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Jewel Kilcher (born May 23, 1974), professionally known as Jewel, is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actress, and poet. She has received three Grammy Award nominations and has sold twenty-seven million albums worldwide, and almost twenty million in the United States alone.

Kilcher debuted on February 28, 1995, with the album, Pieces of You, which became one of the best selling debut albums of all time, going platinum twelve times. One single from the album, "Who Will Save Your Soul", peaked at #11 on Billboard's Hot 100; two others, "You Were Meant for Me" and "Foolish Games", each reached #2 and were included in Billboard's 1997 year-end singles chart. During her career, she has released several albums, frequently switching genres between working on her albums. Perfectly Clear, her first country record, was released on The Valory Music Co. in 2008. It debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart and featured three singles, "Stronger Woman", "I Do", and "Til It Feels Like Cheating". Jewel released her first independent album Lullaby in May 2009.

Early years

Jewel was born in Paysonmarker, Utahmarker. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Homermarker, Alaskamarker. Her mother Lenedra J. Carroll is of Irish descent and her father is of Swiss-German origin (his father was a Swiss immigrant). She is the cousin of actress Q'Orianka Kilcher. She spent most of her young life in Homer, living with her father, Atz Kilcher. The home she grew up in did not have indoor plumbing; it had a simple outhouse instead. She and her father sometimes earned a living by singing in bar and taverns. It was from these experiences she learned to yodel, a quality demonstrated in many of her songs. Her father was a Mormon, but they stopped attending the church shortly before she turned eight.

Jewel learned to play the guitar while at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michiganmarker, where she majored in operatic voice. She started writing songs at the age of sixteen.

For a time, she was poverty-stricken and lived in her van while traveling about the countrymarker doing street performance and small gigs. She gained some recognition by singing at the Innerchange Coffeehouse and Java Joe's in San Diego, Californiamarker. Her friend Steve Poltz's band, The Rugburns, played the same venues. Jewel later collaborated with Poltz on some of her songs, including "You Were Meant for Me." (He also appeared in the second, better-known, video for this song.) The Rugburns opened for Jewel on her Tiny Lights tour in 1997. Poltz appeared in Jewel's band on the Spirit World Tour 1999 playing guitar.

Personal life

Jewel married nine-time world champion pro rodeo cowboy Ty Murray on August 7, 2008 in the Bahamasmarker after 10 years together. The couple resides in Stephenville, Texas on a ranch.

Music career


In 1993, Michael Balzary (better known as Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) met Jewel after he saw her perform at a local cafe. They went back to her van, in which she was living, and she gave a few songs to him. He described her voice as being "beautiful" and "breathtaking."

Jewel was discovered in August 1993, when John Hogan, the lead singer from a local San Diego band, Rust, whom Inga Vainshtein was managing at the time, called to tell her about a girl surfer who sang at a local coffee shop on Thursdays. Vainshtein drove to Innerchange coffee shop with a rep from Atlantic Records, and after the show they called Danny Goldberg, the head of Atlantic Record's west coast operations. At the time Jewel didn't even have a demo. Mr. Goldberg offered to pay for Jewel to record some of her songs. Ms. Vainshtein, a former film studio executive, became Jewel's manager and was instrumental in creating a major bidding war, which led to Jewel's deal with Atlantic Records and her subsequent appearance on the cover of Time Magazine, the first ever by an Atlantic artist. Her first studio recording session was with Bruce Robb who produced, engineered, and mixed her demos. She cut her debut album, Pieces of You, when she was nineteen and it was released in 1995. Jewel recorded Pieces of You in a studio on Neil Young's ranch, and was backed by his band, The Stray Gators, who played on Neil Young's "Harvest" and "Harvest Moon" albums. The album Pieces of You was produced by Ben Keith, who played steel guitar in The Stray Gators. Part of the album was cut live at the Innerchange Coffeehouse in San Diego where she had risen to local fame. The album stayed on the Billboard 200 for an impressive two years, reaching number four at its peak. The album spawned the popular hits "You Were Meant for Me", "Who Will Save Your Soul" and "Foolish Games". The album was a huge success and eventually sold more than 12 million copies in the United States alone.


Due to her successes, Jewel was chosen to sing the American national anthem at the opening of the Super Bowl XXXII in January 1998 in San Diego. She was introduced as "San Diego's own Jewel!" However, she was criticized for lip-syncing the anthem to a digitally recorded track of her own voice. This was especially noticeable due to her missing her cue and not mouthing the first words. Super Bowl producers have since admitted that they attempt to have all performers prerecord their vocal.

Jewel parted ways with Inga Vainshtein, her original manager in February 1998. At the time she was in talks with Daniel Lanois about producing what would have become her 2nd album. However, upon letting Vainshtein go, and handing her career management to her mother, she abruptly changed creative direction, and instead of Lanois ended up going with Patrick Leonard, who created a much more pop album. It was released in November 1998 Spirit. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 and sold more than 4 million copies in the United States. At the time, Jewel was criticized for alienated her core fan base and the album sales were viewed as somewhat disappointing. The song "Hands" hit #6 on the Hot 100. Other singles followed, a new version of "Jupiter (Swallow the Moon)", "What's Simple Is True", the theme song to her upcoming movie, and the charity single "Life Uncommon".

A year later, in November 1999, Jewel released Joy: A Holiday Collection. The album sold over a million copies and peaked at #32 on the Billboard 200. She released a cover of "Joy to the World" from the album.

In November 2001, the album This Way was released. The album peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 1 million copies in the U.S., standing as her most critically acclaimed album to date. Jewel hit the Top 30 with the song "Standing Still". Other singles released were "Break Me", "This Way" and "Serve the Ego", the latter giving Jewel her first number-one club hit.

0304 Era

In 2003, Jewel released the album 0304. She writes in the liner notes,
"I wanted to make a record that was a modern interpretation of big band music.
A record that was lyric driven, like Cole Porter, that also had a lot of swing.
And a lot of it is thanks to Lester, because when I told him I wanted to make a record that combined dance, urban, and folk music, he didn't look at me like I was crazy."
Following the limited success of "Serve the Ego", Jewel moved to a more pop-oriented sound with the release of the single "Intuition". The song, which strays from her usual folk style with simple guitar instrumentation, starts off with a French accordion and experiments with dance-pop beats using synthesizers. The song was successful, reaching #5 on the Billboard Adult Top 40. Despite the different sound style, the song is lyrically similar to her previous work. It has a number of references to culture, including mentioning celebrities such as pop star Jennifer Lopez, model Kate Moss, magazines, film culture, and commercialism.

Goodbye Alice in Wonderland Era

On May 2, 2006, Jewel released her sixth album, Goodbye Alice In Wonderland. The album received mixed reviews, but still managed to debut at #8 on the Billboard Albums Chart.The album sold 82,000 copies in its first week out.The lead single "Again and Again" had moderate success on Adult Top 40 Radio, peaking at #16.The second single, "Good Day", was released to radio in late June but failed to gain any traction on the radio airplay charts. A video for "Stephenville, TX", her next single, was seen on Yahoo! Launch.After a photo shoot at her Texas ranch, Jewel spontaneously decided to have photographer Kurt Markus shoot the music video for the song Goodbye Alice in Wonderland. According a single review appearing in the Market Wire business journal, widely duplicated in publicity material by her PR team "The homegrown clip beautifully reflects both the song's organic, intimate sound and its powerfully autobiographical story."

, the album had sold barely 270,000 copies, making it the first Jewel album not to achieve Gold certification quickly. Despite this, CMT music critic Timothy Duggan praised the album: "This album showcases Jewel's unique talent as a lyricist, alongside a definite growth in her musicianship. It is what 'Pieces of You' might have been had Jewel had the musical knowledge then that she has now. A very satisfying work, all in all." Rolling Stone however, called the album "overdone and undercooked" with a rating of 2 stars out of 5.

Jewel released a video for the new song "Quest for Love" as the lead single from the movie Arthur and the Invisibles. The song is only available on the soundtrack for Arthur and the Invisibles, which was released January 2007.

Perfectly Clear Era

In early February 2007, Jewel recorded a duet with Jason Michael Carroll, "No Good in Goodbye", that was featured on Carroll's debut CD, Waitin' in the Country. She also made a promotional appearance on the T in Bostonmarker for the Verizon Yellow Pages, playing songs on a moving subway car and then doing an hour-long acoustic concert in South Stationmarker for a large crowd of adoring fans. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Jewel confirmed that she is no longer affiliated with a record label, confirming rumors that Atlantic Records failed to renew her contract after the lackluster sales of her then-latest album. She also hinted that she would like to do a country album next. She is working with John Rich of Big & Rich fame. He says that she is "probably one of the greatest American singer-songwriters we have had." He also said that "every label in Nashville" was talking to her at the time.

In November 2007, Jewel was signed to Valory Records, a newly formed division of the independent Big Machine Records label.Her first country album, Perfectly Clear, was released on June 3, 2008, selling 48,000 units in its first week. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Album Chart and #8 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart (the same position as her previous album, Goodbye Alice In Wonderland, but sold 35,000 fewer units in its first week). In its second week on the charts, the album dropped to #25 on the Billboard 200 and #5 on the Country Albums chart, with estimated second week sales of 15,000 units.

Its lead single, "Stronger Woman", was released to country radio on January 17, 2008, and entered the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. On the April 26, 2008 country charts it peaked at #13. The next single, "I Do", released to radio on June 23, 2008. The video for the single featured her cowboy husband, Ty Murray. This song peaked at #38. Following it was "Till It Feels Like Cheating" which peaked at #57.

Perfectly Clear was released in Australia in late May 2009. It was then released across Europe by Humphead Records in June 2009. The European release of the album also includes the music video for "Stronger Woman".

Lullaby Era

In early 2009, it was announced that Jewel would release a new studio album titled Lullaby, a collection of lullabies, which she described as 'not just for children, but also adults'. Its lead single 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' was issued to iTunes on March 17. The album was released on May 5. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" was #1 on The Top Children's Songs the week of release.

Film and theatre

Jewel starred in the 1999 Ang Lee film Ride with the Devil.Jewel also starred as Dorothy in the 1995 "Dreams Come True" production of "The Wizard of Oz" (available on VHS). She had a cameo as herself in Walk Hard.


Date Title Role Note
1995 VH1's VH1 Duets
In an episode led by Melissa Etheridge, Jewel and Melissa sang together on the songs "Baby You Can Sleep While I Drive," and "Foolish Games." She also sang with Melissa Etheridge, Paula Cole, Joan Osborne, and Sophie B. Hawkins in a performance of Joan Armatrading's "Love and Affection."
1996 MTV's "MTV 120 Minutes" Performed Acoustic version of "Absence of Fear"
1998 Saturday Night Live Host with Joan Allen
2002 VH1's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Performer, sang duet of Here Comes the Sun with Rob Thomas. Read introduction to Brenda Lee, one of the inductees.
2003 VH1's 2003 Diva Duets Performer, sang duet of Proud Mary with Beyoncé.
The Lyon's Den
Rob Lowe's ex
2006 The Young and the Restless
Performed at a fund raiser hosted by characters Nick and Sharon Newman to mark the first anniversary of their teenage daughter's death in a drunk-driving accident.
CMT Country Music Awards
Presented with Ty Murray
7th Heaven
Neighbor to characters Kevin Kinkirk and Lucy Camden, sang her song "Good Day".
Las Vegas Sang three songs from Goodbye Alice in Wonderland.
Men In Trees Sang the song Good Day with a character of Men in Trees.
2007 American Idol
Herself, Guest-Judge
American Idol, Season 6 Guest-Judge for the season six premiere / auditions in Minneapolismarker.
Nashville Star
Co-host with Cowboy Troy.
Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race
ABC reality television series featuring a dozen celebrities (including Ty Murray) in a stock car racing competition. In the first round of competition, Jewel matched up against former NBA player John Salley and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestler John Cena.
Ty Murray's Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge American celebrity reality television show on CMT in which nine celebrities from across the board spend 10 days learning how to ride bulls with retired rodeo star Ty Murray for the PBR Jack Daniels Invitational in Nashvillemarker.
2008 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Season 8
Episode Bull - Sang the U.S. National Anthem in a rodeo
Nashville Star, Season 6
The show has moved to NBC this season. Jewel is a judge, along with John Rich and Jeffrey Steele, and hosted by Country music singer, Billy Ray Cyrus.


  • Lifetime T.V network, has released a commercial starring Jewel to help promote breast cancer awareness.
  • In 2006, Jewel appeared with Ty Murray in a Miller Lite Men of the Square Table commercial.
  • Jewel has also done many late night talk shows, including Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, and many more taped from 1996 to 2006.
  • Jewel was a featured singer in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra television special and 2001 DVD The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, performing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing".
  • Jewel has also appeared on The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour where she performed a duet of "Who Will Save Your Soul" with Jessica Simpson.
  • Jewel was featured on the MTV show Punk'd in 2007.
  • Jewel has also been a celebrity judge on Iron Chef America in 2007.
  • Two of Jewel's songs were played on Dawson's Creekmarker: "Hands" in #2-05 "Full Moon Rising" and #6-24 "...Must Come to an End" (the latter being the second part of the series finale), and "This Way" in #5-17 "Highway to Hell". Her song "Standing Still" was also featured in the WB's promos for #5-09 "Hotel New Hampshire".

Dancing With the Stars

On February 8, 2009, it was announced that she would appear on the eighth season of Dancing With the Stars alongside new pro Dmitry Chaplin, which she did primarily as a bet against husband Ty Murray; However, five days before the season premiere, she suffered stress fractures in the tibia of both legs, and was forced to withdraw. Her replacement was ex-Hugh Hefner girlfriend Holly Madison.


Jewel published a book of poetry titled A Night Without Armor in 1998. Although it sold over 1 million copies and was a New York Times Bestseller, it received mixed reviews.Jewel went on to write an autobiography titled Chasing Down the Dawn in 2000. Chasing Down The Dawn was a collection of diary entries and musings detailing her life growing up in Alaskamarker, her struggle to learn her craft and life on the road.Jewel was scheduled to release a third book called Love Poems which was supposed to be an extremely intimate portrayal of her relationship with her boyfriend Ty Murray. It was canceled several months before release because Jewel was worried about Ty's mother's reaction to her intimate confessions.


In 1995 Jewel performed in The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True a musical performance of the popular story at Lincoln Center to benefit the Children's Defense Fund. The performance was originally broadcast on Turner Network Television , and issued on CD and video in 1996.

She formed a non-profit organization called Higher Ground For Humanity with her mother Lenedra J. Carroll and her older brother Shane Kilcher. The organization's focus is education, sustainable improvements, and building alliances with like-minded organizations.

Jewel donates a portion of her income to the organization and often holds events to benefit the organization. The organization tends to parallel the career of Jewel since she provides the majority of the organization's funding. , the activities of the organization were reduced.

In September, 2006, as part of Lifetime Television's Stop Breast Cancer for Life campaign, Jewel delivered more than 12 million petition signatures to Capitol Hillmarker, urging Congress to pass the bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2005 (S 910/HR1849). The bill would ban the practice of "drive-through" mastectomies, when women are discharged from the hospital just hours after their surgeries.

Jewel served as the honorary chairperson of the 2006 Help the Homeless Walk in Washington, DCmarker.

The Clean Water Project

Thee main focus of the organization (Higher Ground For Humanity) became access to clean water in developing countries after The Clearwater Project was launched in 1999. The Clearwater Project has taken on projects in South America, Central America, Indiamarker, and Africa, building well and water filtration systems. One such project was the reactivation of construction of a well through the use of a solar powered pump for the benefit of the Maasai people in the Sukenia region of Tanzania, Africa. Before Clearwater's involvement villagers were walking as much as 10 hours a day to fetch clean water. Other projects have taken place in Malakkara, India, Gualcea, Honduras, Sisoguichi, Mexico, and Bangladeshmarker.

Project Clean Water: Celebrity Lyrics Auction

In November 2008, Jewel began work on a project with several dozen singer-songwriters to write and auction their lyrics with donations benefiting her "Project Clean Water" charity. Many singers and songwriters besides herself have donated their written lyrics including, Patrick Davis, Ernie Ashworth, Pat Green, Justin Bollard, Lucy Woodward, Trace Adkins, Katy Perry, Garth Brooks, Josh Groban, REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin, David Foster, Craig Wiseman, Kix Brooks, John Rich, Five For Fighting's John Ondrasik, Christopher Ward, Carrie Underwood, Pussycat Dolls, Blair Daly, Allison Crowe, James Otto, Randy Travis, Alabama's Randy Owen, John Mellencamp, Jason Mraz, Gretchen Wilson, and Marv Green. The majority of the lyrics were written on paper and signed by the songwriter, with the exception of Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl, which she wrote on a box of Obama O's. Many of the artists as well as writing lyrics (and their signature), also drew pictures to illustrate their lyrics. The auction ran from December 1, 2008 to December 18, 2008. The auction was promoted by CMT and Virgin Music. Some of the lyrics that were up for auction included hits such as So Small, Foolish Games, I'm Yours, I Kissed A Girl, St. Elmo's Fire Movie Theme Song, Live Like You Were Dying, I Don't Need A Man, Superman, and Redneck Woman. The auction officially ended on December 18, with the highest bought lyrics being Jewel's signature song "You Were Meant For Me" sold for $1505, and "Who Will Save Your Soul" and "Hands", raising more than $1,005 each.. Jewel promises that all items sold by December 18 will be delivered by Christmas. After the majority of the auctions ended on December 18 two new lyrics by Craig Wiseman and Ernie Ashworth were put up for auction ending in January 2009.



Year Album
1995 Pieces of You
1998 Spirit
1999 Joy: A Holiday Collection
2001 This Way
2003 0304
2006 Goodbye Alice in Wonderland
2008 Perfectly Clear
2009 Lullaby


  • Jewel: A Life Uncommon. An intimate documentary featuring live performances and candid interviews. (1999)
  • Live at Humphrey's By The Bay. Shot over two sold-out performances at the San Diego venue. Bonus features include interviews, live footage from her This Way Tour, and a photo gallery. (2004)
  • Jewel: The Essential Live Songbook (2008)


  • Revealing Jewel An Intimate Portrait from Family and Friends (2003) Edited by Kenneth Calhoun and Cambria Jensen Publisher: Atria (June 5, 2003) ISBN 0743475402
  • A Night Without Armor : Poems by Jewel Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (August 3, 1999) ISBN 0061073628
  • Angel Standing By: The Story of Jewel by Jewel (January 1999) ISBN 0-312-19827-2
  • Jewel: Pieces of You Published by Alfred Publishing Company (November 1997), ISBN 0769216765
  • Chasing Down the Dawn: Stories from the road, Published by Harper Paperbacks (November 2001), ISBN 0-06-019200-3
  • The Best of Jewel - Piano/Vocal/Guitar Published by Hal Leonard Corporation, ISBN
  • Jewel Spirit: Guitar Songbook Edition, by Jewel Published by Warner Brothers Publications (January 1999) ISBN 0769273351

Major tours


Year Award-giving Body Award Result
1996 MTV Video Music Awards Best Female Video - Who Will Save Your Soul Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best New Artist Nominated
1997 American Music Awards Favorite New Artist Won
American Music Awards Favorite Pop/Rock Artist Nominated
VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards Most Fashionable Video: Foolish Games Nominated
Grammy Awards Best New Artist Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Female Pop Vocal Performance - Who Will Save Your Soul Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best Female Video - You Were Meant For Me Won
MTV Video Music Awards Viewer's Choice - You Were Meant For Me Nominated
MTV Video Music Award Video Of The Year - You Were Meant For Me Nominated
Billboard Magazine #1 Female Singles Artist Of The Year Won
Billboard Magazine Top 40 Artist Of The Year Won
1998 American Music Awards Favorite Female Artist Nominated
American Music Awards Favorite LP - Pieces Of You Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Female Pop Vocal Performance - Foolish Games Nominated
1999 Blockbuster Music Awards Favorite Female Artist Won
Audie Award Best Spoken Word Album - A Night Without Armor Won
Governor's Award Songwriting Award Won
2003 Radio Music Awards Favorite Female Artist - Modern Rock Won
Regis & Kelly Awards Favorite Musical Guest Won


External links

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