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Sheryl Crow: ‘I’m really careful’

Sheryl Crow was in New York City this week presenting the T.J. Martell Foundation humanitarian award to former President Bill Clinton. The foundation raises money for AIDS and cancer research.  Bill Clinton has done an amazing amount of fundraising for AIDS.
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Sheryl Crow was in New York City this week presenting the T.J. Martell Foundation humanitarian award to former President Bill Clinton. The foundation raises money for AIDS and cancer research.  Bill Clinton has done an amazing amount of fundraising for AIDS.  Sheryl Crow is a breast cancer survivor and is also very involved in politics.

I asked her how her life changed since her cancer diagnosis on "Scarborough Country."

This is a transcript of our conversation:

SHERYL CROW, MUSICIAN:  Any time you’re given a diagnosis or your life is changed by an epiphanal moment, that really sort of redefines how you approach the rest of your life.

Obviously, we’ve seen a lot of catastrophes go on in our country this year, with people losing their homes in Katrina, and those are the moments where you really redefine what your life is going to look like. 

And it seems as though everything stands still and life doesn’t look or feel the same again.  And, obviously, my cancer was caught so early that my message, really, to women of all ages, even young women, is self-examinations, knowing your family history, and making sure you’re diligent about getting your mammograms, because that’s really why I escaped having to have chemo or further treatment so far.  I’m six months clear. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let’s talk about politics.  You and Bill Clinton also have something some common.  You’ve been campaigning in your home state of Missouri.  Tell me about it.

CROW:  Yes.  Well, there's a big race in Missouri.  I’m from southern Missouri.  I grew up in Kennett.  And a senatorial race right now between Jim Talent and Claire McCaskill is very heated up, and I think it’s really one of the Senate elections to watch throughout the country. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you feel a responsibility as a musician, as a public figure, to be involved in politics, or would you be doing the same thing were you still a school teacher in Missouri? 

CROW:  Absolutely.  I was involved in politics when I was a school teacher and John Ashcroft was in office.  There was a lot of legislation passed in Missouri that cut funding for teachers and for classrooms.  And so I’ve always been extremely involved in it.  And when I turned 18, I was thrilled to be able to vote. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you get a lot of brush-back from fans for being involved in politics? 

CROW:  I do.  But, for the most part, I guess around President Bush’s election against Gore, I had quite a lot of information on my Web site that was heavily backed up.  In fact, I remember you talking about me on your show about what the difference was between what happened with the Dixie Chicks and what happened with me. 

And I’m really careful about the way I present my opinion, because I think for me it’s just more important that people really get the information and that they educate themselves and not just buy into what it is that’s constantly being battered around on TV. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Do you ever foresee doing a purely political CD? 

CROW:  I’ve written political songs in the past.  For instance, I wrote a song called “Redemption Day” that came out on my second or third record.  And it’s interesting, because people will hear it.  It's not like the old days where people felt like anthems were being written for them. 

I am more interested in doing it now, because I’m much more less consumed with what’s going on in pop radio.  I think what’s happening in our business—although I feel like it’s slightly karmic, it is what it is.  It’s a failing business.  And we have to figure out new ways to get what I feel like should be messages with integrity out to the American people, or to people in general, because the people are starving for it.  I think they really are ready for that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And let me ask you about the industry you’re in.  How have you been able to succeed in this type of environment when others haven’t? 

CROW:  Well, I think what’s going on in the music business is really reflective of the times.  There’s so much money in business that music now has become part of commerce.  The record labels now depend on advertising dollars coming through commercials and through TV programs.  And what we felt like in the old days was something you would never do, like selling out to a commercial, now has become the norm for getting your music heard, because radio will only play six or eight songs in an hour.  And then the next hour, they play six or eight songs, and it’s the same six or eight songs.

SCARBOROUGH:  Where do you want to be in the future?  Do you want to stay in the music industry?  Do you think you may ever get involved in politics?

CROW:  I’m going to run for president, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH: You want to run for president?

CROW:  I can say it right now.  I’m going to run for president.


SCARBOROUGH:  That is awesome.  What year? 

CROW:  Oh, jeez. By the time I run, the planet will have blown up. 

SCARBOROUGH:  No. Well, Florida may be underwater...

CROW:  Florida might be underwater.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, but what are you going to do? 

CROW:  I just am going to write about it; that’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to do what I know how to do, and that’s try to make some sense of it and try to give some sort of commentary to it.  And hopefully that will resonate with people, because I think we all experience the same emotions, and we are all experiencing what’s happening right now in the world as a collective. 

And I’m going to write about it, and I’m just going to try to maintain a modicum of peace in my personal life and integrity in my very public life, and go from there. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Sheryl.  Well, good luck.  Thanks so much. 

CROW:  Thank you.