People

Sheryl Crow admits feeling like an outsider at the beginning of her career

Posted by
Lauren Geall
Published
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites
Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow is considered an icon of the music industry – but she hasn’t always felt so included. 

Sheryl Crow has won nine Grammy Awards, received 32 Grammy nominations, launched a campaign to get young people voting, overcome breast cancer and sold more than 50 million albums since she started her music career back in the 90s. And it doesn’t seem like that number is going to stop growing anytime soon.

On Friday, the singer songwriter released her 11th album, Threads, which she said would be her last. But with a back catalogue of classic songs and a continued appetite for song-writing, Crow isn’t disappearing into retirement just yet.  

“I’m sure I’ll keep making music, because I’m just one of those people that can’t not write,” Crow told the BBC. “Particularly being my age, with my young boys, it’s a real honour to be able to go out and play music – because it doesn’t happen for everyone and I’ve been on the real blessed end of things.”

However, Crow hasn’t always felt so accepted. In a new interview with the BBC, the music icon revealed how she felt like an outsider when she started her career in the 1990’s, saying she “felt like a man without a country”. 

Sheryl Crow at Glastonbury
Sheryl Crow during her performance at Glastonbury 2019

“I came out when everything was grunge… All the cool kids were hanging out with Beck and Courtney Love and Kurt [Cobain] and Eddie Vedder – and I was over here,” Crow explained.

While she eventually found acceptance in “the older generation,” with the likes of Eric Clapton, Don Henley and Ronnie Wood, the beginnings of her career have meant she’s always had a special place in her heart for those who dare to push boundaries. 

You may also like

8 trailblazing female poets you need to add to your reading list, immediately

In a previous interview with Official Charts, Crow admitted that she loves ‘Old Town Road’ – Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ number one single – because it defied country radio (the single had originally been refused from Billboard’s country charts because the song didn’t fit the expectations of the genre before Cyrus got on board).

“That song is a tried and true strong melody, a memorable lyric,” Crow said. “I love that not only did it defy country radio, but that Billy Ray Cyrus forced their hand with it. It proves a point that there is room for everything.”

She continued: “In the old days, country music – just like every other format – was kind of formulaic… I remember being told early on, ‘You should do a country record, you’ve inspired so many country female singers’. It didn’t take me long to realise it wouldn’t be as simple as that. Not only do they not play females, they don’t play anyone who is an outsider.”

Sheryl Crow performing
Sheryl Crow: “I think the good thing about the #MeToo movement is that it’s giving permission to women to be taken seriously.”

In her interview with the BBC, Crow also praised the women spearheading the industry in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement.

“I think the good thing about the #MeToo movement is that it’s giving permission to women to be taken seriously,” she explained, adding that she is inspired by the one and only Ariana Grande, who has “shipped out two records… dropped another song, and then another.

“It’s like, anything goes.”

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Getty

Topics

Share this article

Author

Lauren Geall

Recommended by Lauren Geall

Life

Mariah Carey’s BBMA speech about feeling like an “outsider” is incredibly powerful

"I still feel like that lost interracial girl who had a lot of nerve to believe I could succeed"

Posted by
Hollie Richardson
Published
People

Rose McGowan on leaving Hollywood behind and being an outsider in the wake of #MeToo

You’re only as sick as your secrets, says the actor and activist

Posted by
Anna Fielding
Published
People

Lupita Nyong’o on Black Panther, #MeToo and female representation

“I don’t like boxes. I define myself”

Posted by
Helen Bownass
Published
Life

Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis says some men in the music industry “refuse” to deal with her

It's time for the music industry to address its sexism.

Posted by
Sarah Shaffi
Published
Life

Glastonbury 2019: All the amazing women to watch at this year's festival

As organisers attempt to ensure a greater gender balance in the lineup, here are the female performers to catch this weekend.

Posted by
Lauren Geall
Published