Over two decades after Walmart banned Sheryl Crow’s album from its stores because of a song lyric referencing its 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.”
Sheryl Crow out and about
Sheryl Crow out and about
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Sheryl Crow visits Music Choice on April 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - APRIL 22: Sheryl Crow performs in concert in The Showroom at Tropicana Casino & Resort on April 22, 2017 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: 'Sing it Like Sheryl' Sheryl Crow with fans on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured: Sheryl Crow -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Sheryl Crow performs on NBC's 'Today' Show at Rockefeller Plaza on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Sheryl Crow enters when she performs on NBC's 'Today' Show at Rockefeller Plaza on April 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow performs during the 63rd Annual Ad Council Public Service Award dinner at The Waldorf=Astoria on November 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 06: Sheryl Crow attends the #BlogHer16 Experts Among Us conference at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on August 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
QUEBEC CITY, QC - JULY 12: Sheryl Crow performs during the 2016 Festival D'ete De Quebec on July 12, 2016 in Quebec City, Canada. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
MATCH GAME - Airdate: July 24, 2016 - The iconic panel game show MATCH GAME, hosted by Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin, returns to primetime airing on SUNDAYS (10-11pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) SHERYL CROW
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 27: Musical artists Colbie Caillat, Paul Beaubrun, and Sheryl Crow attend the 1st Annual Nashville Shines for Haiti concert benefiting J/P Haitian Relief Organization - Day 2 hosted by Johnathon Arndt and Newman Arndt on April 27, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Haiti Shines)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 07: Sheryl Crow is seen on June 07, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ignat/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Sheryl Crow performs onstage during 31st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Singer Sheryl Crow attends the 24th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar viewing party on February 28, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: Sheryl Crow and Scott Hamilton attend the Feeding America Kick Off for Hunger Action Month at the Second Harvest Food Bank Of Middle Tennessee on September 9, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Feeding America)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 19: Sheryl Crow is seen at LAX on July 19, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 26: Musicians Doyle Bramhall II (L) and Sheryl Crow perform on stage during 'Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years' at ACL Live on June 26, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)
AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 26: Musician Sheryl Crow performs on stage during 'Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years' at ACL Live on June 26, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17: Sheryl Crow is seen at LAX on July 17, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
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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.”