Larry Marano / Retna Ltd / Retna Ltd via womansday.com
Grab the tissues, this story is sure to bring y’all to tears.
20 years ago the album, “Pieces of You” was released and the world was introduced to a young woman with amazing talent, Jewel Kilcher.
The album would change life as she knew it. The Alaskan native had been struggling for years to get find success, and the moment had finally come. “Pieces of You” featured two of the most iconic Jewel songs, “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “You Were Meant For Me“, and became one of the best-selling debut album of all time.
But before she was the superstar she is today, Jewel went through more than any of us can imagine. In an interview with TODAY, the superstar opened up about her troubled past, being abused and being homeless.
An emotional Jewel said,
For me, the hardest thing was being treated as if I was sub-human — as if I didn’t matter. I remember washing my hair at a bathroom sink in a Denny’s, and I was using the hand towels to dry my hair. And people looked at me like I was absolutely disgusting. I wanted to yell at them and say, ‘I’m human! I may not have a house, but I matter!’
She continued, discussing how being labeled ‘homeless’ doesn’t mean someone is ‘lazy’, she said,
There are stigmas that these people are lazy, or don’t work, or do drugs. These are hardworking families, and I think that’s something the film does a good job highlighting.
Jewel also opened up about a very personal story, a time she almost lost her life. She admitted,
I almost died in an emergency room because they didn’t see me because I didn’t have [health] insurance. Thankfully, a doctor had seen me get turned away. I was dying of lead poisoning and he gave me some antibiotics and saved my life.
In a final statement about her troubled past, Jewel said how hard it is to break the poverty cycle. She said, “And when you don’t have a physical address, much less of an education, it’s very, very difficult to get a job and break that poverty cycle.”
Jewel is such an inspiration, and it is so amazing to see someone turn a negative experience into a positive story.
Below, Jewel performs “That’s The Way Love Goes” with the legendary Merle Haggard at the 1999 CMA Awards. As a child, Jewel said she used to sing Merle’s songs, and what an amazing moment to see them together.
Check it out!