Christopher Cross (born Christopher Charles Geppert; May 3, 1951) is an American singer-songwriter from San Antonio, Texas. His debut album earned him five Grammy Awards. He is perhaps best known for his US Top Ten hit songs, “Ride Like the Wind”, “Sailing”, and “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)”, the latter recorded by him for the film Arthur starring Dudley Moore. “Sailing” earned three Grammys in 1981, while “Arthur’s Theme” won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1981 (with co-composers Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Peter Allen).
Early musical career
Cross first played with a San Antonio-based cover band named Flash (not to be confused with the early 1970s English band of the same name) before signing a solo contract with Warner Bros. in 1978.
The first album, and immediate success
Cross released his self-titled debut album, Christopher Cross, in 1979. The Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hits from this album included “Ride Like the Wind” (featuring backing vocals by Michael McDonald), “Sailing”, “Never Be the Same”, and “Say You’ll Be Mine” (featuring backing vocals by Nicolette Larson). Due to the almost immediate success and popularity gained by his first album, he was nominated for several Grammy Awards, garnering him five.
He also made Grammy history by winning all four General Field Grammy awards (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist) in the same year. To date, he is the only artist to have won those four awards in the same year. He also won a fifth for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s), sharing this award with producer and co-arranger Michael Omartian for the song “Sailing.”
The second album
Cross’s second album, Another Page (1983), included the hit songs “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” (on the CD & cassette versions only, as a bonus song), “All Right”, “No Time for Talk”, and “Think of Laura”. “All Right” was used by CBS Sports for its highlights montage following the 1983 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, while “Think of Laura” is used as a reference to characters on the soap opera General Hospital. Another Page sold well, getting Gold Certification. He also co-wrote and sang the song “A Chance For Heaven” for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.
The curse of the MTV generation Edit
After 1984, Cross’ star quickly dimmed. As music television station MTV grew to dominate the mainstream music scene in the U.S., Cross’ physical appearance and style of music proved to be “a bad fit” for the network, and Cross’ brand of adult contemporary music declined in popularity.
Cross’ next two albums, 1985’s Every Turn of the World and 1988’s Back of My Mind did not produce any top 40 hits and did not sell as well as his first two albums.
Cross made three more albums in the 1990s, and although some of his releases have gained critical response, he has not been able to attract the mass audience he once enjoyed. After his decline in fame in the mid-1980s, he toured and opened for various acts during the 1990s.