Jewel Kilcher (born May 23, 1974) is an American singer-songwriter, actress, and author. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and, as of 2021, has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.
Jewel was raised near Homer, Alaska, where she grew up singing and yodeling as a duo with her father, a local musician. At age fifteen, she received a partial scholarship at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where she studied operatic voice. After graduating, she began writing and performing at clubs and coffeehouses in San Diego, California. Based on local media attention, she was offered a recording contract with Atlantic Records, which released her debut album, Pieces of You, in 1995; it went on to become one of the best-selling debut albums of all time, going 12-times platinum. The debut single from the album, “Who Will Save Your Soul”, peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100; two others, “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games”, reached number two on the Hot 100, and were listed on Billboard’s 1997 year-end singles chart, as well as Billboard’s 1998 year-end singles chart.
Her subsequent album, Spirit, was released in 1998, followed by This Way (2001). In 2003, she released 0304, which marked a departure from her previous folk-oriented records, featuring electronic arrangements and elements of dance-pop. In 2008, she released Perfectly Clear, her first country album; it debuted atop Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and featured three singles, “Stronger Woman”, “I Do”, and “‘Til It Feels Like Cheating”. Jewel released her first independent album, Lullaby, in 2009.
Jewel has also had endeavors in writing and acting; in 1998 she released a collection of poetry, and the following year appeared in a supporting role in Ang Lee’s Western film Ride with the Devil (1999) which earned her critical acclaim. On December 15, 2021, Jewel won the sixth season of The Masked Singer as the Queen of Hearts.