Hard to believe it, but Jewel (Kilcher) turns 45 on May 23! Seems like only yesterday that her impressive debut album, Pieces of You, produced by long-time Neil Young associate Ben Keith and partly recorded at Neil’s Northern California ranch studio, was all over the radio and selling millions. But in fact it came out in the winter of 1995—though it did take a couple of years for the album to gain traction (thanks in part to exposure Jewel received opening for Bob Dylan). But once it did there was no stopping it—it became one of the best-selling debut albums of all time, reaching #4 on the Billboard album chart and staying on the charts for two years! It spawned three smash singles: “You Were Meant for Me” (which she rerecorded for the single release), “Foolish Games” and “Who Will Save Your Soul.” Rolling Stone called Pieces of You “a record that carved out a perfectly confessional, coffeehouse niche between the decline of grunge and the rise of the slinky pop princess.” She kept it real, and people responded.
Jewel appeared on the cover of the April 2002 issue of Acoustic Guitar. In that interview with Jeffrey Peppers Rodgers, she said of “You Were Meant for Me,” which she wrote as a teenager: “I have always preferred songs that are a little more clever, a little more layered lyrically. . . [It] make[s] me feel like a simpleton, and I hate being corny—it drives me nuts. But with ‘You Were Meant for Me’ I learned the value of being sincere and being sweet. It does translate and it works.” —Blair Jackson