Crystal Waters

Dance music legend headlining MetroBall 17 at S4

TAMMYE NASH | Managing Editor

Crystal Waters’ first job in the music industry was as a backup singer at a local recording studio. But she had much bigger plans, and she wanted the creative control that came with writing her own music. And after meeting house music production team The Basement Boys at a conference in Washington, D.C., Waters set out to combine her jazzy style with their House music. And now, as the name of her podcast and her Sirius XM show proclaim, she IS House.

One of the first two songs she wrote with The Basement Boys, in 1991, was “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless),” and a dance floor legend was born.
Waters is the headliner for MetroBall 17, happening Friday night, June 7, at Station 4. Before heading to Big D for the show, she took the time recently to answer a few questions for Dallas Voice.

Sister Helen Holy

Dallas Voice: You are known for high-energy music that has always drawn the crowds to the dance floor, and you released “Party People” in October 2020 during the height of the COVID pandemic. But how did the pandemic — which for a while closed down all the places where people gathered to dance — impact you, both personally and in your career? How did you adjust to the “new normal” COVID brought us? Crystal Waters: At first, like everyone else I was devastated. I had a slew of shows that had to be canceled, and I had new music I wanted to release.

But as the days went on, I realized I needed to sit down and stop. It was the first time in 30-some years I had done that. I realized I could sit and do nothing, and the world wouldn’t fall apart. I think I got a much-needed rest, so in that way, I found the positive in it.

As for releasing “Party People,” we kept pushing it back waiting to see what was happening. But we realized people were watching the DJs online, and the DJs were thirsty for new music. So, it worked out really well, and it actually gave the song longevity, because after we got let out, the DJs were happy to play it to the live audiences.

David Hernandez

Billboard Magazine calls you one of the most successful dance music artists in the history of the Billboard Dance Music Chart, and you have been a star in the LGBTQ community all along. What has the support of our community meant to you through the years? The support has meant everything to me. When I first started, the community took my music in well before the rest of the world noticed. And when I was no longer flavor of the month, the community stood by me and still stands by me to this day! Over 30 years — I am very grateful for that.

In 1996, you performed “The Boy from Ipanema” for the AIDS benefit album Red, Hot + Rio, and now, 28 years later, you are gonna be in Dallas on June 7 to perform at MetroBall, which benefits the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, an HIV/AIDS service organization. Why has it been important to you through your career to be part of the fight against AIDS? And what changes have you seen in that effort through the years? I remember when AIDS first showed up, I remember how horrible they were treating people. First they were being horrible to people because they were gay, now AIDS added even more horrific treatment.
I could never understand how a human could do that to another human. I mean this: We were family and friends. I could never shake that feeling.

As the years went on, I started losing friends. So I had to do something, no matter how big or small.


MetroBall 17, the premier annual fundraising event for the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 7, at S4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road.

The event will feature headliner Crystal Waters, with American Idol finalist David Hernandez as the opening act and Sister Helen Holy (Paul J. Williams) as emcee.
Tickets will be available at the door for $60.

The Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, founded in 1996, that helps provide assistance to those living with HIV/AIDS to help fill the gap between services provided by other agencies, including financial assistance in emergency situations to help pay rent or medication copays or utility deposits, etc.
For more information, visit

— Tammye Nash


I’ve seen great changes over the years — not only in medical help but also in the attitude of some people. There’s still a long way to go. Some people have the attitude that the problem has been solved, so I think it’s very important to keep awareness that it is still affecting people, and there is a lot more work to be done.

What projects do you have in the works right now, and what will we be seeing from you down the road? Do you have a long-term goal in sight? Well, I’m working on an album at the moment — my first one in many years. I plan on having a single out this summer. I also have my I Am House Podcast on iTunes, and we have more than eight million monthly listeners. And I have a SiriusXM show of the same name on Friday and Saturday nights, 8 p.m. EST, Channel 141.

What message do you have for your fans here in North Texas as you get ready for MetroBall? And what have I not asked about that you want to mention? I just want to let everyone know how much I love and appreciate them for inviting me and supporting me all these years. I love what I do, and I’m very excited to meet everyone. I know I’m going to have a good time, and you can expect a great show!