Crow, Sheiyl

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Crow, Sheiyl

Crow, Sheiyl , talented, hit-making singer/song-writer and producer; b. Kennett, Miss., Feb. 11, 1963. Crow’s father was a trumpet player who went to law school (and whose tale became fodder for one of her songs). Her mother taught piano. Crow studied piano and voice at the Univ. of Mo. while playing in a variety of bands.

When her born-again Christian fiance suggested that she might be better off singing for the Lord, she fled to Los Angeles. There, she became a backing vocalist on Michael Jackson’s Bad tour for two years. She learned that she loved performing and loved the road. She also learned that a high-profile gig led to high exposure: she was pictured on the cover of supermarket tabloids as the bearer of Jackson’s “love child.” When the tour finally ended, the press proved a detriment to getting her own songs heard and to securing her own recording contract, at least on her terms. Because Crow had worked with a dance pop artist like Jackson, every record company she went to assumed she was the next Paula Abdul. When she played her soulful, bluesy pop for them, they couldn’t hear it.

Instead, Crow sold her songs to other artists, placing them with Eric Clapton and Wynonna Judd, among others. She also continued to sing on sessions. One of these was a session for Sting. Producer Hugh Padgham was so impressed by Crow, he urged A&M to sign her. He then produced an album with her that Crow felt was far too slick. She asked A&M to shelve it, and went to work with producer Bruce Bottrell and a variety of herL.A. studio scene cronies. They eventually came up with Tuesday Night Music Club. The first single, “Leaving Las Vegas” did well on rock radio, but made few inroads into pop. The second single, “All I Wanna Do” (based on a poem) became the surprise hit of the summer of 1994, spending six weeks at #2 and going gold. Crow followed this with the #5 “Strong Enough” and “Can’t Cry Anymore,” which topped out at #26. Suddenly, people were discovering the Tuesday Night Music Club and it rose to #8, eventually going septuple platinum. She won three Grammy Awards that year: Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance, Female for “All I Wanna Do,” and Best New Artist.

Crow’s next album, an eponymous sophomore effort, continued the climb. It entered the charts at its peak of #6, producing the #10 single “If It Makes You Happy.” This was followed by “Everyday Is a Winding Road,” which topped out at #11. The album went triple platinum and earned her Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Vocal and Best Rock Album.

Crow moved to N.Y and took up professional residence in the Globe Recording studios. The product of this work was 1998’s The Globe Sessions which entered the charts at #5, almost immediately going platinum. The hits, however, were farther apart. “My Favorite Mistake” topped out at #20. The follow-up, “Anything But Down,” peaked at a distressingly low #49. She still won Best Rock Album, Female, at the 1998 Grammies. Crow continued to tour, including making appearances

with the 1998 and 1999 versions of Lillith Fair.

Even if her records never sell like Tuesday Night Music Club again, Crow has demonstrated appealing taste in her music. She also embarked on a new offshoot of her career, producing songs for one of her musical heroines, Stevie Nicks.


Sheryl Crow (1992); Tuesday Night Music Club (1993); Sheryl Crow (1996); The Globe Sessions (1998).

—Hank Bordowitz