Facts About Sheryl Crow

by Michael Black
Sheryl Crow has defied traditional labels throughout her career.

Sheryl Crow has defied traditional labels throughout her career.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Sheryl Crow has accomplished a lot in her long musical career. She has been through her share of ups and downs, from making hit records to battling cancer. By constantly moving forward musically, Crow has created a lasting place for herself in the worlds of rock, popular and country music.

Early Life and Family

Sheryl Crow was born in Kennett, Missouri on February 11, 1962. She had two older sisters and one younger brother. Crow's parents, Wendell and Bernice, were both musicians, and they fostered their children's interest in music. Sheryl began learning the piano when she was only six years old.


Crow went to Kennett High School and graduated in 1980. She got a musical education degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1984. During her time in college, Crow played keyboards in a band called Cashmere.

Early Musical Career

Sheryl Crow began her musical career by using her musical education degree. She taught at an elementary school in St. Louis until 1986, when she moved to Los Angeles. She worked as a jingle writer (writing for major companies such as McDonalds) for a time before becoming a backup singer for Michael Jackson. She was on the road with Jackson for two years as part of the "Bad" world tour, during which she usually sang the female lead in "I Just Can't Stop Loving You." She also sang backup for Sting, Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart and Don Henley.

Tuesday Night Music Club

Sheryl Crow's first taste of major national success came in 1993 with the Tuesday Night Music Club. The band was made up of several music industry veterans, including Kevin Gilbert, Crow's then boyfriend. The song "All I Wanna Do" from their album "Tuesday Night Music Club" became a hit, and sales of this album eventually reached multi-platinum status. Although the record was released under Sheryl Crow's name, it was very much a band effort. After Crow offhandedly claimed on "Late Night with David Letterman" that a song ("Leaving Las Vegas") was autobiographical when in reality it wasn't, the band fell apart.

Further Success

After winning Grammy Awards for Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Tuesday Night Music Club," Crow's next solo record -- recorded with an almost entirely new band and production team and titled "Sheryl Crow" -- won Grammys for Best Rock Album and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Her later records, such as "The Globe Sessions" and "C'mon C'mon," have also won major awards. Some of her major hits include "If It Makes You Happy," "Everyday Is a Winding Road," "A Change Would Do You Good" and "Soak Up the Sun."


In 2006, Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with breast cancer. The diagnosis was surprising to Crow because she kept herself in good shape and the disease did not run in her family. The disease was discovered early, and Crow managed to beat it and make a full recovery.

Photo Credits

  • Jemal Countess/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images