Music was my life when I was a kid. My earliest memory is singing as we drove through Missouri in our pale blue truck. Having parents who played swing bands meant that the house was full of dancing. Music was my identity; I never thought of any other future.
I skipped school at 15 to participate in a competition of better stages, and won. The contest was run by a local radio station. I don’t remember who was judging, a bunch of dirty old men I’m sure, but I walked proudly across that stage to victory. I may have been punished and detained, but I kept my $ 100 winnings.
Surviving breast cancer I redefined who and how I am, although I am not sure I recommend it. Until then, I had spent my life taking care of everyone around me. From then on, I started putting myself first. I had voices in the back of my head telling me that everything I did was not good enough. Now, finally, I have silenced them.
Never should I’ve been driving after long nights of partying while writing my first album. I was 29 years old and I was returning from Pasadena through the canyon to my house in Hollywood after too many drinks. I wish I could go back and confiscate the keys.
Being an excellent baton-twirler is a truly useless ability that gets you nowhere in life.
I could run a marathon With a pair of Yves Saint Laurent heels, you learn to fit in when you’re just under 5ft 4in. My height has never bothered me, but people think I’m taller because of the smoke and mirrors on stage. “You’re so short, Sheryl,” people often say when they first meet me. “Yes,” I reply, “I am aware.”
Our children will suffer for our inaction in the face of climate change. I am terrified for your future. We refuse to understand the magnitude of the problem, so we ignore it. It is what I tell my children about humanity that hurts the most. I’m raising them to be empathetic, to care about others. What will I say when they ask me why we let the world burn?
Be at the party it doesn’t bother me anymore. For me, motherhood trumps red carpets and awards. I became a father when I was older and had already achieved what I wanted in my life. Now my joy comes from raising these two wonderful people.
If I knew the secret for a happy relationship, I wouldn’t have gotten engaged three times and would somehow end up single. I’ve had amazing relationships, I’ve loved and been loved, but I’ve had a strange life with a job that kept me traveling. I am content and happy, but would I like someone to join our little family? Of course.
Eight years ago I was driving down a country road when a speeding car approached us. I turned the best I could and the other driver brushed past us. My friends and I sat in silence as death passed. I think a lot about why we were saved. I just thank the angels.
I’ve tried to be politically I would speak openly when I felt it mattered, but too often strangers would tell me to “shut up and sing along.” I heard that so many times that I started to do it, channeling my beliefs through my music.
you do not have to be a soul haunted and tortured to write a good song. It took me too long to learn that.
Live from the Ryman and More launches August 13 (sherylcrow.com)
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism