Although I have been a fan of Sheryl Crow’s since her solo debut in Tuesday Night Music Club, and later on I realized that I had been somewhat familiar with her thanks to her work as a backup vocalist for both Michael Jackson and (more happily) Don Henley , it slipped my mind that Sheryl Crow was in fact eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. As one of the leading ladies of the Adult Alternative movement of the mid-90’s and someone who still makes great music today, a rare artist that has managed to achieve both critical and commercial appeal throughout the course of her lengthy career and managed to demonstrate a great ability to work with others, there is no question as to her worthiness of being in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. That said, she was not nominated for the 2019 class, an unusually busy class in which seven artists were inducted, and so it remains to be seen how long it is before she receives her due given the large backlog of worthy acts that have yet to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Be that as it may, Sheryl Crow is definitely a standout among female rock acts that have yet to be nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The Influence Of Sheryl Crow
As far as musicians go, Sheryl Crow is a consummate professional whose ability to work well with others allowed her to move from being a talented backup singer to achieving success with her debut album and maintaining that success over the following quarter century thus far. In an age that rewards youth, Sheryl Crow began her career with a high degree of experience and managed to preserve that savvy and build upon it. Without ever having been the most famous singer in the world, she has demonstrated a deft touch with covers and smartly written original tunes that have cared out a niche in mainstream and adult alternative and even country with songs that have a high degree of rootsiness and authenticity. Whether we look at her role as one of the standard bearers for adult alternative in the mid-to-late 1990’s when she released several successful albums, to her collaborations with other artists, of which there are many, it is clear that Sheryl Crow was someone who valued the ability to work well with others and used her talent and amiability to help her own career out by building bridges with a wide array of artists with whom she could trade features and backing vocals and instrumental work on various projects. A career-minded artist can do far worse than look at Sheryl Crow’s career as a template to make it in the tough music business, and not much better.
Why Sheryl Crow Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
As someone with a high degree of both critical appeal, as evidenced by her massive slew of awards including more than a handful of Grammys as well as awards as diverse as the American Country Music, People’s Choice, Billboard, and BRIT awards , and considerable popular appeal as demonstrated by hit singles and album sales, and also someone who has a massive list of collaborations with other artists, Sheryl Crow has without a doubt made a massive influence on the music world. Her first five studio albums went at least platinum (the first two multi-platinum) and she has a gold-selling (if not certified) life album and a multi-platinum compilation album as well. With three pop top tens (“All I Wanna Do,” “Strong Enough,” and “If It Makes You Happy”) and an additional six pop top 40 hits as a solo artist (“Can’t Cry Anymore,” “Every Day Is A Winding Road,” “My Favorite Mistake,” “Soak Up The Sun,” a cover of “First Cut Is The Deepest” and a duet with Sting on “Always On Your Side ,”along with at least one additional top ten collaboration (with Kid Rock on “Picture”), she has the hits that make it worthwhile for her induction. And her duets with others and her background work in helping make the music of others better is just as impressive, including such artists as Salt-N-Pepa, Stevie Nicks, Michelle Branch, Brooks & Dunn, Bob Segar, Vince Gill, Darius Rucker, the Counting Crows, John Mayer, Dixie Chicks, Fleetwood Mac, Ryan Adams, Prince, Amy Grant, and many, many others . Without a question Sheryl Crow has influenced the music of others whether through her own hits, her songwriting, and her instrument playing and backing vocals for other musicians. She not only has a well-regarded and immensely successful collection of solo albums but a long list of successful collaborations with others. If that’s not influence, I don’t know what is.
Why Sheryl Crow Isn’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
She’s a somewhat new act in terms of eligibility, and there are many acts that have not been inducted that are worthy, but when it comes to the women of Rock & Roll, she deserves her chance, and soon. If too many years go by without her induction, it will be a great shame that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has been slow in honoring the many talented ladies of rock, including Sheryl Crow.
Verdict: Put her in, and sooner rather than later.