More than two decades after Walmart banned Sheryl Crow’s album from its stores because of a song lyric referencing Walmart gun sales, the Grammy-winning artist is praising the retailer for its decision to stop selling certain weapons and ammunition.
“I think it’s awesome and I hope that other not only discount centers but stores across the nation will take some steps forward in taking some responsibility if our government’s not gonna do it,” the 57-year-old said on the BUILD Series Stage.
Crow’s praise comes just days after Walmart announced that it would no longer be selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition, and 23 years after she referenced the retailer’s sale of those weapons in a song. The 1996 album Sheryl Crow included a song titled “Love Is a Good Thing,” where the lyrics read: “Watch out sister / Watch out brother / Watch our children as they kill each other / With a gun they bought at the Walmart discount stores.”
At the time, Walmart decided to not carry the album as a result of the lyrics. Now, Crow points out that although the song faced pushback, it was important to her because it meant something.
“I always tell young artists, the importance of making an album is that you will have tracks that you write that will mean something to people that wouldn’t have been played on the radio. But that someday you’ll look back on and think, I’m glad I wrote that. And that’s one of those songs,” she shared. “I feel like, okay, it mattered then, it matters now. Music has the power to kind of galvanize a movement or to at least be the backdrop to a movement, so kudos to Walmart.”
The singer, who recently released her seventh studio album Threads, went on to acknowledge how the music industry has evolved in other ways since she put out her first album in 1993. Most notably, is the power that young female artists have gained during the #MeToo movement.
“I love that now we’re not on the bad side of history by pointing these things out. I wrote a song actually on my first record and I had to deal with a potential lawsuit and everything,” Crow said of both men and women coming forward with accusations. “You do have the platform now to voice discomfort, to voice incongruence, to point out the unfairness or the inequality. And I think you have a better opportunity now to be the captain of your ship than before.”
Throughout her career and the many evolutions in the music industry, however, Crow said that she’s worked hard to maintain who she is and what she stands for.
“I was raised to believe in God, and I also meditate. And that’s been a real lifesaver for me. I’m constantly seeking serenity and peace and understanding and wisdom,” she said. “I’m always trying to keep who I am intact, who I was born to be, and sometimes it’s more challenging than others. But I think that joy is something we have to take notice of and try to really pull that into our lives conscientiously.”
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