Through the earliest part of her career, Crow spent her days as an elementary school music teacher and her nights playing music with other locals in the small town of Fenton, Missouri. She made a short-term living writing jingles, even selling her music to Toyota and McDonalds. In 1987, Crow hit the big time as a touring backup vocalist for Michael Jackson, which in turn led to her recording backing vocals with artists such as Belinda Carlisle and Stevie Wonder. After several years spent out of the limelight, Sheryl Crow’s star emerged in 1993, supported by the singles “All I Wanna Do,” “Strong Enough,” and “Leaving Las Vegas.” Her debut album earned Crow three Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and secured her status as a major label recording artist.
Crow has released six additional albums since, selling a grand total of 35 million records. Throughout her career, she has proven her ability to reinvent herself as a songwriter, shedding her perceived skin as a straightforward pop singer and returning to her folk and country roots, channeling the lyrical voices of her idols, such as Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Crow has helped instill hope and inspiration in countless listeners, but her most truly memorable work has revolved around her charitable efforts and activism. She donated a significant portion of the revenue from every ticket sold for her 2008 tour to the United Nations World Food Programme. In 2010, she contributed music to a compilation supporting women’s rights in the Republic of Congo.
Crow’s biggest contribution relates to a cause of dear importance to her. In 2006, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. No match for Crow’s fighting spirit, her cancer has since gone into remission. Crow has devoted much of her time, money, and talents to working towards a cure for cancer and promoting awareness and women’s health initiatives. She performed a free concert in support of Stand Up To Cancer, and another to help build the Sunnybrook Breast Cancer Centre in Canada. She later joined forces with Sting to help fund an expansion of the Sunnybrook Hospital.
Sheryl Crow has shown the remarkable power of music to make a difference. With her unique ability to unite a vast and diverse audience, she has proven that any problem can be solved with devoted action led by a unifying voice.