994. After seven months of struggling to spur album sales, All I Wanna Do gave Tuesday Night Music Club the push it needed. Within a matter of weeks, the debut was a hit (eight million copies were eventually sold) and Crow had become a fixture on cable televisions video-music channels. Critics noted that the attention was well-deserved. Her melodic, quirky songs of sexual tension, fulfillment and harassment on Tuesday Night Music Club are both thoughtful and plain fun, wrote Playboys Vic Garbarini. David Hiltbrand, reviewing the album for People, compared Crows singer/songwriter abilities to those of Rickie Lee Jones.

A subsequent appearance at Woodstock in 1994 further added to Crows reputation, as did the three Grammy Awards she received in 1995, including one for Best New Artist of 1994. But after awhile she began to retreat somewhat from the public spotlight. I was really, by the end of it, very overexposed, she told Schoemer in a 1996 interview with Newsweek. Ive said that its really great for other female artists to look at me and know what not to do. Part of it was my own fault. Im an accessible person. Im willing to do whatever. Not for the fame, but I just kind of went along with it.

Silenced Critics with Follow-Up

In 1995 Crow began to lay the groundwork for her second album, mindful of persistent rumors that she would not have hit it big were it not for the talents of the other Tuesday Night Music Club musicians. The final result was 1996s Sheryl Crow, an album that established her as a talented artist in her own right. While still working with collaborators, wrote Rolling Stones Gardner, [Crow] operates more like a leader than a club member this time, writing a few songs independently and imbuing all of them with a greater sense of who she is and where she comes from. The lyrics seem grittier and more intimateand the craftsmanship is strong and self-assured. Entertainment Weeklys Brownelauded Sheryl Crow as a loose, freewheeling yet remarkably robust album that tugs at your heart and feetsometimes within the same tune.

The album was also controversial; one song, Love Is a Good Thing, contained lyrics suggesting that guns sold at Wal-Mart stores sometimes find their way into the hands of children. Wal-Mart responded by banning the album from its shelvesa move that industry observers expect will cost Crow hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales, but Crow remained defiant. Indeed, in the weeks following Sheryl Crows release, the singer seemed more certain than ever of her musical direction and vision. At the end of the day, I can play a Bob Dylan song and it will be a great song, she told Schoemer. I hope that 25 years from now some young artist might play one of my songs and it might be a revelation in some way.

Selected discography

Tuesday Night Music Club, A&M, 1993.

Sheryl Crow, A&M, 1996.

Sources

Entertainment Weekly, October 14, 1994; February 24, 1995; September 27, 1996.

Knight-Ridder Tribune News Service, April 7, 1994.

Newsweek, October 24, 1994; September 16, 1996.

New York Times, March 12, 1995.

People, November 29, 1993; September 23, 1996.

Playboy, February 1995.

Rolling Stone, December 15, 1994; October 3, 1996; November 14, 1996.

Stereo Review, November 1993.

Time, March 13, 1995.

Wall Street Journal, September 11, 1996.

Carol Brennan

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Brennan, Carol. "Crow, Sheryl." Contemporary Musicians. 1997. Encyclopedia.com. 28 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Brennan, Carol. "Crow, Sheryl." Contemporary Musicians. 1997. Encyclopedia.com. (September 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3493600028.html

Brennan, Carol. "Crow, Sheryl." Contemporary Musicians. 1997. Retrieved September 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3493600028.html

Crow, Sheryl

SHERYL CROW

Born: Kennett, Missouri, 11 February 1962

Genre: Rock

Best-selling album since 1990: The Globe Sessions (1998)

Hit songs since 1990: "All I Wanna Do," "If It Makes You Happy," "Everyday Is a Winding Road"


Sheryl Crow's debut album came out in 1993, at the height of the popularity of grunge rock and Seattle-based groups like Nirvana. She had started her career as a backup singer for the likes of Michael Jackson, Joe Cocker, and Rod Stewart. She did not find much encouragement moving out on her own as a woman in a field in which the leading talents were either dance mavens like Madonna or urban folkies like Tracy Chapman. She was good-looking but not willing to use those looks in any demeaning way to further her career. She wanted to be her own person musically, and her approach to that goal was thoroughly professional. By the early 2000s, Sheryl Crow had established herself as one of the leading women in rock.


Rural Roots

With a background in rural Missouri and parents who were musicians from the big band era, Crow began piano lessons at the age of six and by her teens was singing in rock groups. At the University of Missouri in the early 1980s, she took a degree in classical piano and then taught music for a short time in a St. Louis elementary school. Soon, however, her musical ambitions took over her life,
and, in pursuit of her dream, she moved to Los Angeles in 1986, where her first work was as a backup singer.


A Star Is Born

By 1991 she had signed a record contract with A&M, and, after an aborted first effort that she convinced the company not to release, she produced her first album in 1993. On the strength of Crow's musicianship and the popularity of the song "All I Wanna Do," which reached second place on the charts and won a Grammy for best record of the year in 1994, Crow's career was launched. The album The Tuesday Night Club (named for the group that gathered on these evenings to make the recording) also features songs that deal with more serious subjectsthe kind of material that became characteristic of Crow's subsequent output. "No One Said It Would Be Easy" deals with the end of a relationshipa theme Crow would return to again and againand "What I Can Do for You" addresses sexual harassment.

The collaborative nature of some of the material in the album led to complaints and criticism from musicians that Crow was taking credit for what was in fact a communal effort. Whatever the validity of the criticism, by her next album Crow made sure that there would be no doubt about who was in charge.


On Her Own

Her self-titled album of 1996 features songs written entirely by Crow. With this release Crow became the singer/songwriter she always wanted to be. Critically, the album was not universally well received. The Rolling Stone review, for example, noted the music's blandness and derivativeness. Wal-Mart Corporation objected to something elsethe reference, in "Love Is a Good Thing," to guns the giant chain marketed: "Watch our children kill each other / With a gun they bought at a Wal-Mart discount store." As a result, like many other albums with similar socio-political messages, Crow's second effort was removed from the shelves of the chain. Two tracks from the album were radio hits that ended up high on the charts: "If It Makes You Happy" and "Everyday Is a Winding Road." With sales reaching 6 million copies, Crow had reached a seemingly secure niche in the music world.


Crow at the Crest

As if to underscore that success and to win over those who remained skeptical of the originality of her talent, she went on to the sometimes personal, often haunting, semi-confessional album The Globe Sessions (1998), which won her her first Grammy for an album.

Of the twelve tracks on this album, eleven are Crow originals, with a wide range of emotional and musical content. The lead track, "My Favorite Mistake," is about a failed love affair: "maybe nothin' lasts forever / Even when you stay together." By now a standard Crow subject, doomed romance recurs in "Anything but Down" later on in the set. "There Goes the Neighborhood" is a walk on the wild side: "the movie of the screenplay of the book about a girl who meets a junkie." "Am I Getting Through" (I and II) strikes a feminist theme by presenting the plight of a young woman who is neither seen nor heard: "I am lovely and weak / I am foul when I speak." Crow also covers a Bob Dylan song, "Mississippi," which Dylan had never released in his own version. ("Sweet Child O' Mine" borrows Axl Rose's title, but the lyrics are Crow's.) With this album Crow achieved a new level of musical accomplishment as a singer/composer.

Her growing stature received another boost with the release of Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live from Central Park (1999), which reprises a number of earlier Crow compositions in live performances with the help of friends like Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Chrissie Hynde, and Stevie Nicks. By the end of the decade, Sheryl Crow had reached the top of her profession.

C'mon C'mon (2002) sustained her success. Crow's special brand of pop-rock, with roots-rock overtones, emerges strongly in this hard-driving set. The title song got wide airplay, and cultish tracks like the opening "Steve McQueen" added to the sense that Crow had a strong sense of cool.

In addition to her recordings, Crow maintains a heavy performance schedule. In the mid-1990s, during one fifteen-month period, she did 542 shows. To this day, live performances are an important part of her schedule. Asked by an interviewer in Rolling Stone what advice she would give a woman wanting a musical career today, Crow said, "Learn how to write a song and then don't let anybody tell you what to do or not to do."

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Tuesday Night Club (A&M, 1993); Sheryl Crow (A&M, 1996); The Globe Sessions (A&M, 1998); Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live from Central Park (A&M, 1999); C'mon C'mon (Interscope, 2002).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

R. Buskin, Sheryl Crow: No Fool to This Game. (New York, 2002).

archie loss

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Loss, Archie. "Crow, Sheryl." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 28 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Loss, Archie. "Crow, Sheryl." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. (September 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3428400131.html

Loss, Archie. "Crow, Sheryl." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. 2004. Retrieved September 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3428400131.html

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