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Jewel: Grammy-Nominated Singer, Songwriter, Actress and So Much More

Full Name Jewel Kilcher
Age 49
Birthday May 23, 1974
Relationship Status Married to Charlie Whitehurst
Height 5‘ 6"
Net Worth $14 million

Jewel Kilcher, known simply as Jewel, is a folk singer, songwriter, actress, poet and philanthropist who has been delighting fans for decades with her moving lyrics, soaring vocals and relatable songs. Since gaining recognition with her 12x platinum-certified debut album Pieces of You in 1995, Jewel has gone on to sell over 30 million albums worldwide and establish herself as one of the best-selling artists of all time.

Let‘s take an in-depth look at this inspiring artist, from her modest roots in Alaska to becoming a beloved Grammy-nominated musician, performer and celebrity.

Jewel‘s Early Life and Career Beginnings

Born May 23, 1974 in Payson, Utah, Jewel Kilcher spent most of her early years living on an Alaskan homestead without basic amenities like plumbing. Her entertainment often came from singing folk songs with her father as he played guitar.

By age six, the family had settled in Homer, Alaska. Jewel became interested in music and received her own guitar at 15, quickly teaching herself to play. Within a year, she was writing her own songs and performing around Alaska, including gigs at the Homer Spit‘s Boatel bar where she was paid in beer and tips from patrons.

After high school, the free-spirited 18-year-old Jewel headed to San Diego to pursue a career in music. She famously lived out of her van while playing regular gigs at Innerchange Coffeehouse and Java Joe‘s in the city‘s Hillcrest neighborhood. Her emotional performance style and candid songwriting built a devoted following.

In 1994, Atlantic Records co-founder Inga Vainshtein heard the unknown folk singer at Java Joe‘s and immediately signed her to a record deal. Just 19 years old, Jewel was about to take the music world by storm.

Jewel‘s Discography Highlights and Achievements

With her debut album Pieces of You released on February 28, 1995, Jewel skyrocketed to fame with hits like "Who Will Save Your Soul", "Foolish Games" and "You Were Meant for Me", the latter earning two Grammy nominations.

Pieces of You stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for two full years, selling over 12 million copies. It stands as one of the best selling debut albums of all time. Just a year later, her book of poetry A Night Without Armor also became a national bestseller.

Over the next two decades, Jewel released over a dozen studio albums spanning folk, pop, country and holiday music:

  • Spirit (1998) – Debuted at #3 on Billboard 200
  • Joy: A Holiday Collection (1999) – Peaked at #32 on Billboard 200
  • This Way (2001) – Peaked at #9 on Billboard 200
  • 0304 (2003) – Unique double album released 4 months apart
  • Goodbye Alice in Wonderland (2006) – Matures to roots-folk style
  • Lullaby (2009) – Collection of lullabies
  • Sweet and Wild (2010) – Return to country, hit #6 on Top Country Albums

Beyond impressive sales, Jewel‘s accolades also include four Grammy nominations, eight American Music Awards nominations, fifteen other music award nominations and dozens of other honors over her decades long career.

Jewel‘s Other Creative Endeavors

Beyond music, Jewel has also pursued acting, writing, and business interests allowing her creative talents to shine in other ways.

Acting & Broadway

Jewel‘s acting debut came in 1999 when she starred as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True on TNT. She went on to land small roles on shows like The Lyon‘s Den and Las Vegas.

In 2013, Jewel played country legend June Carter Cash in the Lifetime biopic Ring of Fire. Staying in the musical theater realm, Jewel took on the lead role of Glinda The Good Witch in Broadway‘s Wicked in 2014.


Jewel has published several books showcasing her writing talents. Her first book of poetry A Night Without Armor (1998) sold over 1 million copies. She followed with an autobiography Chasing Down the Dawn in 2000 and a children‘s book That‘s What I‘d Do in 2004.

Business Ventures

Jewel launched her Project Clean Water initiative in 2006 to provide sustainable clean water solutions to communities in need around the world. She also owns a working 2,400 acre ranch in Texas.

In 2013, Jewel created JewelMint, a subscription ecommerce company selling lifestyle goods. She also had a promotional deal with General Motors.

Jewel‘s Personal Life and Relationships

Jewel‘s romantic life has been the frequent subject of media attention. She dated actor Sean Penn in 1995 after meeting in a bar. He appeared in her music video for "You Were Meant For Me."

In 2008, after dating for 10 months, Jewel eloped with professional bull rider Ty Murray. Their son Kase was born in 2011, but they announced their split in 2014 and divorced that same year.

Jewel then found love with rodeo champion Charlie Whitehurst, who she married in 2015. In 2020 they welcomed a son, Milo.

Jewel is also a second cousin of the late legendary performer Elvis Presley. Her grandmother and his mother were sisters.

Jewel‘s Net Worth and Career Earnings

Thanks to her record sales, charting singles, tours, acting roles and other business ventures, Celebrity Net Worth estimates Jewel‘s net worth at around $14 million as of 2023.

In 1995, during the huge success of her debut album, she earned an estimated $10 million alone. While she may not command the same earnings today, Jewel continues to profit off new music, touring, merchandise and other opportunities allowing her to substantially grow her wealth over the past few decades.


For over 25 years, Jewel has serenaded the world with her soulful voice and vulnerable songwriting. On top of her achievements as a singer and songwriter, she has also pushed creative boundaries through acting, writing, philanthropy and business endeavors.

From her early days busking in San Diego to selling out arenas, Jewel‘s music and storytelling continue to resonate with audiences. She has cemented her status as a music icon with over 30 million albums sold worldwide. With her net worth securely in the tens of millions, Jewel continues to record new music and tour while balancing family life on her Texas ranch. Her star shines as brightly as ever!