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Jewel | The success story of one of the top recording artists of all time



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Jewel Kilcher is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. She is the recipient of four Grammy nominations and has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Kilcher’s debut album, Pieces of You, became one of the best-selling debut albums of all time. In 2021, she won the sixth season of the American singing competition, The Masked Singer. Jewel grew up in Alaska and her home lacked proper basic necessities. At the age of 18, she became homeless and lived out of a car. After being discovered, Jewel became one of the biggest recording artists on the planet. Her perseverance and dedication helped her succeed. Here’s her inspiring success story.

Early life

Jewel Kilcher was born May 23, 1974, in the town of Payson located in Utah. When she was eight years old, her parents divorced each other and she lived in Alaska with her father. While living in Alaska, her home did not have running water or heat. They lived far from the town and mainly lived off of whatever they could kill. Jewel mentioned in an interview that she “loved it there”. During her childhood, she and her father would perform in taverns as a duo and make a living. During this time, she learnt how to yodel. At fifteen, Jewel received a scholarship to study operatic voice at Interlochen Arts Academy. Local businesses in her hometown helped her raise money to pay for tuition. 

At sixteen, Jewel started writing songs on the guitar. After graduating, Jewel started working in a coffee shop and also as a phone operator. At the age of eighteen, she was homeless and lived out of a car. During this time, she started shoplifting and developed anxiety. Kilcher would travel all across America in her vehicle, performing at small gigs, earning a living. While performing at one of the cafes, an Atlantic Records manager spotted her. She immediately signed Jewel after hearing her sing. In 1995, she released her debut album and gained worldwide recognition. 

Jewel’s career

At the age of 21, she released her first album, Pieces of You. The album went on to become one of the top-selling music albums of all time. It stayed on the Billboard 200 for almost two years. This brought Jewel instant fame. In 1998, she published a book of poetry that became a New York Times best-seller. Next, she released her second studio album called Spirit. It sold 3.7 million copies in America. Later, she released her fourth studio album titled 0304. Jewel completely changed her music style with this album which was noticed by a lot of critics. 

In 2006, she released her sixth album, Goodbye Alice in Wonderland. Although it received mixed reviews, it debuted at number 8 on the Billboard charts. In 2007, she signed a new record label and released her first country album, Perfectly Clear. It debuted at the number 1 spot on the Billboard country charts. Jewel went on to release five more studio albums after Perfectly clear. Most of them received positive reviews from critics. In 2021, she won the sixth season of the reality singing competition, The Masked Singer. Judge Jenny McCarthy called Jewel the greatest artist they have ever had on the show.

Lessons we can learn

From being homeless to one of the top folk singers of all time, Jewel’s story is very inspiring. She never gave up on her dreams and always believed in herself. Hard work is the key to success. We should always learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward. With dedication and perseverance, anything is possible.  

Also read: Ang Lee | The success story of this talented filmmaker

How old is Jewel?

She is 47 years old.

What is the name of Jewel's debut album?

Pieces of You

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