Crystal Waters

This article is about the musician. For the village, see Crystal Waters, Queensland.
Crystal Waters

Performing live at the 37th Capital Pride
in Washington, D.C., on June 10, 2012.
Born (1964-11-19) November 19, 1964
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
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" and "100% Pure Love".

Life and career

Early life

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

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 artist Ultra Naté and recorded a demo herself of the song. The producers were so taken by her rendition that they drew up a recording contract with her for the 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 number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] and found more success in Europe, reaching number 2 on the UK Singles Chart,[2] and number 1 in the Netherlands[3] and Switzerland.[4] A year after its release, a new version was featured on the Red Hot Organization's Red Hot + Dance AIDS fundraiser disc (1992, distributed by Sony Music), gaining remixer Joey Negro his first 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 a mainstream comeback in 1994 when the song "100% Pure Love" hit number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100[1] 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 the United States.[5]

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",[1] but mainstream success in the U.S. has since eluded her. Waters remained successful on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play and the Hot Dance Airplay charts with dance hits like "Come On Down" and "My Time", both of which peaked at number 1,[6] the latter making top 40 in the UK[2] and Australia.[7] "Gypsy Woman"'s keyboard-chord was sampled on rapper T.I.'s 2006 hit "Why You Wanna".

In 2007 Waters embarked on a world tour. That year her track "Destination Calabria" hit the Top 10 on the UK Singles Chart.[2]

In May 2008, Waters released the single "Dancefloor", which was a Top 10 Dance hit.

"Never Enough" hit number 20 on the US Dance Charts in February 2009.[6]

On March 23, 2013, "Oh, Mama, Hey", by Chris Cox & DJ Frankie featuring Crystal Waters, reached number 1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart after eight weeks.


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions
1991 Surprise
  • Released: June 25, 1991
  • Label: Mercury
197 23 45 81 24
1994 Storyteller
  • Released: May 17, 1994
  • Label: Mercury
199 55
1997 Crystal Waters
  • Released: June 24, 1997
  • Label: Mercury/Polygram
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Compilation albums

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
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)

1991 "Gypsy Woman" 8 1 11 3 11 2 3 1 50 1 2 Surprise
"Makin' Happy" 1 17 22 27 22 18
"Surprise" 35
"Megamix" 39 Megamix!
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
"Ghetto Day" 94 40
1995 "Relax" 1 37
1996 "In de Ghetto"
(with David Morales & The Bad Yard Club)
35[18] Non-album song
"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
"Enough" Non-album song
"Nights in Egypt"
(with Sunseeker)
Various Artists: Club Base Vol. 9
2003 "My Time"
(with Dutch)
1 18 22 My Time: Remix EP
2004 "Destination Unknown"
(with Alex Gaudino)
98 Non-album song
"Lies" DJ Boom: Electro Compilation
2006 "Destination Calabria"
(with Alex Gaudino)
8 3 55 6 30 2 14 35 50 4 Non-album song
2008 "Dancefloor"
(with Speakerbox)
Dancefloor: Remix EP
2009 "Never Enough" 20 Non-album song
"Gypsy Woman 2009"
(vs. Tristan Garner)
76 Gypsy Woman 2009: Remix EP
"Gypsy Woman 2010"
(vs. DJ Flava)
Non-album songs
2010 "When People Come Together"
(with Bellani & Spada)
2011 "Say Yeah"
(vs. Fred Pellichero)
"Le Bump"
(with Yolanda Be Cool)
2012 "Long Day"
(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)
1 Non-album song
(with Armand Pena, Harry Romero, and Alex Alicea)
"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 songs
2015 "Let Me Be the One"
(with David Tort & Nick Marsh)
(with Sted-E & Hybrid Heights)
2016 "Believe"
(featuring Sted-E & Hybrid Heights)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
1991 "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" American Music Awards Favorite Single – Dance Nominated
Herself Favorite Artist – Dance Nominated
Favorite New Artist – Dance Nominated
1994 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 [20]
The listed years are of the annual ceremonies, usually held the following year.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Billboard > Artists / Crystal Waters > Chart History > The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Official Charts > Crystal Waters". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  3. 1 2 3 " > Crystal Waters in Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  4. 1 2 3 " > Crystal Waters in der Schweizer Hitparade" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  5. Paoletta, Michael (2004-05-01) "Where Have All the Divas Gone?" Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  6. 1 2 3 "Billboard > Artists / Crystal Waters > Chart History > Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  7. 1 2 3 Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
  8. "Billboard > Artists / Crystal Waters > Chart History > Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  9. 1 2 " > Crystal Waters in der Österreichischen Hitparade" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  10. "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Crystal Waters – Surprise (album)". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  11. " > Crystal Waters dans les Charts Français" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  12. German singles chart peaks:
  13. "The Irish Charts – All there is to know > Search results for Crystal Waters (from". Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  14. " > Crystal Waters in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  15. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 388. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  16. "BPI > Certified Awards > Search results for Crystal Waters (from". Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  17. "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1994". Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. Archived from the original on 2015-10-25. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  18. "Official Charts > David Morales & Bad Yard Club". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  19. "Hot Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 14, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-03.

External links

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