Crystal Waters

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This article is about the musician. For the village, see Crystal Waters, Queensland.
Crystal Waters
Crystal Waters On Stage In Hampstead, QC Concert.JPG
Crystal Waters in 2014
Born (1964-10-10) October 10, 1964 (age 51)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Nationality American
Years active 1987–present
Musical career
Instruments Vocals

Crystal Waters (born November 19, 1964) is an American house music singer and songwriter, best known for her 1990s dance hits "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" and "100% Pure Love".

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 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 American Poetry Society 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 1985, Waters secured a job as a computer technician with the Washington, D.C. parole board, making a living that would support her two daughters.

Music career and legacy[edit]

Waters first approached the music world in 1987 as a behind-the-scenes worker, writing demos for a production team known as the Basement Boys, securing a writing contract with Mercury Records in 1989 and began penning songs for recording artists.

In one of her assignments Waters penned a song called "Gypsy Woman" for dance diva Ultra Naté and recorded a demo cut herself of the song. The producers were so taken by her rendition that they drew up a recording contract with her for that one song, never passing it on to Ultra Naté.

The song became a worldwide hit, memorable for its "la da dee, la dee da" refrain and its often sampled keyboard riff. The track reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and found even more success in Europe, reaching #2 on the UK Singles Chart. Scarcely a year after its release, a new version turned up on the Red Hot Organization's Red Hot + Dance AIDS fundraiser disc (1992, distributed by Sony Music), gaining its remixer (Joey Negro) his first real American exposure.

Despite some additional contributions by remixer Steve "Silk" Hurley, Waters' next releases were promoted only in the dance music markets, but she made an unexpected mainstream comeback in 1994 when the song "100% Pure Love" hit #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became one of the longest-charting singles on the Hot 100 at 45 weeks ("Gypsy Woman" remained on the chart for an average 16 weeks). Along with the single, the singer released her second album Storyteller, which sold over 284,000 copies in United States.[1]

Waters performing in 2013.

In 1996, Waters participated in the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Rio, which was produced by the Red Hot Organization, performing the song "The Boy From Ipanema".

Her 1997 self-titled album included another Top 40 US hit, "Say...If You Feel All Right," but mainstream success in the US has since eluded her. However, Waters remains successful on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play and the Hot Dance Airplay charts with recent hits like "Come On Down" (based on the theme song from The Price Is Right) and "My Time," both of which peaked at #1, the latter making top 40 in the UK. "Gypsy Woman"'s keyboard-chord was recently sampled on rapper T.I.'s 2006 mega-hit "Why You Wanna."

In 2007 Waters finally embarked on a world tour, performing sold out shows in Russia, Egypt, the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and Dubai, among other locations. Also that year her track "Destination Calabria" hit the Top 10 on the UK Singles Chart.

In May 2008, Waters issued the single "Dancefloor", giving Waters yet another Top 10 Dance hit.

"Never Enough" hit #20 on the US Dance Charts in February 2009.

On March 23, 2013—"Oh, Mama, Hey," by Chris Cox & DJ Frankie featuring Crystal Waters, reached #1 on the US Billboard Dance/Club Charts after eight weeks.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
1991 Surprise
  • Released: June 25, 1991
  • Label: Mercury
1994 Storyteller
  • Released: May 17, 1994
  • Label: Mercury
1997 Crystal Waters
  • Released: June 24, 1997
  • Label: Mercury Records/Polygram

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
1998 The Best of Crystal Waters
  • Released: August 11, 1998
  • Label: Universal/Polygram
2001 Gypsy Woman - The Collection
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Spectrum Music
2001 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Crystal Waters
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Mercury Records


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
US US Dance[2] UK
1991 "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" 8 1 2 11
  • UK: Silver
  • US: Gold
"Makin' Happy" 1 18
"Surprise" 35
"Megamix" Megamix!
1993 "You Turn Me On" Encino Man soundtrack
1994 "100% Pure Love" 11 1 15 2 Storyteller
"What I Need" 82 1
"Ghetto Day"
1995 "Relax" 1
1996 "In de Ghetto"
(with David Morales & The Bad Yard Club)
Non-album song
"The Boy from Ipanema" Red Hot + Rio
1997 "Say... If You Feel Alright" 40 6 Crystal Waters
"Just A Freak"
(with Dennis Rodman)
2001 "Come On Down" 1 DJ Escape: Party Time 2002
"Enough" Non-album song
"Nights In Egypt"
(with Sunseeker)
Various Artists: Club Base Vol. 9
2003 "My Time"
(with Dutch)
1 My Time: Remix EP
2004 "Destination Unknown"
(with Alex Gaudino)
Non-album song
"Lies" DJ Boom: Electro Compilation
2006 "Destination Calabria"
(with Alex Gaudino)
4 Non-album song
2008 "Dancefloor"
(with Speakerbox)
Dancefloor: Remix EP
2009 "Never Enough" 20 Non-album song
"Gypsy Woman 2009"
(vs. Tristan Garner)
Gypsy Woman 2009: Remix EP
"Gypsy Woman 2010"
(vs. DJ Flava)
Non-album song
2010 "When People Come Together"
(with Bellani & Spada)
Non-album song
2011 "Say Yeah"
(vs. Fred Pellichero)
Non-album song
"Le Bump"
(with Yolanda Be Cool)
Non-album song
"Masquerade" Non-album song
2012 "Long Day"
(with Inaya Day Allstars)
Non-album song
"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)
1 Non-album song
(with Armand Pena, Harry Romero, and Alex Alicea)
Non-album song
"Gypsy Woman 2013"
(with Musique Boutique)
Gypsy Woman 2013: Remix EP
2014 "Be Kind"
(with StoneBridge)
Be Kind: Remix EP
"Every Day"
(with Murk)
Non-album song
2015 "Let Me Be The One"
(with David Tort & Nick Marsh)
Non-album song
(with Sted-E & Hybrid Heights)
1[4] Non-album song

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award
1991 American Music Award nomination for Favorite Artist - Dance
1991 American Music Award nomination for Favorite Single - Dance ("Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)")
1991 American Music Award nomination for Favorite New Artist - Dance
1994 Billboard Music Award Won for Top-Selling Hot Dance Music Club Play Single for "100% Pure Love"
1994 Billboard Music Award nomination for Top Hot Dance Music Maxi-Singles Sales Artist
1994 Billboard Music Award nomination for Top Hot Dance Music Maxi-Single Sales for "100% Pure Love"
1994 Billboard Music Award nomination for Top Hot Dance Music Club Play Artist
1994 MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Dance Video ("100% Pure Love")

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Paoletta, Michael (2004-05-01) "Where Have All the Divas Gone?" Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  2. ^ "Ultra Naté Album & Song Chart History". Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 388. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ "Hot Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 

External links[edit]