Jewel

Jewel has had a hell of a musical career for someone barely into her mid-30s. The folk singer/songwriter went from living in a van to MTV stardom in 1995, thanks to her hugely successful debut album, Pieces of You. She then penned a collection of poetry, A Night Without Armor, which became a New York Times bestseller. But just when it seemed that Jewel could do no wrong, she traded in her guitar for a wet T-shirt and hot pants in the 2003 video for her unexpected dance-pop single "Intuition." She claims it was a poke at the music industry, but many fans and critics branded Jewel a sellout (albeit a sexy one). Whatever the case, it's a relief that she's brought back her trademark blend of confessional lyrics and sparse instrumentation with last year's country-tinged Perfectly Clear.

 
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