Sheryl Crow Biography

No Sheryl Crow biography would be complete without a list of her top singles, but this versatile artist is more than just a Grammy award winning musician - she's also an outspoken environmental and political activist.

Sheryl Crow Biography: Background

The third of three children, Sheryl Suzanne Crow was born on February 11, 1962, in Kennett, Missouri. Throughout high school and college, Crow was active in student life, participating in a variety of activities. At the University of Missouri, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Composition, Performance and Education. During her college years, she honed her skills as a musician and sang with Cashmere, a campus cover band.

With her passion sparked in a big way, Crow worked as a music teacher for autistic children at an elementary school in St. Louis after graduating. Eventually, Crow was introduced to a local producer and musician. With his assistance, Crow began to record jingles for a variety of retailers, including McDonald's and Toyota.

The jingles proved to be modestly lucrative and the stepping stone for bigger and better things to come. Crow moved to Los Angeles to seek out music gigs, working as a waitress in the meantime. Things began to move relatively quickly, and Crow landed several opportunities with artists like Johnny Mathis and Rod Stewart.

Perhaps one of the highlights of Crow's early career is her stint as Michael Jackson's backup singer for his Bad tour from 1987 to 1989. Crow has described this as "a crash course in the music business" that helped her prepare for the future. After the tour ended, Crow continued to sing backup for a variety of artists, such as Sting, Stevie Wonder and Foreigner. She also sang backup for Don Henley on his End of the Innocence tour. These collaborations weren't the only notches in her belt; Crow also spent plenty of time writing music for herself and others. Some of her songs were recorded by worldwide talents like Celine Dion, Eric Clapton and Wynonna Judd.

It's difficult to fathom that Crow's already-wondrous résumé didn't include a record deal of her own, but it wasn't long before producer Hugh Padgham shopped her demo to now-defunct record label A&M. The resulting album was never released, due to Crow's own insistence that the sound was not a strong representation of her true talents. A&M agreed to back off the record's release.

As it turned out, this was the right move for Crow. Her next effort, Tuesday Night Music Club, was born of a year spent dwindling without a record under her belt. Crow began to spend her Tuesday nights rocking with a group of like-minded musicians. The album's title is a tribute to that group, and its sound solidified Crow as an artist who could successfully meld several genres of music together, including rock, folk, country, blues and pop. The album's success catapulted her to a different level altogether.

Awards

Tuesday Night Music Club went on to receive five Grammy nominations in 1994, with Crow taking home three, including Record of the Year for All I Wanna Do. More Grammy nominations and wins followed in subsequent years.

Notable Grammy Achievements
Category Title Year
Best Rock Album Sheryl Crow 1996
Rock Female Vocalist If It Makes You Happy 1996
Best Rock Album The Globe Sessions 1998
Rock Female Vocalist Sweet Child O' Mine 1999
Rock Female Vocalist There Goes the Neighborhood (live) 2000
Rock Female Vocalist Steve McQueen 2002

Causes and Passions

Of course, a Sheryl Crow biography is not complete without a mention of the many causes the singer is passionate about. She is particularly outspoken about the war in Iraq, as well as her focus on living a greener lifestyle and her concerns about future generations. In fact, Crow's sixth album, Detours, is an upfront nod to the societal and environmental issues that concern her.

Crow is also extremely vocal about her battle with breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2006. Though she's since undergone treatment and has been declared cancer-free, Crow focuses intently on raising awareness for the disease in hopes that a cure will one day be found.>

Sheryl Crow Biography