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First, she sounds like an amazing friend who cares deeply about those close to her.Second, she is impressively unembarrassed about the display of emotion.She glances at the number and apologises, saying she has to take the call.The blood drains from her face as she listens to the caller.Now 52, Crow is often described as the world’s biggest female rock star: she has won nine Grammy Awards during the past two decades, sold more than 50 million albums and performed with some of the biggest names in the industry, including The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan.But her life has been turbulent: she has survived breast cancer, a brain tumour and even Lance Armstrong, to whom she was once engaged.Her publicist gently suggests that she might want to sort out her face – which is now a splotchy mess – but Crow bats away the idea.A complete professional, she is soon chatting away again as though nothing has happened.
At the end of the day I’m just writing songs for me, so whoever likes them is a luxury.” It is at this point that Crow’s phone rings.
We have met at her home, a sprawling ranch outside Nashville where she lives with her two adopted sons, aged seven and four.
It is a cold day but the sun slants in through the heavy red curtains to the dark wood-panelled recording studio where Crow is sitting on a sofa, a tiny figure in a pretty polka-dot Ralph Lauren dress and battered brown leather jacket.
By the end of the call the publicist and I are almost in tears as well, even though we don’t know what she is crying about: I don’t think I have ever heard such raw grief.
Crow finishes the call and collects herself, explaining that her road manager Dave Rahn, who also managed Fleetwood Mac and recently married, is in hospital with terminal cancer and has slipped into a coma. “No,” she says, wiping at the tears with her wrists.
“I knew this was coming, I’ve just been holding it together because I had my kids around.” Rahn, 50, dies the following day and Crow tweets, “Today we lost one of our most beloved.