New York Times best-selling poet and multiplatinum singer-songwriter Jewel explores her unconventional upbringing and extraordinary life in an inspirational memoir that covers her childhood, rise to fame, marriage, and motherhood.
When Jewel’s first album, Pieces of You, topped the charts in 1995, her emotional voice and vulnerable performance were groundbreaking. In the tradition of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell (she has been compared to both), a singer-songwriter of her kind had not emerged in decades. Now, with over 30 million albums sold worldwide, Jewel tells the story of her life and the lessons learned from her experience and her music.
Living on a homestead in Alaska, Jewel learned to yodel at age three and joined her parents’ act, working in hotels, honky-tonks, and biker bars. Behind a strong-willed and independent family life, with an emphasis on music and artistic talent, was also instability, abuse, and trauma.
At age 15 Jewel was accepted into the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where she began writing her own songs as a means of expression. She was 18, homeless, and living out of her car in San Diego when a radio DJ aired a bootleg version of one of her songs. It was requested in the top-10 countdown, something unheard of for an unsigned artist. By age 21, her debut album went multiplatinum.
There is so much more to Jewel’s story, one complicated by family and financial woes, by crippling fear and insecurity, by parents who forced a child to grow up far too quickly, and by the extraordinary circumstances in which she became a world-famous singer and songwriter. Here Jewel reflects on how she survived and how writing songs, poetry, and prose have saved her life many times over. She writes beautifully about the natural wonders of Alaska, about pain and childhood trauma, and about discovering her own identity years after the entire world had discovered the beauty of her songs.