Sheryl Crow’s massive hit single If It Makes You Happy is an ode to the men in her life who soured the joy of her debut album.
The songstress has enjoyed a wildly successful music career since dropping Tuesday Night Music Club in 1993. Over the past 30 years, she’s released 11 studio albums, including three US chart-toppers and nine Grammy Award wins. In 2019, she announced that Threads would be her final record—but she admitted she has songs prepared for one more.
While talking to PEOPLE, Crow reflected on her most popular singles and shared how they came to be. Interestingly, If It Makes You Happy is a direct jab at a certain group of male musicians who helped Crow write Tuesday Night Music Club. Several of those men share writing credits on the album. And when she skyrocketed in fame, they made it a point to rain on her parade.
“There was a lot of speculation, mostly male writers, saying, ‘She didn’t write her own record. There were a bunch of guys in the room,’” she told the publication. “It was a very sexist moment in the history of music.”
Sheryl Crow Wants to Know Why ‘The Hell’ Her Album Made the Collaborators ‘So Sad’
When Sheryl Crow began writing for her second alum, which is self-titled, she worked with one of her trusted collaborators, Jeff Trott. He had already thought of a chorus directed at all the men who hurt Crow three years earlier—”If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you sad?”
She thought the words were perfect and crafted an entire song around them.
“It was a message to everybody that had been a part of the first record—while everybody’s making a ton of money off this record, I’m the one that’s having to defend myself. That was basically the impetus for the song,” she continued. “But it also through the years has redefined itself as, quit complaining everybody. Look at the joy in your life.”
Fortunately, Sheryl Crow got the last laugh by having a life well lived. And while she said she was done recording in 2019, as noted above, she may come back for an encore. The singer told PEOPLE that she had an album ready. But she’s not ready to make any official announcements quite yet.
“I said I was never putting out another album,” Crow admitted. “But there are several songs on that that I feel like are, to me, the best songs I’ve ever written.”
“I’m excited!” she continued. “You can never be too old to be excited. You can watch lines grow on your face, and you can watch some of your abs start to really disappear. But you’re never too old to get excited.”
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