Jewel is one of the most successful and beloved musicians of our time. But her road to fame and fortune wasn’t always easy — in fact, while growing up in Alaska, Jewel’s future seemed uncertain.
According to CNN Money, the Grammy nominee grew up poor in Alaska. When she moved to California after high school, according to her website, she became homeless. At the SALT Conference in Las Vegas in May 2017, Jewel admitted to a watching crowd: “I was a homeless kid who was stealing. I didn’t have $40 to buy a dress, much less to get any housing.”
Not only was being homeless hard because Jewel didn’t have a place to live, it also took a toll on her life socially.
She remembers others treating her poorly. “People treated me like I was contagious,” she said. “They thought the homelessness might spread to them.”
Jewel eventually made her way out of homelessness in California, where she was discovered and soon skyrocketed into a fame she probably never could have imagined. Now, the singer is starring in a Cirque du Soleil show about her own life, USA Today reports. In the video below, she opens up about why she chose this new venture.
The one-night-only show will tell Jewel’s life story — in particular, her struggle to get clean drinking water while growing up poor and eventually becoming homeless. Jewel’s show will benefit One Night for One Drop, Cirque du Soleil’s annual fundraiser for One Drop, a foundation that helps low-income populations get access to clean water and sanitation.
Jewel told USA Today that before her fame she thought she would be OK living in her car for a few months without water after losing her job, in part because she grew up without running water. But then her car was stolen, and she was left with no way to get her hands on the water she so desperately needed. Now that she is in a position to help others, she wants to do everything she can.
Check out the video below to hear more from Jewel, and please SHARE this story on Facebook!
Footage provided by KTNV Las Vegas
CORRECTION: February 27, 2018
An earlier version of this story attributed a source to Business Insider. The information actually came from CNN Money.
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