Last week I met Jewel when she performed at the Aviva Center Gala at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.  She was a fitting choice to speak and perform at this event being that she herself hasn’t had the easiest past.  She told me on the red carpet about how she is coming out with a memoir, Never Broken.  After hearing some of the things she revealed on stage, I think the book should be very interesting.

First of all, she is the real deal.  Hearing her sing with just a guitar was very impressive, but learning why she wrote each of the songs was more telling.  In the days where American Idol judges tell 14 year olds to evoke the meaning behind what they are singing, it’s refreshing to hear someone sing about something they have actually lived through.  

Jewel met her best friend when she pulled a knife on him as she hitchhiked in her home state of Alaska– he ended up being gay and now lives with her and helps her raise her son.  She hitchhiked from Cabo to Tijuana while offering reflexology massages to tourists to make money “all without getting raped or murdered”.  After leaving her abusive home at 15, Jewel spent years homeless in San Diego and finally caught a break when a local DJ heard her sing at a coffee house and played a recording of her in the middle of the night.  It wasn’t long before LA record execs came calling to woo her, but she was still homeless and washing her hair in the “sink at Denny’s”.  She didn’t talk about her life after becoming famous, but I’m interested to see how she feels about record labels and the music industry as she is releasing a new album to go with her book– but independently and not on a label.

The Aviva Center celebrated its 100th year as a foster home for at risk high school girls in Hollywood.  They routinely take in girls who have tough times coming from abusive backgrounds, gangs, drugs, or life working the streets.  Very impressive organization that take on girls with difficult circumstances in an attempt to change their lives.  I sat next to one of the “house moms” who had been there for 20 years and was invited by a graduate of the program, one of “our girls” who is now pursuing a culinary degree with hopes of a business education in her future.


Jewel, Ellen Pompeo, Ali Larter & Hayes MacArthur, Michelle Monaghan, Leslie & Dr Jack Kavanaugh, Ryan Kavanaugh & Jessica Roffey, Elliot & Robin Broidy, Steve Westly, Barbara Lazaroff

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