Jewel’s return to home state for concerts sparks resentment

Jewel would like to set the record straight: She did not bail on Alaskans when two shows were cancelled many years ago. And, yes, she’ll certainly show up at concerts scheduled this week.

In this image released by Carpenter Co.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Jewel would like to set the record straight: She did not bail on Alaskans when two shows were cancelled many years ago. And, yes, she’ll certainly show up at concerts scheduled this week.

“I was on tour on both occasions already and I’ve never double-booked anything in my life,” she says of long-standing reports that she cancelled a New Year’s Eve concert to ring in 2000, as well as an appearance at the Alaska State Fair in 1996, when she was touring with Neil Young.

The 35-year-old singer-songwriter, born Jewel Kilcher, said as far as she knows she was never booked for the shows by her agency and was surprised when people asked about her going to Alaska.

It bothers her that so many Alaskans believe she abandoned the shows — some airing their resentments quite vociferously.

Her Alaska roots helped make her “a creative, independent, freethinking woman,” says Jewel, who was six when she began performing with her father in her hometown of Homer.

After leaving Alaska, she was living in a van in San Diego before vaulting from obscurity with her 1995 debut album, Pieces of You, and hits like You Were Meant for Me and Who Will Save Your Soul.

Jewel has recorded seven other albums since, the latest a collection of mostly original lullabies released in May.

She’s currently working on a second country album — the first, Perfectly Clear, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s charts last year — as well as a second book of poetry.

“I consider myself a product of Alaska,” she said in a telephone interview from the 810-hectare ranch in Stephenville, Texas, that she shares with her husband, rodeo star Ty Murray.

“The love and the debt that I feel to my home state — you always want your hometown to be the proudest of you and so it’s heartbreaking to hear people say snarky things.”

Alaskans rushed to bash her in response to a small blurb in newspapers announcing the concerts, many still seething at the perception that Jewel turned her back on the state when she became famous.

Jewel is set to perform at a benefit in Homer on Wednesday to raise money for a local program for young artists, following the next two nights with performances at Anchorage’s Atwood Concert Hall.

“She burned this bridge a long time ago. Take a hike, Jewel!” wrote one online reader of the Anchorage Daily News.

Ticket sales for the Anchorage concerts aren’t exactly flying out of the box office.

About half of the tickets for the 2,000-seat Atwood have been sold for the two nights, says local promoter Dan Fiacco.

Tickets are US$50.50, with 50 cents going to Project Clean Water, a charity Jewel started in 1997.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Updated: Red Deer doctor killed at clinic

The RCMP’s major crimes unit is investigating a fatal attack on a… Continue reading

Vigil scheduled Friday for Red Deer doctor who was killed

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Friday at Red Deer City Hall… Continue reading

Alberta reports 257 new cases of COVID-19

The Alberta government reported 257 new cases of COVID-19 in its latest… Continue reading

‘Is this a town garden?’ Sylvan Lake resident has been gardening for 7 decades

Most summer days, Sylvan Lake’s Joel McCutcheon is in his garden pulling… Continue reading

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Cast your votes for Best of Red Deer

The Advocate’s Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are back. Community… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 114-106; key players for both teams sit

Raptors beat Bucks 114-106; key players for both teams sit

Safe at home? Blue Jays end nomadic journey in Buffalo

Safe at home? Blue Jays end nomadic journey in Buffalo

Morikawa makes eagle on 16th, wins PGA Championship

Morikawa makes eagle on 16th, wins PGA Championship

Royal Montreal Golf Club to host Presidents Cup in 2024, last hosted in 2007

Royal Montreal Golf Club to host Presidents Cup in 2024, last hosted in 2007

Familiarity breeds respect among NHL East playoff teams

Familiarity breeds respect among NHL East playoff teams

‘Heavy lifting:’ West is big, tough, deep and wide open

‘Heavy lifting:’ West is big, tough, deep and wide open

Dallas Stars keep Calgary Flames guessing ahead of first-round playoff series

Dallas Stars keep Calgary Flames guessing ahead of first-round playoff series

Most Read