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The 1990s was a wild and eventful time. Friends made its debut, Beanie Babies were all the rage, and plaid was extremely fashionable and stylish.

On the music scene, there was everything from Nirvana to Whitney Houston. Jewel was one of the many iconic musicians to make a name for herself during these times.

Take a look back at how the folk singer became a superstar and why she never cared what people thought of her.  

How did it all begin for Jewel?

Singer-songwriter Jewel
Singer-songwriter Jewel | Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Wellness Your Way Festival

Believe it not, Jewel has Alaskan roots. She grew up in a modest log cabin just outside the small town Homer. The cabin had no heat or running water. She grew up with two brothers in a family that valued music. When Jewel was just five years old she began singing and performing at hotels. It was an activity enjoyed by the whole family. 

Unfortunately, her family was far from perfect and her father suffered from addiction. Eventually her parents got a divorce, but that didn’t free Jewel from her father’s abusive behaviors. This led Jewel to moving out at the young age of 15. Soon after she moved to San Diego to pursue her career as a musician seriously. 

Jewel’s journey to stardom

Jewel’s journey to fame wasn’t an easy one. There were times when Jewel was homeless and even had to shoplift food as means of survival. Luckily, the star’s big break would come shortly after when Atlanta Records signed the talented singer. Pieces of You was Jewel’s first album and a smashing success. “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “Hands” are just two of Jewel’s many well-known hits that put her and her career on the map.

However, at times, Jewel has been the first to admit that her stardom and celebrity status would sometimes become too much for her. 

After Jewel released Spirit in 1998, she took a step down from the public eye. She later explained to The Washington Post why she wound up doing this. As the singer blatantly shared, “I didn’t like that level of fame. That’s a strange thing to say, maybe, but I slowed it down. And I realized I had the power to do that; I never had to give up my authenticity.”

Jewel’s relationship with fame has always seemed to be a topic of conversation, and the star has always been known to respond very candidly. 

Jewel doesn’t care what people call her


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Jewel’s fans and followers seemed to be able to pick up on the singer’s reluctance to embrace her celebrity status. As a result, many people often called the singer earnest.

However, as many people can probably guess, Jewel never seemed to mind. She explained, “I never saw that as an insult — ‘Oh, she’s so earnest.’ I always clung to that. I think there’s a danger in all of our jobs when we become too proficient at them. There’s something very, very special about the beginning of anyone’s career, when it’s raw talent, when it’s raw will, when it’s raw drive. Because that’s when you’re innovative, because no one has told you the rules or the parameters that you have to operate by.”

The singer definitely makes some good points, and, fortunately, for Jewel’s fans and listeners they can always count on her for sharing her tidbits of wisdom.

Over the years, Jewel has shed light on many important issues. More recently, Jewel has started initiatives geared towards building a more mindful and happy world. Jewel’s perspective on life is just one of the many reasons the star has so much success and happiness.