One of the most readily identifiable voices of any contemporary female vocalist, Randy Crawford's initial recognition came from her fiery vocal on "Street Life," a 1979 song matching her with the Crusaders that was included on the soundtrack for Burt Reynolds' film Sharky's Machine. Crawford was born in Macon, Georgia, and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio; she worked in clubs as a teen, accompanied by her father. Crawford was lead vocalist in a group that included bassist Bootsy Collins before touring as George Benson's opening act in 1972.
Cannonball Adderley invited her to sing on his LP Big Man. Crawford recorded "Don't Get Caught in Love's Triangle," a song produced by Johnny Bristol, during a short stay on the label. She soon moved to Warner Bros., and after "Street Life," recorded and toured Europe with the Crusaders.
Crawford was tabbed Most Outstanding Performer at the 1980 Tokyo Music Festival. She remained with Warner Bros.
Despite her American nationality, she won Best British Female Solo Artist in recognition of her popularity in the UK at the 1982 Brit Awards. In the late 2000s, she received her first two Grammy Award nominations.
through the '80s and early '90s, during which time she developed a strong following in Europe and Britain. In the new millennium, Crawford has remained quite active, often re-teaming with Crusaders keyboardist Joe Sample for such albums as 2006's Feeling Good, 2008's No Regrets, and 2012's concert album Live.