A Sheryl Crow sound-alike--Sophie Michalitsianos' vocals on ads for the IRS and Folgers might have you fooled

By Scott Brown
April 21, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

If you’re a taxpaying TV viewer, chances are you’ve noticed the slick, cyber-savvy IRS ”E-file” ads and listened to the virtues of online filing extolled in a song by…Sheryl Crow?! Or not. Unlike Steve Miller, whose ”Fly Like an Eagle” is the theme of the U.S. Postal Service, Crow hasn’t gone civil servant. Those Crow-esque dulcet tones heard in this seasonal tax spot actually belong to Sophie Michalitsianos. The twenty-something singer says her velvety vocals (also featured in spots for SnackWell’s, Chevrolet, and Folgers) are often mistaken for Crow’s. ”I think that’s because of the genre of commercial I sing,” says the British-born Michalitsianos. ”My own stuff doesn’t sound anywhere close.” Surprisingly, Crow’s reps aren’t demanding an audit (”Honestly, your request was the first thing that I have heard about it,” said a Crow spokesman). And though an IRS rep conceded a certain similarity, don’t go mistaking hiring a Crow soundalike as a sign the taxman is more with-it: ”Some people said, ‘Who’s Sheryl Crow?”’ Just another taxpaying citizen, of course.