Sheryl Crow paved her road to superstardom writing jingles (McDonald’s) and singing backup for legends (Michael Jackson, Sting, Rod Stewart). Now, it has been 25 years since she stepped into her own spotlight. Since her 1993 breakout hit “All I Wanna Do,” she has sold more than 50 million records and earned nine Grammys. And then there’s the fact that she pushed back a bout with cancer and remains a strong, progressive voice in politics. Luckily for Boise, Crow is coming to town Tuesday, July 17, to perform at Outlaw Field at the Idaho Botanical Garden.
Crow, now 56, continues to craft her own authentic blend of pop-rock, country and blues. This past April, she re-teamed with producer Jeff Trott for Be Myself on Warner Bros. records. Crow has also stacked her 2018 calendar with an aggressive tour. She began the year by filling in for an ailing Bonnie Raitt on a tour with fellow legend James Taylor, and earlier this summer, Crow toured solo in the U.K., then began July with four gigs in Canada followed by stops in Utah and Colorado before heading to Boise.
Crow has come a long way from her midwestern roots, where she majored in music education at the University of Missouri. A stint as a music teacher in a St. Louis suburb followed. That’s where local producer Jay Oliver took her under his wing; he introduced her to the world of writing commercial jingles. Crow migrated to Los Angeles in the late 1980s, where she sang backup during Michael Jackson’s infamous Bad
world tour. That led to numerous backup gigs for other recording artists. But in 1992, Crow took her first whack at a debut album. Unfortunately, her label didn’t see it as commercially viable and shelved the attempt. Instead of giving up, Crow joined a band of songwriters that called themselves the “Tuesday Music Club.” Ultimately, those same songwriters supported Crow on what would turn out to be her actual debut, suitably titled Tuesday Night Music Club
. Her breakout hits “All I Wanna Do,” “Leaving Las Vegas” and “Strong Enough” quickly followed.
After being universally accepted as a “viable” solo act, Crow next co-produced and released her self-titled second album, Sheryl Crow
(A&M Records), to rave reviews in 1996. The following year, she took home two Grammys for that album and the title of Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the barn burner “If It Makes You Happy.” This sensational acclaim was followed by a whirlwind of touring—not the least of which was playing select dates with The Rolling Stones on its Bridges to Babylon
Tour—and the timely follow-up of her next album The Globe Sessions
(A&M Records), a third studio offering that clocked in at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart and won Best Rock Album at the 1999 Grammys.
The millennium brought continued achievement for Crow and her music, but also more than a few twists and turns. In 2006, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent a lumpectomy and was treated with radiation therapy for several weeks. Cancer-free, she subsequently partnered with her personal surgeon, Dr. Kristi Funk, to open the Sheryl Crow Imaging Center in Los Angeles.
Then there’s Crow’s political advocacy. She spoke out adamantly on her disapproval of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and she performed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention before endorsing then-candidate Barack Obama. Crow is also an outspoken advocate for the environment and stricter gun control.
Fierce as ever, and with more tour dates filling the rest of her summer, Crow is a hallmark name in popular music. A full quarter century since her “All I Wanna Do” breakthrough, her sound and persona prove time and again that she’s a fearless force who has staked a claim in rock n’ roll history.