Exclusive interviews with all of the Kilchers.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Alaska: The Last Frontier: Life on the Homestead - Jewel (singer) - Netflix
Jewel Kilcher (born May 23, 1974), known mononymously as Jewel, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, producer, actress, author, and poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and, as of 2008, has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Kilcher was raised in Homer, Alaska, where she grew up singing and yodeling as a duo with her father, a local musician. At age fifteen, she received a partial scholarship at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where she studied operatic voice. After graduating, Kilcher began writing and performing at clubs and coffeehouses in San Diego, California. Based on local media attention, she was offered a recording contract with Atlantic Records, who released her debut album, Pieces of You, in 1995; it went on to become one of the best-selling debut albums of all time, going 12-times platinum. The debut single from the album, “Who Will Save Your Soul”, peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100; two others, “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games”, reached number two on the Hot 100, and were listed on Billboard's 1997 year-end singles chart, as well as Billboard's 1998 year-end singles chart. Her subsequent album, Spirit, was released in 1998, followed by This Way (2001). In 2003, she released 0304, which marked a departure from her previous folk-oriented records, featuring electronic arrangements and elements of dance-pop. In 2008, she released Perfectly Clear, her first country album; it debuted atop Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and featured three singles, “Stronger Woman”, “I Do”, and “'Til It Feels Like Cheating”. Jewel released her first independent album, Lullaby, in 2009. Jewel has also had endeavors in writing and acting; in 1998 she released a collection of poetry, and the following year appeared in a supporting role in Ang Lee's Western film Ride with the Devil (1999) which earned her critical acclaim.
Alaska: The Last Frontier: Life on the Homestead - 1993–1997: Beginnings and Pieces of You - Netflix
For a time, Kilcher lived in her car while traveling around the country doing street performances and small gigs, mainly in Southern California. She gained recognition by singing at The Inner Change Cafe and Java Joe's in San Diego; she would later make her debut record at Java Joe's when it was in Poway, where she had worked as a barista. Her friend Steve Poltz's band, The Rugburns, played the same venues. She later collaborated with Poltz on some of her songs, including “You Were Meant for Me”. (He also appeared in the song's second, better-known video.) The Rugburns opened for Jewel on her Tiny Lights tour in 1997. Poltz appeared in Jewel's band on the Spirit World Tour 1999 playing guitar. Kilcher was discovered by Inga Vainshtein in August 1993 when John Hogan, lead singer from the local San Diego band Rust, whom Vainshtein was managing, called to tell her about a girl surfer who sang at a local coffee shop on Thursdays. Vainshtein drove to The Inner Change with a representative from Atlantic Records, and after the show they called Danny Goldberg, the head of Atlantic Record's West Coast operations, and asked him to pay for her demo, since at the time she was living in a van and lacked the means to record any of her own music. Vainshtein, who at the time was working as a film executive at Paramount, eventually became her manager and was instrumental in creating a major bidding war that led to her deal with Atlantic Records. She continued to manage Jewel until the end of the first album cycle. Her debut album Pieces of You was released under the eponym of Jewel, in 1995 when she was 21 years old. Recorded in a studio on singer Neil Young's ranch, it included Young's backing band, The Stray Gators, who played on his Harvest and Harvest Moon albums. Part of the album was recorded live at The Inner Change Cafe in San Diego, where she had risen to local fame. The album stayed on the Billboard 200 for two years, reaching number four at its peak. The album spawned the Top 10 hits “You Were Meant for Me”, “Who Will Save Your Soul”, and “Foolish Games”. The album eventually sold over 12 million copies in the United States alone. In the late 1990s, Mike Connell created an electronic mailing list for fans, known as “Everyday Angels”. Although Jewel herself does not subscribe to this mailing list, she maintained communication with her EA fans. On July 18 and 19, 1996, she gave a two-day concert known as “JewelStock” at the Bearsville Theatre. Jewel allowed the concert to be taped, and fans circulated the concert without profit.
Alaska: The Last Frontier: Life on the Homestead - References - Netflix