Crystal Waters-Saturday Sessions Guest Mix
Mixed by Crystal Water
I am House
Crystal Waters is an American house and dance music singer and songwriter, best known for her 1990s dance hits “Gypsy Woman” and “100% Pure Love”. 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 and four Billboard Music Awards.
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.
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.
Waters signed a writing contract with Mercury Records in 1989.
Her single, “Makin’ Happy,” with contributions by remixer Steve “Silk” Hurley, shot quickly to #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart.
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 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”.
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.