When Sheryl Crow made the journey from Missouri to California in 1986, she had little more than big dreams on her side. Oh, and a helluva voice, along with a fairly phenomenal knack for music. Within a couple of years, Crow was on world tours with Michael Jackson and Don Henley as a backing vocalist. Carving out a niche as a songwriter, Crow also got some cuts recorded by Wynonna Judd and Celine Dion.
Come 1991, Crow had connected with producer Hugh Padgham and landed a deal with A&M Records. They took a stab at making a record, but it turned out way too slick. The label shelved the set and gave her a second shot with Kevin Gilbert. The pair pulled producer-engineer Bill Bottrell and singer-songwriter David Baerwald into the mix and started weekly Tuesday night jam sessions.
When all was said and done, what emerged was Crow's debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club, which turned out to be a massive hit. Released in late 1993, the album took its time finding its footing and Crow stayed on the road for two years straight. Once it hit, though, all bets were off. Smash singles included “Can’t Cry Anymore,” “Strong Enough,” “All I Wanna Do,” and “Leaving Las Vegas.” Crow brought home three Grammy awards and sold seven million records along the way.
To put any doubters in their place, Crow produced her eponymous sophomore effort which dropped in 1996. It was edgier and more eclectic, and showed that she had what it takes to make hits. The record went multi-platinum thanks to the success of “If It Makes You Happy,” “Every Day Is a Winding Road,” “Home,” and "A Change Would Do You Good." Two more Grammy trophies were added to her collection.
After a run with the virgin Lilith Fair tour, Crow continued to push herself on 1998's The Globe Sessions. Here, crisp melodies were fastened to brooding lyrics on tunes like “My Favorite Mistake” and “Anything But Down.” Another platinum album, another Grammy Award. (She also won a Grammy for her rendition of “Sweet Child o' Mine” off the Big Daddy soundtrack.)
By now, Crow had accumulated a lot of hits and even more friends. So, she combined them for 1999's Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live in Central Park which included Dixie Chicks, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and others. Although the album failed to even reach gold, Crow won yet another Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal.
While she waged war with writer's block, Crow collaborated with Stevie Nicks and Kid Rock on various projects. Then, in 2002, she was back with the C'mon, C'mon which entered the charts at number two. Summer-loving hits “Soak Up the Sun” and “Steve McQueen” led the charge up the singles chart.
Three more years would pass before Crow issued Wildflower, another artistic adventure that picked up where The Globe Sessions left off in the introspective department. The airy effort yielded some great songs and two minor hits in “Good Is Good” and “Always on Your Side,” which Crow re-recorded as a duet with Sting.
A bout with breast cancer delayed Crow's next creative endeavor, 2008's aptly titled Detours. Wildly eclectic, the collection ranges from mild, acoustic ballads to jacked-up rockers to smooth, soul-tinged grooves. “Love Is Free” was the first track out, but was hardly the best cut of the set.
With that taste of soul on her tongue, Crow ventured into 100 Miles from Memphis in 2010, bringing Justin Timberlake, Keith Richards, and Citizen Cope along with her. For 2012, Crow teamed up with filmmaker Barry Levinson for the stage musical adaptation of Diner.