Jewel Kilcher Biography
Jewel Kilcher is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actress, author, and poet. She was born on May 23, 1974, in Payson, Utah, the second child of Attila Kuno Kilcher and Lenedra Jewel Kilcher.
Her grandmother Ruth was an aspiring opera singer who left pre-war Germany, got on a ship headed to Alaska to marry a man she hardly knew because she felt her future children must be born somewhere free.
She married Yule Kilcher, who was a young idealist who hiked across the Alaskan glaciers by foot, with a ladder on his back, which he used to bridge crevasses in the ice so he could walk over them. He was looking for adventure and new land, away from the Nazi movement. Alaska was still not a state in the late ’40s, so he was given (as all takers were) 600 acres of land for free if he promised to homestead it. He sent word back to his homeland of Switzerland, where many friends expressed wanting to move, that he had found a good piece of land. But none came, except Ruth.
Jewel got her love of language from Yule. He studied the origins of languages. Ruth taught all her 8 children (she gave birth to most of them alone in a dirt-floored log cabin!) to sing and play instruments. She was raised outdoors on the same homestead her family settled around all the music of my family.
They lived far from town. They had to walk 2 miles just to get to the saddle barn she was raised in… No running water, no heat- they had a coal stove and an outhouse and they mainly lived off of what we could kill or can. They picked berries and made jam. They caught fish to freeze and had gardens and cattle to live on. Jewel rode horses every day in the summer beneath the Alaskan midnight sun.
Jewel’s parents divorced when she was 8, and she and her dad (Atz Kilcher) became a duo. The dad trained her well and she practiced hard, for hours a day, to sing good harmony and learn his songs. Together, they sang at Veterans clubs and bank openings, and biker bars and honky-tonks all over the state.
Jewel moved out on her own when she was 15. She had a cabin not far from her dad’s. The cabin had one room and no water, no plumbing, and she worked several jobs. Jewel rode a horse 12 miles into town for work and left the horse at her aunt’s place (who lived close to town) then hitch-hiked the rest of the way in.
At 15 Jewel applied to a fine arts school in Michigan, called Interlochen, and was accepted on a partial scholarship. she raised the rest of the money by doing her first solo show ever at the local high school in the auditorium. She had always backed her dad up, but this time she sang a variety of Cole Porter songs she loved, backed up by a friend who played the piano. Local businesses donated items for her to auction off at intermission. Her home town of Homer, Alaska raised $11,000 for her during that concert… all to help send her to school. She majored in classical voice and art and minored in dance and drama. She was 16 that year.
At spring break all kids had to leave the campus. But Jewel couldn’t afford to get to Alaska, so she decided to learn 4 chords on the guitar and get on a train in Detroit to busk her way across the country. She made up lyrics about what she saw traveling. It took several days to sing her way across the country- earning her ticket money one street corner at a time when the train stopped.
Jewel made it to San Diego and crossed the border into Tijuana and hitch-hiked to Cabo San Lucas. She carried a large skinning knife with her for protection in a scabbard on my belt. She earned enough money to get on a ferry and cross the Sea of Cortez and take trains through central Mexico. She stayed in youth hostels and ate by singing in restaurants in exchange for food. Jewel ferried back to Cabo, and hitchhiked back to Tijuana, and trained back to Michigan to be back at school when it started up again. The whole time she wrote one song. A long song. Jewel’s first song was about the people she met and the things she saw. The song was called “Who Will Save Your Soul”.
Jewel was going to graduate high school a year early, having finished her academics, but she was given a full scholarship for her senior year to return just to take all art classes. She fell in love with marble carving that year, and visual art became the focus of her senior year. She wrote songs in her free time.
After graduating, she ended up in San Diego where she answered phones in a computer warehouse. Her boss fired her because she wouldn’t sleep with him, and she ended up homeless for a year. She kept writing songs and started singing in a local coffee shop called The Inner Change Cafe where she developed a loyal following. A radio station decided to put a bootleg of her on the air and a record label heard it. Soon after, a lot of limousines started pulling up and guys in suits came to watch her sing. There was a bidding war between several labels for her! Against all odds, her simple album went on to sell 12 million copies.
Jewel Kilcher Age
She was born on May 23, 1974. She is 44 years old as of 2018.
Jewels Kilcher Parents – Jewel Kilcher Mother
Attila Kuno Kilcher and Lenedra Jewel Kilcher. At the time of her birth, her parents had been living in Utah with her elder brother, Shane; her father was attending Brigham Young University. Her father, originally from Alaska, was a Mormon, though the family stopped attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after her parents’ divorce when she was eight years old.
Jewel is the daughter of Atz Kilcher, who stars in the Discovery Channel show Alaska: The Last Frontier. Jewel has been estranged from her mother and former business manager Nedra since 2003; the singer has accused her mother of stealing millions of dollars from her.
Jewel Kilcher Siblings
Shane Kilcher and Atz Lee Kilcher
Jewel Kilcher Husband
Jewel married pro rodeo cowboy Ty Murray on August 7, 2008, in the Bahamas after 10 years together. Their son, Kase Townes Murray, was born on July 11, 2011. After nearly 6 years of marriage, Jewel announced on July 2, 2014, on her website that she and Murray were divorcing.
Jewel Kilcher House
Jewel Kilcher Songs
- Foolish Games
- Who Will Save Your Soul
- You Were Meant For Me
- My Father’s Daughter
- Standing Still
- Brahms’ Lullaby
- Stay Here Forever
- Water Is Wide
- Down So Long
- Stronger Woman
- Angel Standing By
- I’m Sensitive
- Break Me
- Near You Always
- Morning Song
- What’s Simple Is True
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow
- I Do
- Sov Gott
- Life Uncommon
- Till It Feels Like Cheating
- Only One Too
- Two Hearts Breaking
- Serve the Ego
- Daydream Land
- I Love You Forever
Jewel Kilcher Net Worth
She has an estimated net worth of $30 million.