Waters performing in 2012
|Known for||Queen of House|
Crystal Waters (born November 19, 1967) is an American house and dance music singer and songwriter, best known for her 1990s dance hits "Gypsy Woman" "100% Pure Love" and 2009's Destination Calabria with Alex Gaudino. All three of her studio albums produced a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. In December 2016, Billboard magazine ranked her as one of the most successful dance artists of all-time. Her accolades include 6 ASCAP Songwriter Awards, three American Music Award nominations, an MTV Video Music Award nod, four Billboard Music Awards and 12 #1 Billboard Dance Chart hits.
Life and career
Born in Camden, New Jersey, Waters is the daughter of Betty and Junior Waters, a famed jazz musician; her great aunt, Ethel Waters, was one of the first black American vocalists to appear in mainstream Hollywood musicals. Her family moved to New Jersey for a while but they again moved to Washington, D.C.. At age eleven she began writing poetry and took her writing seriously enough to be inducted into the Poetry Society of America when she was 14, the youngest person ever to receive that honor.
She studied business and computer science at Howard University, but her creative work dropped off as she found less time for it. After earning her college degree in 1989, Waters secured a job as a computer technician with the Washington, D.C. parole board, making a living that would support her two daughters. One of her daughters is singer-songwriter Ella Nicole.
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Waters' first job in the music world was as a backup singer at a local recording studio. She realized she wanted the creative control of writing her own music. Meeting the Basement Boys at a DC conference, they agreed to collaborate. Waters' self-described style was jazz and the Basement Boys was house. The first two songs she wrote for the 'Boys were "Makin' Happy" and Gypsy Woman.
With her 1994 follow-up album Storyteller, Waters made a mainstream comeback with her hit single "100% Pure Love," which hit number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart, and became one of the longest-charting singles on the Hot 100 at 45 weeks ("Gypsy Woman" had remained on the chart for 16 weeks). Along with the single, her second album Storyteller, sold over 1,000,000 copies in the United States.
In 2007, the mega European hit "Destination Calabria," by Alex Gaudino featuring vocals by Crystal Waters, went to #1 on the European Pop Chart in over 30 countries. The track is a mashup, taking the instrumental from Rune's "Calabria" and the vocals from Alex Gaudino's and Crystal Waters' "Destination Unknown," both originally released in 2003. It was produced with the help of Maurizio Nari and Ronnie Milani (Nari & Milani), matching the saxophone hook/riff from "Calabria" to Crystal Waters' voice. "Destination Calabria" was released as a 12 inch single by Italian label Rise Records, and as a CD single, on 19 March 2007, by British label Data Records. It originally charted in Australia in February 2004 peaking at #98 under the title "Destination Unknown" before being re-released as "Destination Calabria" and reaching #2 in 2007.
In 2012, “Le Bump,” with Yolanda Be Cool, gave Waters another #1 on the Beatport House Chart.
With DJ Chris Cox in 2013, the #1 Billboard Dance Chart Hit "Mama Hey" was listed as one of Billboard's "Top 50 Dance Songs of 2013."
In November 2015, Waters released "Synergy," and in October 2016 she released "Believe." Both songs quickly rose to the # 1 spot on the Billboard Dance Chart.
Her 2017 single, "Testify," with Hifi Sean, was released on Defected Records and went straight to the A-List on BBC Radio and garnered another #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart.
Her third collaboration with Sted-E & Hybrid Heights "I Am House" reached #1 in the club charts in Spring 2018, giving Waters a total of twelve #1 singles in the Billboard Dance Club charts.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
|1998||The Best of Crystal Waters
|2001||Gypsy Woman – The Collection
|2001||20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Crystal Waters
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|1992||"You Turn Me On"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Encino Man soundtrack|
|1994||"100% Pure Love"||11||1||2||26||—||33||30||15||44||20||15||Storyteller|
|"What I Need"||82||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1996||"In de Ghetto"
(with David Morales & The Bad Yard Club)
|"The Boy from Ipanema"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Red Hot + Rio|
|1997||"Say... If You Feel Alright"||40||6||—||—||—||—||—||—||32||—||45||Crystal Waters|
|"Just a Freak"
(with Dennis Rodman)
|2001||"Come On Down"||—||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||DJ Escape: Party Time 2002|
|"Nights in Egypt"
|—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Various Artists: Club Base Vol. 9|
|—||1||18||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||22||My Time: Remix EP|
(with Alex Gaudino)
|"Lies"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||DJ Boom: Electro Compilation|
(with Alex Gaudino)
|—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Dancefloor: Remix EP|
|2009||"Never Enough"||—||20||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||non-album single|
|"Gypsy Woman 2009"
(vs. Tristan Garner)
|—||—||—||—||—||—||—||76||—||—||—||Gypsy Woman 2009: Remix EP|
|"Gypsy Woman 2010"
(vs. DJ Flava)
|2010||"When People Come Together"
(with Bellani & Spada)
(vs. Fred Pellichero)
(with Yolanda Be Cool)
(with Inaya Day Allstars)
|"Love I Call My Own"
(with Nicola Fasano & Steve Forest)
|—||18||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Love I Call My Own: Remix EP|
|2013||"Oh Mama Hey"
(with Chris Cox and DJ Frankie)
(with Armand Pena, Harry Romero, and Alex Alicea)
|"Gypsy Woman 2013"
(with Musique Boutique)
|—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Gypsy Woman 2013: Remix EP|
|—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Be Kind: Remix EP|
|2015||"Let Me Be the One"
(with David Tort & Nick Marsh)
(with Sted-E & Hybrid Heights)
(featuring Sted-E & Hybrid Heights)
(Hifi Sean featuring Crystal Waters)
|2018||"I Am House"
(with Sted-E and Hybrid Heights)
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
Awards and nominations
|1991||"Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)"||American Music Awards||Favorite Single – Dance||Nominated|
|Herself||Favorite Artist – Dance||Nominated|
|Favorite New Artist – Dance||Nominated|
|1992||"Makin' Happy"||Billboard Music Video Awards||Best Dance Video - Female||Nominated|
|1994||Herself||Billboard Music Awards||Top Hot Dance Music Club Play Artist||Nominated|
|Top Hot Dance Music Maxi-Singles Sales Artist||Nominated|
|"100% Pure Love"||Top-Selling Hot Dance Music Club Play Single||Won|
|Top Hot Dance Music Maxi-Single Sales||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Dance Video||Nominated|
|Storyteller||Vibe's Music Poll||Best Album – Club/Dance||Won|||
|2004||"My Time" (with Dutch)||International Dance Music Awards||Best House/Garage Dance Track||Nominated|
|The listed years are of the annual ceremonies, usually held the following year.|
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart
- "Greatest of All Time Top Dance Club Artists". Billboard Music. 27 August 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
39 -- Crystal Waters
- "The Story of Crystal Waters' "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)"". Thump. vice.com. 8 April 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
My family were very musical. My great aunt, Ethel Waters, was a very famous actor and singer in the 1940s, and my father was a jazz musician for his entire life. My uncle was the lead saxophonist with MSFB, if you remember them? I grew up with all of that, and there were rehearsals in our house, and I'd go on tour with my father in the summers, so the musician's lifestyle was just part of my life.
- "Billboard > Artists / Crystal Waters > Chart History > The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- Paoletta, Michael (2004-05-01) "Where Have All the Divas Gone?" Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) Retrieved 2011-03-16.
- "Billboard > Artists / Crystal Waters > Chart History > Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
- Top 50 peaks: "australian-charts.com > Crystal Waters in Australian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- Top 100 peaks to December 2010: Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
- "Ghetto Day": "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 30 Oct 1994". imgur.com. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "austriancharts.at > Crystal Waters in der Österreichischen Hitparade" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Crystal Waters – Surprise (album)". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "dutchcharts.nl > Crystal Waters in Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "hitparade.ch > Crystal Waters in der Schweizer Hitparade" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-27. Retrieved 2018-11-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Crystal Waters Chart History – Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
- "lescharts.com > Crystal Waters dans les Charts Français" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- German singles chart peaks:
- "Gypsy Woman (La Da Dee La Da Da)": "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman (La Da Dee La Da Da) (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "100% Pure Love": "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Crystal Waters – 100% Pure Love (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "Destination Calabria": "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Alex Gaudino feat. Crystal Waters – Destination Calabria (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "The Irish Charts – All there is to know > Search results for Crystal Waters (from irishcharts.ie)". imgur.com. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "charts.org.nz > Crystal Waters in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "Official Charts > Crystal Waters". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 388. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for Crystal Waters (from bpi.co.uk)". imgur.com. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1994". Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. Archived from the original on 2015-10-25. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- "Official Charts > David Morales & Bad Yard Club". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- Music 94 Poll Results, 3 (2), Vibe Media Group, March 1995, ISSN 1070-4701,
Club/Dance: Best Album - "Storyteller" - Crystal WatersCS1 maint: Date and year (link)