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Famous Like Me > Singer > K > Jewel Kilcher

Profile of Jewel Kilcher on Famous Like Me

Name: Jewel Kilcher  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 23rd May 1974
Place of Birth: Payson, Utah
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Jewel performing in Central Park

Jewel Kilcher (born May 23, 1974) is a singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist, and author, better known by her stage name, Jewel.

Early years

Jewel was born in Payson, Utah, but spent most of her young life growing up in Homer, Alaska, living with her father. The home in which she grew up did not have indoor plumbing, but 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.

During high school, Jewel was known to spell her name "Jule," but she attributes this to simple playing with her name as teenagers are prone to do.

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 travelling about the country. 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. He appeared in Jewel's band on the Spirit World Tour 1999 playing guitar.



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. Some of the songs on the album were recorded at the coffeehouse. The album stayed on the Billboard 200 for an impressive two years, reaching number four at its peak popularity. The album spawned the Top 10 hits "You Were Meant for Me", "Who Will Save Your Soul?" and the #1 hit "Foolish Games". The album was a huge success and eventually sold over 11 million copies in the US alone.

Jewel is noted for her songs' qualites of stark honesty and soulful introspection. Her songs resist categorization, but, because of their mostly guitar accompaniment, have sometimes been categorized as folk music or the hybrid class folk-pop. However, her music is mostly recognized as popular music and enjoys wide exposure on a variety of music radio stations.

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 US. The songs "Hands" and "Down So Long" hit the Top 10.

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 US. Jewel hit the Top 10 with the song "Standing Still" and the Top 40 with the song "Break Me".

In 2003 Jewel underwent a drastic image change with the release of 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 stuff, 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." It's an innovative album that is smart, fun, and sexy. It also contains heartfelt lyrics about love, that holds to the tradition of her previous albums in a different way, in songs like "Run 2 U," "2 Find U," "Fragile Heart," and "2 Become 1."

Her video for the debut single Intuition had her cavorting in full dance numbers, often scantily clad in bras and bikinis. The song and video seemed to be intended as social commentary on the state of pop music but it left fans wondering if Jewel had in fact become what she was satirizing. The song "Intuition" was hit the Top 10, and the album 0304 debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, giving Jewel her highest chart dating ever. In total, however, the album sold just 500,000 units in the US, making it her lowest-selling album.

As of July 2005, Jewel is in the studio working on a new album.


Jewel appeared in the 1999 Ang Lee film Ride with the Devil


Jewel published a book of poetry titled "A Night Without Armor" in 1998 and 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. "A Night Without Armor" sold over 500,000 copies.


Jewel performing in 2000 tour co-sponsored by the USO, a nonprofit volunteer organization that tries to boost morale for U.S. troops with free entertainment

Jewel Kilcher 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.

Jewel has publicly supported The ONE Campaign.


Jewel on the cover of her 2003 album 0304
  • Save The Linoleum (Promo) 1994
  • Pieces of You (US Sales: 11 million) 1995
  • Spirit (US Sales: 4 million) 1998
  • Bits and Baubles (Promo) 1999
  • Joy - A Holiday Collection (US Sales: 1 million) 1999
  • This Way (US Sales: 1 million) 2001
  • 0304 (US Sales: 500,000) 2003
  • (Worldwide Sales: Over 25 million+)

Hit singles (in chronological order)

  • "Who Will Save Your Soul?" (Pieces of You)
  • "You Were Meant For Me" (Pieces of You)
  • "Foolish Games" (Pieces of You)
  • "Morning Song" (Pieces of You) [hit in UK only]
  • "Have a Little Faith in Me" ("Phenomenon" Soundtrack)
  • "Hands" (Spirit)
  • "Down So Long" (Spirit)
  • "Jupiter (Swallow the Moon)" (Spirit)
  • "What's Simple is True" (Ride With the Devil" soundtrack)
  • "Under the Water" ("The Craft" soundtrack)
  • "Life Uncommon (Live)" (Charity CD)
  • "Joy to the World" (Joy - A Holiday Collection)
  • "Standing Still" (This Way)
  • "Break Me" (This Way)
  • "This Way" (This Way)
  • "Serve the Ego" (This Way) [Club Only Release]
  • "Intuition" (0304)
  • "Stand" (0304)
  • "2 Become 1" (0304)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Jewel Kilcher