Jewel Kilcher is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actress, and author/poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and, as of 2008, has sold over 27 million albums worldwide.
Jewel was the co-host, as well as a judge, with Kara DioGuardi on the songwriting competition reality television series Platinum Hit, which premiered May 29, 2011 on the cable network Bravo. Jewel has the vocal range of a lyric soprano. On July 2, 2013, NBC announced that Jewel would be a judge on the fourth season of the a cappella competition The Sing-Off. Jewel's songs are represented by Downtown Music Publishing.
Jewel was born in Payson, Utah but raised in Homer, Alaska, where her grandfather, Yule Kilcher, a delegate to the Alaska Constitutional Convention and a state senator, settled after emigrating from Switzerland. Yule also made the first recorded crossing of the Harding Icefield. Jewel is the daughter of Lenedra Jewel (Carroll) and Attila Kuno "Atz" Kilcher. She is a first cousin once removed of actress Q'orianka Kilcher.
Jewel learned to play the guitar while at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan, where she majored in operatic voice. She started writing songs at 16. While at school, she would sometimes play at Ray's Coffee House in Traverse City, Michigan.
For a time, Jewel lived in her car while traveling around the country doing street performances and small gigs. She gained recognition by singing at The Inner Change Cafe and Java Joe's in San Diego, California. (Jewel made her debut at Java Joe's when it was in Poway, where she was a barista.) Her friend Steve Poltz's band, The Rugburns, played the same venues. Jewel later collaborated with Poltz on some of her songs, including "You Were Meant for Me" (he also appeared in the song's second, better-known video). The Rugburns opened for Jewel on her Tiny Lights tour in 1997. Poltz appeared in Jewel's band on the Spirit World Tour 1999 playing guitar.
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