Sheryl Crow on Performing with Jackson

Sheryl Crow is seen hugging Michael Jackson on stage in September of 1987. Crow was a back-up singer for the "King of Pop." CBS/The Early Show

Sheryl Crow has had quite a journey - both personally and professionally, but her experience of taking the stage alongside the iconic Michael Jackson is a thrill she says she'll never forget.

Crow, who will sing the National Anthem before Tuesday night's baseball All-Star game in St. Louis, sat down with "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith to talk about everything from starting out as a backup singer for Jackson, to battling breast cancer, to her new life as a mom.

Crow recently shared some of her fondest memories of performing with the "King of Pop" in her blog.

"I like to call it magic. It's really overused where he is concerned, but I like to call it magic and I got to watch that magic every night," Crow said.

Crow pointed out that Jackson was an innovator whose work can not be replicated.

"Originality is something that we just -- we can't define it because it's something we've never seen before," she said. "In my line of work now, where you try to find the next Alicia Keys or the next Britney Spears, or the next or the next or the next, something that's already familiar that we know is going to sell.

"He was different than that. He was the original. He was the first guy. He was the guy that created those moves. He was the guy that created that sound."

Complete coverage of Jackson's death

Although it's still hard to accept that the "King of Pop" has died, Crow admitted that she didn't foresee Jackson becoming old.

"I'm sad to see that he's gone, but I could never figure out how he was going to survive becoming old. I just never could see how it was going to play out," Crow admitted.

"You had that thought already?" Smith asked.

"Always, I could never figure out. Is this person going to be able to stand this world for that long you know? He was so fragile and really otherworldly," she said. "I had a great working relationship with him and got to see him in more intimate moments and got to spend some quiet intimate times with him, but did I get to know him? I don't think anybody ever really got to know him."

Crow also uses her talent to for a cause that is very near and dear to her heart - helping the fight against cancer.

On Saturday night, nearly 100,000 people gathered under the arch in St. Louis as Crow performed a benefit concert for Stand Up To Cancer.

Crow fought her own battle with breast cancer in 2006 and she says her life has been changed forever.

"Oh gosh...You know I think anybody who goes through an epiphanal moment where you're handed a diagnosis, whether it's cancer or whatever kind of cancer or something catastrophic," she said. "Whatever it is to cause you to pause in your life and say my life will never feel the same."

"I had a good friend who called it refining your life and I think that's what it is, you start to re-assess your life and really start to look at how your life is going to be different from that moment forward."

Crow's cancer treatment began as her relationship with superstar Lance Armstrong was ending. The life she expected suddenly changed course.

"From that moment forward my life opened up in ways my life had never predicted you know? My art became deeper," Crow said. "I had a little boy who came into my life in a weird back-door way whose improved my life a thousand times over and over and I can't even convey how deep he's made my life.

"And just so many other ways my life has changed for the better because of that full experience. You know, the feeling of losing everything that I knew and then coming around to that moment of remembering who I am. That's what those moments are about."





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