Members: Sheryl Crow
Crow was born in Kennett, Missouri. Her parents were members of a local big band in which her father, an attorney, played trumpet. The family was very musical and owned three pianos.
In school she was active in choir, athletics, and school plays. Even at a young age, she was a perfectionist who strived to please her parents. In high school she was a drum majorette, member of the Pep Club, the National Honor Society, Future Farmers of America, Freshman Maid, Senior Maid and Paperdoll Queen. When her prom date was later questioned about her fame, he said that at the time he thought she "would be a doctor's wife someday." She graduated in 1984 from the University of Missouri where she majored in music education with a concentration in piano. Coincidentally, actor Brad Pitt and ABC-TV news anchor Elizabeth Vargas were also students at the University of Missouri at the same time Sheryl was studying there; however, it is unknown whether or not any of these three future celebrities actually knew each other while they were students at the University. She sang in the local band Cashmere. She was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta social sorority, as well as Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity.
Following college she became an elementary school music teacher in a suburb of St. Louis where she was closer to her fiance. While teaching during the day she sang in bands on the weekends. Many people who knew her socially then describe her as a nice, kind, elementary school teacher who was settling down to raise children and who at times struggled to get by on a teacher's salary. Other than comments about wanting to go to California someday make it and her weekend band gig, few during this period of her life saw the relentless determination that would someday carry to a multi-millionaire rockstardom. Or if they saw it, they didn't realize they were witnessing a future rockstar in training. This time in her life, in retrospect, might accurately be considered by those who knew her then as her "wilderness years."
After a couple years of teaching and healing from a broken engagement, she was introduced to a local musician/producer. He had a thriving studio in the basement of his parent's home and helped her and began 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 recently quoted in her 60 Minutes segment as saying she made $50,000 on her McDonald's commercial alone. This success spurred her into thinking what she might do if she went into music full time.
Motivated by her new-found success, Crow decided to move to Los Angeles in 1986. Using her demo jingle tapes from St. Louis and perservering through constant rejections, she eventually found work as a backup vocalist for many major label acts. She was recruited to perform as a backup singer for Michael Jackson on his Bad tour. Whether she crashed the audition as widely reported at the time is uncertain. She spent the next 17 months touring the world singing back up and a duet, "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" on stage with Jackson. After the tour ended in 1989 she sang back up for Don Henley and in the following year made her first appearance on Saturday Night Live singing back up ("time, time, take it, take it away") for Henley. Later she credited Henley for helping her write better songs. Also around this time she was romantically linked to Peter Horton, star of thirtysomething.
By 1990, Crow had attracted the attention of A&M Records, eventually leading to her debut album, to be released in 1991. However, she did not like the slick and well-produced pop sound of the record and implored the label to allow her to start anew. What followed was months of depression that was mentioned years later in People Magazine where she stated she felt her career was over. She eventually teamed up both professionally and romantically with producer Bill Bottrell. The pair began to meet regularly with other musicians to form what they called "The Tuesday Night Music Club." They would get together and improvise songs until they had finished works.
This creative period resulted in her debut album, called Tuesday Night Music Club. She appeared in the New Faces section of Rolling Stone the summer of 1993. The album featured many of the songs written by Crow and her friends, including the first single, "Leaving Las Vegas". The album was slow to garner attention until "All I Wanna Do", became an unexpected smash radio hit in the spring of 1994. As she later stated in People Magazine, 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. To her and Bottrell's credit, they tracked down the author and according to People magazine, he ended up being paid over $50,000 in royalties. The singles "Run, Baby, Run" and "Strong Enough" were also released. 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. The album, which sold 6 million copies, was controversial in that there were disputes among the other Tuesday Night Music club members about not being fairly credited for their contributions.
SELF-TITLED ALBUM AND JAMES BOND
In 1996 Crow released her self titled second album, which earned her the cover of Rolling Stone. The album was darker and grittier and far more political, with songs about abortion ("Hard to Make A Stand"), homelessness and nuclear war. The debut single "If It Makes You Happy" became a radio hit, 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". She produced the album herself to quiet critics that had accused her of being a no-talent self promoter on her first album. This album was banned at Walmart because Crow was critical of their policy of selling guns to minors in the track "Love Is A Good Thing".
In 1997 Crow contributed the theme song to the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. The song of the same title was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically For a Motion Picture or Television.
THE GLOBE SESSION
In 1998 Crow released a third album, called The Globe Sessions. She discussed in press interviews having gone through a deep depression, and had a highly publicized relationship with music legend Eric Clapton. The debut single from this album, "My Favorite Mistake", was rumored to be about him, though Crow claims otherwise. 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. This 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". "There Goes the Neighborhood" won a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in 2000 when it was included in her album, "Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live from Central Park."
In 1999 Crow also made her acting debut as ill-fated drifter Laurie Bloom 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 found Crow singing many of her hit singles with new musical spins and guest appearances by many other musicians including Stevie Nicks, the Dixie Chicks, and Eric Clapton.
C'MON, C'MON & "PICTURE"
In 2002, after a break and some touring, Crow released C'mon, C'mon. Musically unlike any of her other records, the project had a more pop feel. Videos and promotional photos also found Crow more scantily clad than ever before, in bikinis and hot pants. Crow stated she was making a statement that women over 40 were still sexy. Whether a statement or a marketing tool, C'mon, C'mon spawned hits in "Soak Up the Sun" and 2002 Best Female Rock Performance Grammy winner "Steve McQueen". Crow also performed the song "Safe & Sound" from this album at a television benefit for the victims of September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks and at the MTV VMA Awards. 2002 also found Crow collaborating with Stevie Nicks, and releasing a successful single called "Picture" with rumored boyfriend Kid Rock that peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later Crow said they were good friends.
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. (http://www.artistsnetwork.org/news7/news319.html) Her public stance attracted so many supporters of the war to her website that the message board was closed for a number of days.
THE VERY BEST OF SHERYL CROW & DE-LOVELY
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" (a song originally composed and performed by Cat Stevens), which became her biggest radio hit since her first, "All I Wanna Do," which hit #2 in 1994. The single "Light In Your Eyes" was also released, but received limited airplay.
2004 saw Crow appear as a musical theater performer in the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely. Her performance within the film of the Porter classic "Begin the Beguine" was critically panned by film reviewers.
WILDFLOWER & CANCER
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, among them: "D'yer Maker" (Encomium: Led Zeppelin Tribute), "La Ci Darem la Mano" from Don Giovanni (Pavarotti & Friends For War Child), and "Resuscitation" (The Faculty).
1994 - Tuesday Night Music Club
1996 - Self Titled
1998 - The Globe Sessions
1999 - Sheryl Crow and Friends : Live
2002 - C'mon C'mon
2003 - The Very Best of Sheryl Crow
2005 - Wildflower
1993 - "Leaving Las Vegas"
1994 - "All I Wanna Do"
1994 - "Strong Enough"
1995 - "Can't Cry Anymore"
1995 - "Run Baby Run" -
1995 - "What I Can Do for You"
1995 - "D'yer Mak'r"
1996 - "If It Makes You Happy"
1997 - "Everyday Is a Winding Road"
1997 - "Hard to Make a Stand"
1997 - "A Change Would Do You Good"
1997 - "Home"
1997 - "Tomorrow Never Dies"
1998 - "My Favorite Mistake"
1999 - "There Goes the Neighborhood"
1999 - "Anything But Down"
1999 - "The Difficult Kind"
1999 - "Sweet Child O' Mine"
2002 - "Soak Up the Sun"
2002 - "Steve McQueen"
2002 - "C'mon C'mon"
2002 - "Picture" (with Kid Rock)
2003 - "It's so Easy" (with Wolfgang Niedecken)
2003 - "The First Cut Is the Deepest"
2003 - "Light in Your Eyes"
2003 - "C'mon C'mon" (with The Corrs)
2005 - "Good Is Good"
2006 - "Always on Your Side" (with Sting)
2006 - "Real Gone"
2006 "Perfect Lie"