Crystal Taliefero, (born 1963 in Bourne, Massachusetts) is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist that has been touring with Billy Joel since 1989.
At 11 years old, Taliefero started performing at local rhythm and blues clubs in Northwest Indiana and Chicago. Taliefero attended William A. Wirt High School in Gary, IN, where she was a top athlete and graduated in 1981. She went on to study music at Indiana University, where later she accepted a position as Director of the IU Soul Revue in Bloomington, IN, from 2016-17. Taliefero is member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
John Mellencamp discovered Taliefero performing locally and convinced her to join his touring band in 1985.
Crystal has been with the Billy Joel since 1989. Over the years, Taliefero's music journey has included a wide range of artists such as Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, Joe Cocker, Tina Arena, Bob Seger, Brooks & Dunn, Richie Sambora, Elton John, Enrique Iglesias, Natalie Merchant, Meat Loaf, Michael McDonald, Bruce Springsteen, The Northern Pikes, Julian Lennon, The Bee Gees, Dolly Parton's "Two Doors Down", Steven Van Zandt, Mick Jones of Foreigner (credited on his solo album released in 1989) and Buddy Guy.
In its 2008 article "The 125-Plus People, Places and Things Ruling the Rock & Roll Universe," Rolling Stone magazine declared Taliefero the "Best Secret Weapon." Instruments in Taliefero's percussion kit include the bongo, cabasa, chimes, conga, cowbell, güiro, hand percussion, jam block, shaker, tambourine, timbales, triangle, the Djembe and wood block. In addition, Taliefero plays acoustic guitar, sax, keys and all vocals.
"Crystal and I have worked together for many years. She brings an excitement and fire to the stage like none I've ever seen. All of the artists who have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Crystal will tell you she is a vocal and percussion goddess!!!!
"Crystal is, without a doubt, the most talented multi-instrumentalist and vocal arranger I have ever worked with. I have been honored to have her as a member of my recording and touring group for over 25 years."