Music superstar Sheryl Crow has never shied away from facing issues head-on, especially when that means being one of the few voices speaking out on a controversial subject, because that’s just who she is, and always has been.
One of those controversial subjects is gun control, and she’s dismayed that so few artists in Nashville, where she makes her home, have spoken publicly on the issue.
“There’s no one that I know of in the popular country world that is willing to step out and really to take a stand on this, and that’s really unfortunate,” Sheryl recently told “The Guardian” in a interview. “You would think after Vegas we would see some leadership from our country community. But all I can say about that is if there’s money involved, and fear, these conversations come to a screeching halt.”
Of course, Sheryl is referring to the devastating mass shooting that occurred on Oct. 1 at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. “I hope there will be people who find a way out of their fear, who stick up for humanity as opposed to sticking with their fan base or the money that can come along with having those large crowds,” Sheryl added.
Sheryl routinely expresses her views on subjects such as politics and gun control on her various social media channels. A few country artists do the same, including Meghan Linsey, Chely Wright and the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines.
Yet, Sheryl wishes there were more.
“I think it’s fear-based, this fear of losing your audience, this fear of pissing off your audience,” she said. “My stance on it is very unpopular. I’m a person just like everyone else is, and I’m not above being really hurt. I want to see us do better. I want to see us as the country we were meant to be.”
And often, that means encouraging people to speak up more.
“As artists, I feel like we really have to show up in this, in all the areas that are hard for us,” Sheryl said. “We need to write songs that talk about these issues. We need to write songs about what’s happening in our communities — the injustices, the people who feel left out. Outside of Bruce Springsteen, who writes for these people? Our fans need to know that we care about them.”
Of course, Vegas is just one of the many mass shootings that have rocked not only Sheryl but also countless of other Americans in recent years. In fact, Sheryl says she still struggles to know what and what not to say to her two young sons these days about the state of the world.
So sometimes, she lets the music do the talking.
Sheryl wrote her new song, “The Dreaming Kind,” to let out her feelings in the wake of the Vegas tragedy, but now the song is being used to benefit the Sandy Hook Promise initiative, which is helping protect children from gun violence.
“It’s a horrible feeling for my kids to not even be able to know what happened at Sandy Hook for fear they’ll walk into school and think they’re not in a safe place, or that mom will go to work and there’s a chance she may not come home if there’s somebody in the audience with a gun,” said Sheryl about the shooting that killed 26 adults and children back in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. She adds that contributing a song to the Sandy Hook nonprofit is “an opportunity to be proactive in a way that’s completely non-political, that’s completely compassion-based”.