“All I wanna do is have some fun. I have a feeling, I’m not the only one.”
—Sheryl Crow lyrics
You might say that every day of Sheryl Crow’s rise to fame has been a long and winding road. She started her professional career as a school music teacher near St. Louis, but her dreams of fame pushed her toward a performing career and eventually landed her on the top of the music charts. The risk she took to become an American icon paid off, as she became one of the biggest selling artists of all time.
THE EARLY YEARS
Sheryl Suzanne Crow was born on February 11, 1962, and grew up in the bootheel town of Kennett. Her father was an attorney and her mother was a piano teacher who exposed her to jazz, blues, and swing music at an early age. These early influences allowed her to develop an appreciation of varying genres of music that she would eventually blend into her own songs.
By the age of six, Sheryl was already playing songs on the piano that she had just heard on the radio. She even wrote her first song by the time she was thirteen. She graduated from Kennett High in 1980 and then headed off to the University of Missouri–Columbia, where she majored in music and played in the band Cashmere.
RISE TO FAME
After Crow graduated from Mizzou, she moved to the St. Louis area to teach music in the Rockwood School District. The teaching job lasted only a few years, because her dream to be a music star drew her to Los Angeles. In 1986, at the age
of twenty-three, she headed west where she landed backup singing gigs for music legends like Eric Clapton, Sting, Sinead O’Connor, and Rod Stewart. Her first big break came when she was hired as a singer for Michael Jackson’s international
“Bad” concert tour.
The tour lasted about a year, and she again found herself out of work and depressed. The down time allowed her to write more songs, sing backup for more major artists, and look for a record company to sign her. Finally, A&M Records
SHOW ME SUCCESS
Crow became a worldwide success in 1993 with the release of the album, The Tuesday Night Music Club. “Leaving Las Vegas” was her first song from the album to generate radio play, but when “All I Wanna Do” was put into rotation, she suddenly became the music industry’s newest “It” girl. The song was one of the biggest summer singles of 1994, falling just one position short of number one and the album sold around seven million copies. The former schoolteacher now graced the covers of practically every entertainment magazine, her songs were on the radio constantly, and she was a staple of MTV’s top video playlist.
Her second album was also full of hits, making her a proven music star. She went on to headline concert tours like Lilith Fair, produce hits for movies including the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, and even try her hand at acting.
Crow has won Grammys for Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Performance—Female, Best Rock Vocal Performance—Female, Best Rock Album, and Record of the Year. She has racked up record sales of more than 20 million. But even
when she is busy dominating the entertainment industry, she still finds time to help out with charitable causes in her home state, proving that one of the biggest-selling female acts in history still knows where she came from.
*One of her early singing jobs in California was a commercial jingle for McDonald’s.
*“If It Makes You Happy” was originally written as a country song.
* Crow opened for the Rolling Stones on several occasions.
*Sheryl rides motocross and is a fan of NASCAR.
*Gibson makes a Sheryl Crow Signature Edition Guitar.
*She was briefly engaged to Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.