Jewel (singer) (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Jewel Kilcher (born May 23, 1974) is an American Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, actress, poet and philanthropist, generally known just by her first name, Jewel.
Jewel was born in Payson, Utah, to Atz Kilcher, of Swiss-German origin, and Lenedra Carroll. She is the cousin of actress Q'Orianka Kilcher. She spent most of her young life in Homer, Alaska, living with her father. 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 bars 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. Her grandfather was a state senator involved in drafting Alaska's constitution for its admission into a state from a territory in 1959
During high school, Jewel was known to spell her name "Jule" or "Juel," but she attributes this to simply playing with her name.
Jewel learned to play the guitar while on scholarship at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan, where she majored in operatic voice. She started writing songs at the age of seventeen.
For a time, she was poverty-stricken and lived in her van while traveling about the country busking and doing small gigs. She gained some recognition by singing at the Innerchange Coffeehouse and Java Joe's in San Diego, California. 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, best-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.
In 1993, Flea of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers met Jewel after he saw her perform at a local cafe. He went back to her van where she was living, where she sang a few of her songs to him. He described her singing voice as being "beautiful" and "breathtaking". It was at these coffeehouse appearances that she was discovered by Atlantic Records. She cut her debut album, Pieces of You, when she was nineteen and it was released in 1995. The album stayed on the Billboard 200 for an impressive two years, reaching number four at its peak. The album spawned the Top 10 hits "You Were Meant for Me", "Who Will Save Your Soul" and "Foolish Games." The album was a huge success and eventually sold over 12 million copies in the U.S. alone, more than all of her subsequent albums put together.
Due to her success, she was chosen to sing the national anthem at the opening of the Super Bowl in January 1998.
In November 1998, Jewel released her second album, Spirit. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. The songs "Hands" and "Down So Long" hit the Top 10. 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 her holiday album, 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 10 with the song "Standing Still" and the Top 40 with the song "Break Me". Other singles released were "This Way" and "Serve The Ego", the latter giving Jewel her first number one club hit.
In 2003 Jewel released her album 0304. She writes in her 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." While some fans considered 0304 an innovative album that held to the tradition of her previous albums, others felt that it was too much of a change from the style of her older albums.
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" has had moderate success on 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. Recently, a video for "Stephenville, TX", her next single, has been seen on Yahoo! Launch.
As of December 2006, the album barely sold 270,000 copies. It is notable in that it is the only Jewel album to not achieve Gold certification.
Currently, Jewel has released a video for the new song "Quest for Love" as the lead single from the new movie Arthur and the Invisibles. The song is only available on the soundtrack for Arthur and the Invisibles, which was released January 2007.
In early February 2007, Jewel made a promotional appearance on the T in Boston for the Verizon Yellow Pages, playing songs on a moving subway car and then doing a small acoustic concert in South Station. 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 latest album. She also hinted that she would like to do a country album next.
Film and theater
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).
ABC reality television series featuring a dozen celebrities (including boyfriend Ty Murray) in a stock car racing competition. In the first round of competition, Jewel matched up against former NBA player John Salley and WWE wrestler John Cena.
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 O Holy Night.
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 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 Alaska, 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 Kilcher 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 (TNT), 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 main focus became access to clean water in developing countries after The Clearwater Project was launched in 1999. The organization's focus is education, sustainable improvements, and building alliances with like-minded organizations.
The Clearwater Project has taken on projects in South America, Central America, India, and Africa, building wells 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 Bangladesh.
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. As of 2005, 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 Hill, 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 forced to leave the hospital just hours after their surgeries and before they are ready to go home.
Jewel has publicly supported The ONE Campaign, to eradicate third world poverty.
Jewel served as the honorary chairperson of the 2006 Help the Homeless Walk in Washington, DC.