The singer — who will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Friday — said the Grammy-winning track from her 1996 album was a "message" to the men she worked with on her first album.
Sheryl Crow is taking a look back at the making of her 1996 hit, “If It Makes You Happy.”
In an interview with People, the singer recalled how “having to defend” herself from criticism of her first album inspired the Grammy-winning song.
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Crow, now 61, wrote the songs on her 1996 debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club, with several male musicians, and together they were known as the “Tuesday Music Club.” Since they wrote the record as a group, several of Crow’s cowriters shared songwriting credits with her. This caused many to criticize her success as she wasn’t the sole writer.
“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,'” Crow recalled to People. “It was a very sexist moment in the history of music.”
However, the nine-time Grammy winner used the backlash as fuel for her second album, Sheryl Crow, which featured the hit “If I Makes You Happy.” Crow wrote the rock song with collaborator Jeff Trott. According to People, Trott was behind the chorus: “If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?”
“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,” Crow said. “That was basically the impetus for the song.”
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She went on to reflect on how the song’s message has changed with time, telling People, “Through the years has redefined itself as, quit complaining everybody. Look at the joy in your life.”
Crow — who will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Friday — has recorded 11 albums. While she previously stated that her 2019’s Threads would be her final record, she told People she has another completed album on the way.
“I said I was never putting out another album, but there are several songs on that that I feel like are, to me, the best songs I’ve ever written,” she said. “I’m excited! 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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