After six months cancer free, Sheryl Crow forges ahead with new album, new business plans and a new hope
HOLLYWOOD — Having survived her own bout with breast cancer, nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow has become a tireless inspiration for others, raising $250,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and moving ahead with a new album, more Grammy nominations and a shot at an Oscar.
The news is timely since the American Cancer Society this week attributed “early detection and education” as key factors in the most dramatic decline in cancer deaths in its history. While hers is one voice among many, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation says it counts, especially among young women.
“I am in a rarified position in that I have these young women who come to my show and breast cancer with women between 20 and 35 is a whole different beast,” said Crow. “The statistics are higher and the death rate is much higher.” Crow underwent radiotherapy last year after announcing she had breast cancer in June.
“I had my sixth month cancer free so I’m healthy and happy,” Crow told Hollywood Today. “I’ve had a really interesting year because even though this is a highly personal issue, I chose to go public in hope of possibly saving someone’s life.”
“Sheryl came to us with the deepest commitment to the cause of educating women about self-exams with a special focus on young women,” said a Breast Cancer Research Foundation spokesperson when she revealed that Crow had not only raised awareness but a hefty quarter-million dollars for them. “She is always looking for ways to further raise awareness and include the Foundation in her plans.”
Quickly moving ahead since her clean bill of health, Crow will develop an apparel and accessory line that will “reflect her lifestyle and commitment to social responsibility” according to a spokesperson for Los Angeles-based Brand Sense Partners.
Furthermore, while Crow is no stranger to red carpets, she may have a chance to march down her first one as an Oscar nominee this year. Her song “Try Not to Remember” was nominated for a recent Golden Globe for best song in a motion picture and may repeat at the Academy Awards.
Crow said that when director Irwin Winkler gave her an opportunity to write an anti-war song for “Home of the Brave,” she could not turn down it down. She said the song was not only about the war in Iraq, against which she has been very vocal, but also the Vietnam War and learning from past mistakes.
“I looked at it from the standpoint of how did we get here (in Iraq) again? We were already there with the Vietnam War. What is it that as evolved people, we didn’t learn and ended up right back in the same situation?”
“We’d rather not revisit that dark moment in our history,” Crow added. “Hence the idea: ‘trying not to remember.’ Yet if you don’t reflect on your past you’re doomed to repeat it.”
While the film was not well-received the song was, though would be a longshot against offerings from the popular “Dreamgirls” soundtrack.
Politics and cancer aside, Crow will be performing publicly again in 2007. Her upcoming concerts kick off with an appearance at the Rodeo Houston Championship Round on March 7. The country venue fits with the direction which she hopes to take with her next album, which she says will be self-produced, “I’m working in Nashville on an old school country record in the style of the Carter family.”
She remarked the country twist is not such a big departure from her folksy rock standards. “A lot of the stuff I’ve written like ‘If It Makes You Happy’ are just country songs. I’m in that world of trying to strip it down and make something that feels honest and steeped in American influence.”
In addition, even her birthday on February 11 isn’t a day of rest from fundraising. Crow’s fans get together each year for to give her special gift for her birthday – proceeds from a charity run for a pet cause of Crow’s, the Delta Children’s Home.
She might get another present or two that day as that’s when this year’s Grammy Awards are given out. She’s up for two more Recording Academy statuettes for “You Can Close Your Eyes” and her duet with Sting, “Always on Your Side.”
Finally, some songs from her latest album “Wildflower,” which she completed while undergoing cancer treatment, will be played in front of a live audience at the Houston show for the first time. And as always she will touch many with her music, and maybe in the process, even save a few lives.