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Bop 1997

By Request... JEWEL

Fascinating Facts

Jewel Kilcher was born on May 23, 1974 in Homer, Alaska. Her parents, Atz Kilcher and Nedra Carrol, moved to this tiny rural town from Utah, and Jewel and her two brothers grew up on an 800 acre farm with plenty of horses and sheep - but no electricity or indoor plumbing. In fact, her family used an outhouse, which would often freeze overnight in the chilly Alaskan climate.

"We'd argue about who had to go out first,"
Jewel has recalled.

The blond beauty started singing at the age of 5 and mastered not only Alaskan folk songs but the art of yodelling. SInce her parents were folk singers, Jewel soon got in in the act and started performing at local bars and nightclubs. After her parents divorced when Jewel was 8, the young singer continued to perform with her dad around town.


School was difficult for Jewel, who had a learning disability called dyslexia. For one year she attended high school in Hawaii, where kids often teased her. It was only when they discovered her gift for yodelling that she made friends!

Returning to Alaska, Jewel decided she wanted to study music, and at age 16 she won a scholarship to Michigan's Interlochen Arts Academy. There she learned guitar and started writing songs. After graduating from the academy, she moved to San Diego, California to be near her mother. Money was tight, and the two started living out of a pair of vans while Jewel made money singing at local coffee houses. Jewel who was used to roughing it in ALaska, didn't mind.

"Van life was simple,"

she has admitted. Fortunately, a record executive spotted Jewel - and she was soon on the road to success!


Believe it or not, even after Jewel recorded her debut, Pieces Of You, success wasn't exactly overnight. The album was released in 1995, and almost no radio stations were willing to play her single "Who Will Save Your Soul." It was only after tons of touring and an appearance on the NBC program Late Night With Conan O'Brien that sales started picking up.

However, it was her appearance as Dorothy in a one - night benefit stage production of The WIzard Of Oz on the cable network TNT that really got Jewel noticed. Co - starring with actor Nathan Lane and singer Natalie Cole, Jewel's performance was seen by more than 10 million viewers when the show was aired several times in November of 1995. It wasn't long before Jewel's single ended up on tons of radio stations - and the rest is history!


Despite her major - league success, Jewel will always be a country girl at heart. If you don't believe it, check her suitcase: Wherever she goes, the singer totes along a Tupperware container filled with dirt from the Alaskan farm where she grew up. Now that's really staying in touch with your roots!

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