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Birth Name: Jewel Kilcher
Date of Birth: May 23, 1974
Place of Birth: Payson, Utah, USA
Height: 5' 6"
Jewel Kilcher was born on May 23, 1974, in Payson, Utah. Her father, Atz Kilcher, taught music in elementary schools, and her mother, Lenedra J. Carroll, now runs a non-profit organization called Higher Ground For Humanity with Jewel and her older brother Shane Kilcher. Her father was a Mormon, and until age 8, Jewel attended weekly church services with him. Jewel is the first cousin once removed of actress/singer Q'Orianka Kilcher and actor Kainoa Kilcher.
Jewel attended the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy, a boarding school in Interlochen, Michigan, where she majored in operatic voice. Jewel learned to play the guitar at 16, and began writing songs at 17. After graduating from Interlochen in 1992, Jewel and her mother moved to San Diego.
While living in a van, Jewel began singing at open mics in coffeehouses. She started making a name for herself with performances at the Innerchange Coffeehouse and Java Joe's in San Diego. It was at these venues that Jewel met Steve Poltz and his band, The Rugburns. Jewel later teamed up with Poltz on some of her songs, including her hit single "You Were Meant For Me." The Rugburns also opened for Jewel on her Tiny Lights tour in 1997, and Poltz played guitar in Jewel's band on her Spirit World Tour in 1999.
While playing these small southern California venues, Jewel caught the ear of someone with connections who mentioned her to an executive at Atlantic Records. Jewel recorded four live singles that she wrote herself and at age 19, she recorded a full album titled Pieces of You, which was released in early 1995. The album remained on the Billboard 200 for an amazing two years, and reached number four at its peak. The album was a huge success and sold over 12 million copies in the U.S. alone.
Jewel became world famous from her debut album and in January 1998 she was chosen to sing the national anthem at the opening of the Super Bowl. In November of that year, Jewel released her second album titled Spirit. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. One year later, in November 1999, Jewel released a holiday album titled Joy: A Holiday Collection. The album sold over one million copies and included a cover of "Joy to the World."
In November 2001, Jewel released her third album This Way. The album peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200 and sold over one million copies in the U.S. The single "Serve The Ego" from the album became a number one club hit. Jewel released her fourth album 0304 in 2003. The album was quite different from Jewel's usual folky sound. Jewel stated that she was aiming to create an album that "combined dance, urban and folk music." This new sound garnered mixed reviews from Jewel's fans. The single "Intuition" made the Top 20, and the album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200.
In May 2006, Jewel released her next album, Goodbye Alice In Wonderland. The album received mixed reviews, debuted at #8 on the Billboard Albums Chart and sold 82,000 copies in the first week. By October 2006, the album had sold 250,000 copies, making it the only album of Jewel's to not achieve Gold certification.
In addition to her music, Jewel released a book of poetry titled A Night Without Armor in 1998. The book sold over one million copies and was a New York Times Bestseller. Jewel then wrote an autobiography titled Chasing Down the Dawn in 2000. The book includes diary entries and musings detailing her life growing up in Alaska, her struggle to learn her craft and life on the road.Jewel has also appeared in a few acting jobs. In 1995, she played Dorothy in a television musical version of The Wizard of Oz titled The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True. In 1999, she was seen in Ride with the Devil starring Tobey Maguire, and in 2003 she guest starred in an episode of The Lyon's Den. In 2007, Jewel will appear in the short film titled Wave.
Heavenly Celebrities: Jewel
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