Sheryl Crow on her final album, #MeToo and being an outsider in the 1990s

Since she gave up teaching high school students and became a musician, Sheryl Crow has sold more than 50 million albums, recorded a James Bond theme, won nine Grammy Awards and played at the White House.

Beyond music, she’s an environmental and gun law campaigner, a breast cancer survivor, and an adoptive mother to two young boys (who, delightfully, joined her on stage at Glastonbury this summer).

Her place in the rock firmament is so assured that it’s strange to hear her reflect how out-of-place she felt at the start of her career.

“I came out when everything was grunge and I felt like a man without a country,” Crow tells the BBC.

“All the cool kids were hanging out with Beck and Courtney Love and Kurt [Cobain] and Eddie Vedder – and I was over here,” she says, gesturing to the furthest corner of her London hotel room.

But in that corner, she found the “older generation” – Eric Clapton, Don Henley, Ronnie Wood – who recognised a kindred spirit, steeped in songcraft and storytelling, and invited her into their world.

“To me, that’s the mothership,” she says. “It felt like, you know, I’d been asked to the prom! And I really wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Crow’s career has been filled with connections like these, from her early days as Michael Jackson’s backing singer (he’d throw sweets at her over the dressing room wall) to joining The Eagles, Prince and Bob Dylan on stage as their equal.

She was even considered to replace Christine McVie on Fleetwood Mac’s 2003 world tour, before guitarist Lindsey Buckingham shot the idea down.

“Well, I felt like if there was gonna be bad blood when I joined, that perhaps maybe I shouldn’t,” Crow later told Howard Stern. “I didn’t want to upset something that was already beautiful.”

Crow’s career has been filled with connections like these, from her early days as Michael Jackson’s backing singer (he’d throw sweets at her over the dressing room wall) to joining The Eagles, Prince and Bob Dylan on stage as their equal.

She was even considered to replace Christine McVie on Fleetwood Mac’s 2003 world tour, before guitarist Lindsey Buckingham shot the idea down.

“Well, I felt like if there was gonna be bad blood when I joined, that perhaps maybe I shouldn’t,” Crow later told Howard Stern. “I didn’t want to upset something that was already beautiful.”

 

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