Jewel has sold nearly 20 million albums, been nominated for four Grammy Awards and maintains her position as the most successful folk singer exported from Alaska.
So why bury yourself under the enormous ruby red headgear created for the Queen of Hearts in “The Masked Singer”, a show mainly known for its kitsch side?
“It ticked a lot of boxes,” she told USA TODAY from her home in Colorado. “I’m a mother and I’m 47, and you never hear of women talking about kids and learning how to tour with a kid who has nap times and school hours. This company is notoriously mean to women as they age. Dear, Madonna, they are great. But that’s so not who I am. My heroes, like Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones, have become recluses. My goal was to be here 60, and the (show) gave me the opportunity to still be home with my son.
Finale of “The Masked Singer”:Jewel, Queen of Hearts, defeats Todrick Hall’s bull
Jewel won the sixth season of the Fox Celebrity Singing Contest in December and soon released an EP of the songs she covered while arguing, including Katy Perry’s “Firework”, Edith’s “La Vie En Rose” Piaf and “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga.
“I really fell in love with the whole thing. I have to design the costume based on the art that I was doing, I have to sing and do the arrangements. I put a lot of myself into the process.
Jewel unveils ‘Freewheelin’ Woman’ on Friday, her first new album in seven years – a hiatus that has also been spurred by her need to devote her time to raising 10-year-old son Kase with ex-husband Ty Murray.
The dozen new songs produced by Butch Walker (Taylor Swift, Green Day, Keith Urban) range from ’80s pop/R&B to “Alibis” (“That one was just a free pass to s ‘fun,’ Jewel says) to the painfully raw ‘Almost’ (“It was hard to sing in the studio because it’s so emotional”) to the Memphis soul-driven “Love Wins” (“Ella Fitzgerald m ‘learned to sing and mimic her agility and control, but I also wanted a whole Tina Turner vibe’).
Legacy songs: Alicia Keys, Queen and Ricky Martin added to National Recording Registry
The album follows 2015’s ‘Picking Up the Pieces’, a sort of bookend to his 1995 breakthrough ‘Pieces of You’. That’s when the soft-spoken Jewel Kilcher hit the radio with the contemplatives “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “You Were Meant for Me,” armed with her compelling story of a tough upbringing in Alaska – where she also learned her admirable yodelling skills – and living in her car while playing in California cafes.
Over the decades, Jewel is still generally classified as an acoustic folk-pop singer. But this classification overlooks the fact that many of his greatest hits — “Standing Still,” “Intuition” — were fueled by a pulsating backbeat.
On “Freewheelin’ Woman,” which she releases on her Words Matter Media label, Jewel once again turns to a happy beat with “Dance, Sing, Laugh, Love,” a song that vibrates with uninhibited joy.
“It’s hard to write pop songs that aren’t romantic,” says Jewel. “I was proud of ‘Intuition’ for that – it delivered a deeper concept wrapped up in a pop song. Dancing and singing are my keys to life.
Billboard Music Awards: The Weeknd and Doja Cat top 2022 nominations
Jewel also enlisted a few musician friends for the album: Train (“Dancing Slow”) and Darius Rucker (“No More Tears”).
On June 8, she will begin a tour of Massachusetts with Train and Blues Traveler which will cross the country until the beginning of August.
“I’ve known them for a long time,” she says of Train. “I find the road isolating, so I’m looking forward to some company.”
Jewel is sensitive to the realities of isolation and the mental health issues that often accompany it.
For nearly two decades she has worked with the Inspiring Children Foundation and during the coronavirus pandemic she has engaged in ‘mental health triage’ to help people cope with anxiety and depression. .
COVID-19 “has shown that everyone has mental health issues on some level,” she says. “It’s a grim predictor, and I think we’re going to see a lot of physical ailments from the stress people have been through.”
In keeping with her aspirations to comfort those in need of emotional support, Jewel wrote “The Story” to perform as her entry on NBC’s “American Song Contest” this month.
Although she was eliminated from the competition – she could return as a joker – her dedication of the song to “anyone who is afraid that her magic is gone” further amplified her lyrics: “She was fighting for a miracle, fearing that she does not. to see. But that’s not the end of the story.