Singer Jewel joined the FOX Business Networkâ€™s Maria Bartiromo to share her journey in the music industry.
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The Alaskan-born singer and songwriter said it all started as a kid, where she would sing in bars with her father to make money.
â€œI'm sort of what people would call a junk bond kid. Nobody would invest in me. As a human, as a child. My mom left when I was eight. My dad had a lot of trauma from his own childhood, and then went to Vietnam and picked up a lot more trauma. And when my mom left, he suddenly found himself a single father and was incredibly anxious, and turned to drinking to try and calm that anxiety, and he became abusive when I was eight,â€ she said.
So at 15 years old, she moved out to pursue a career, but her journey wasnâ€™t easy.
â€œI did pretty good for the three years. I got myself through school, I graduated, I paid rent, I worked jobs. And then when I was 18, I was living in San Diego to take care of my mother who was sick, and a boss propositioned me, and when he wouldn't â€“ when I didn't sleep with him, he fired me without giving me my paycheck. And I couldn't pay my rent that month, and we got kicked out. Started living in my car, thinking it would only last a couple months. But then the car I was living in got stolen,â€ she said.
After a near death bout with a kidney infection, the â€œNever Brokenâ€ authorâ€™s car was stolen and she became homeless.
â€œIt's very dehumanizing to be homeless. It was in San Diego, which is a nicer place to be homeless, I guess, than Alaska or Chicago, or something like that, where it's really cold,â€ she said. â€œIt was pleasant weather, at least, which was nice and made that easier. But you're really reduced to being animals. You worry about food, shelter, safety, and water 24/7. You're an animal. You're just stuck on survive.â€
But it was while she was homeless that the four-time Grammy nominated singer and songwriter was discovered.
â€œThe record labels didn't realize that I was homeless. A bootleg of mine ended up on the radio, and all these labels started coming down. It was like being Cinderella in the pumpkin. I was offered a million-dollar signing bonus,â€ she said.
Even though she turned it down, the move saved her career, she said.
â€œI was going to make a folk record at the height of grunge. I knew it probably wouldn't be successful. And I cared about my authenticity much more than I cared about being famous or rich. I wanted the opportunity to do something I loved everyday, and I knew with my emotional baggage, my baggage and my background, if you add fame into the mix, it should lead to just self-implosion and self-destruction,â€ she said.
Today, Jewel is keeping herself busy; She has a partnership with Zappos and is working with a Vegas-based foundation called Aspiring Children. She plans to hit the road again for her first Christmas tour this year.