Her full name is Jewel Kilcher. She was born in Payson, Utah, and raised in Homer, Alaska.
Jewel started her career playing in a coffee house in San Diego, California, called Inner Change, where label execs flocked to see her. She would eventually sign with Atlantic Records.
Her fan club is called the EDA's (Every Day Angels). The name was taken from a line in her song, "I'm Sensitive."
She starred in Ang Lee's 1999 American Civil War film Ride With The Devil. She remembered asking the director why he chose her, a relatively inexperienced actress, for the role of Sue Lee Shelley. "And he said, 'You have period teeth.' So I got the job because I was the only actress in Hollywood who hadn't gotten her teeth fixed!"
As a child, she was part of a family yodeling act.
Jewel attended the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan during high school before living in her VW van (according to interviews) for possibly less than a year before landing a record deal in California. At workshops for singers and songwriters, Jewel is often cited as an example of someone with a great story that the media is likely to pick up on. Her image as an Alaskan farm girl who slept in her car earned her a great deal of publicity and set her apart from other singer/songwriters. (thanks, Emily - Jackson, MI)
She stared as Dorothy in TNT's live stage version of The Wizard of Oz in 1995. Up to that point she was mainly known for her appearances on college radio. (thanks, Heather - Tilton , NH)
She married the rodeo star Ty Murray in 2008. The couple planned to compete together on Dancing With The Stars in 2009, but Jewel suffered stress fractures in her legs while practicing and had to drop out. Murray finished fourth.
Jewel's grandmother Ruth was an aspiring opera singer who left pre-war Germany for Alaska to marry a man she hardly knew. She made the bold move as she believed if her future family had any chance of success, it would be in a free country.
She gave birth to her first child, son Kase Townes Murray, on July 11, 2011.
In 2014, she announced her impending divorce from husband Ty Murray after nearly six years of marriage.
She played the role of June Carter Cash on Lifetime's 2013 original movie Ring of Fire, starring Matt Ross as Johnny Cash.
She made her television debut on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 1995. Actor Sean Penn was watching at home and called the studio to inquire about the singer. The two began dating shortly after.
She went from folk-pop singer to country singer in 2008, when she released her first country album, Perfectly Clear.
Jewel and her dad, Atz Kilcher, sing the theme song for the Discovery Channel's Alaska: The Final Frontier, a reality-TV series that follows the homesteading lifestyle of her extended family in the Alaskan Wilderness.
Jewel on how she ended up living out of her car as a teen: "I got fired for not having sex with my boss and he wouldn't give me my paycheck, so I couldn't pay my rent. My mom went back to Alaska, but I stayed in San Diego, living in my car. That's how I ended up homeless."
Homeless and without health insurance, the singer nearly died of an untreated kidney infection. She shared the experience on A&E's Celebrity Close Calls in 2010.
Jewel revealed in her memoir Never Broken - Songs Are Only Half the Story, how she fell in love with actor Sean Penn when the actor was temporarily separated from his now ex-wife Robin Wright in 1995. The relationship began when she was just starting out in Hollywood and she composed a song called "Emily" for his film The Crossing Guard. "We spoke on the phone a lot and he was a fantastic flirt and I did not mind one bit. But I was no fool and knew I was most likely a trifle to him. I intended to give him no such conquest," she detailed. "I put that man through his paces and he took it in stride. He began to court me in earnest, following me around on tour, acting as my de facto roadie. I moved very slowly with him but he was a persistent and inventive suitor, and I enjoyed it immensely. I kept our burgeoning relationship very quiet."
Jewel eventually found herself "in love" with Penn, but their relationship fizzled out a few months after they struck up the romance.
Jewel's debut album Pieces of You
was released on February 28, 1995. It was initially a commercial failure and it wasn't until her first single "Who Will Save Your Soul?
" was released 16 months later and began to receive airplay that the LP began to sell. It eventually peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 almost exactly two years after its release. The album was certified 12-times platinum and is one of the best-selling debut albums of all time.