Karaoke Brought Jewel Back to Her Undiscovered Days

Jewel knows what it’s like to be nurtured. And now the pop star and newly expectant mom will do a little nurturing of her own, both in and out of the recording studio.

Along with providing loving care to the upcoming arrival she and husband Ty Murray are expecting at home, Jewel will be tending to the careers of burgeoning songwriters as the co-host of Bravo’s new reality competition series “Platinum Hit” alongside ex-“American Idol” judge Kara Dioguardi.

The singer tells PopcornBiz that being in the family way hasn’t made her more motherly to the show’s undiscovered song scribes: “I've always been quite maternal towards young talent,” says Jewel. “I was that way on 'Nashville Star.’ I'm very protective of them. I don't pull punches. I'm a very straight shooter, but I'm not ever mean about it and I pull for these kids. I'm really pulling for them.”
Jewel says she was recently reminded of the care and support she got as an unknown singer-songwriter on the coffee house circuit in the early 90s after she donned a mousy disguise and sang karaoke incognito as the shy “Karen” at L.A.’s bar The Gaslite for a FunnyOrDie video that became a viral sensation last year.

“It was a neat experience,” she recalls. “It was like a social experiment, to dress up as someone else and still see if people react to you. It reminded me of when I started out. I was homeless when I got discovered. I wasn't trying to get discovered – that's a big misconception. I was just trying to get by and I started singing locally. The crowds just really pulled for me. It was really like a family. They fed me, they gave me books to read and they really, really believed in me. That all came flooding back suddenly. I was anonymous in this little karaoke club and people really responded to my voice and they were high-fiving me – and it even kind of teared me up because they were wholeheartedly, genuinely happy for me. It was really sweet.”

She also knows that giving birth to a solid song can come with its own lengthy labor pains. “There was a song called 'The New Wild West' that I started writing at the Democratic Convention in '98 and I finished it in 2003. I didn't write it that whole time, but it just didn't work back then and then I dug it up and redid it.”

She’s taking inspiration from her pregnancy for her next musical project. “I'm working on a children's album,” she says. “I did an album called 'Lullaby' that I wrote kind of getting into the zone. It'll be based on 'Rocky Raccoon', The Beatles song, and will hopefully be a well crafted, well written album that adults will enjoy and also be whimsical for children.”

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