You Say It's Your Birthday: Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow is celebrating her 36th birthday today. Best-known for such

songs as "All I Wanna Do," "Leaving Las Vegas" and "If It Makes You Happy,"

Crow was responsible for putting late '60s Rolling Stonesesque blues rock

back at the top of the charts when she made her debut in 1993. Born and

raised in Kennett, Mo., the daughter of amateur musicians, Crow had her

first piano lesson at the age of 4 and could play songs by ear at age 6. By

the age of 13, she was composing her own songs, and she joined her first band

when she was 16. Crow earned a degree from the University of Missouri with

a major in music composition, performance and teaching in 1984. Armed with

her degree, she spent two years teaching music to autistic children at an

elementary school in St. Louis. In 1986, Crow packed up her life and moved

to Los Angeles in order to chase her dreams of becoming a musician. She

started to get some work as a singer in commercials, but her first big break was when she landed a slot as a

backup singer for Michael Jackson on his Bad tour in 1987. At the

conclusion of the Bad tour, Crow did backing-vocal duties in the

studio for such artists as Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, Don Henley and

Sting. She began to pursue her own music at Henley's encouragement and

started hanging out with a group of musicians on Tuesday nights -- a crew of

artists after whom she named her debut album, 1993's Tuesday Night Music

Club.

Crow's debut album battled its way into the #3 slot on the

Billboard album charts in 1994 based on the success of its

singles, "Leaving Las Vegas," "All I Wanna Do," "Strong Enough" and

"Run Baby Run." No other woman at that time, apart from Bonnie Raitt, was

capturing the loose blues-rock spirit of the Rolling Stones at their peak,

and Crow had great success with that formula. In 1996, Crow released a

self-titled sophomore effort, which many critics panned because Crow

elected to make the album without her ol' buddies in the Tuesday Night

Music Club. Critics aside, the album went on to be a success, spawning hit

singles in the form of "If It Makes You Happy," "A Change" and "Every Day Is

A Winding Road." In 1997, Crow appeared on the massively successful Lilith

Fair tour and sang the theme to the James Bond film "Tomorrow Never

Dies."

Other birthdays: Bobby "Boris" Pickett, 60, and D'Angelo, 24.