Music’s modern folk darling plants roots near Dallas.
Jewel Kilcher, better known simply as Jewel, has become the biggest cowgirl in Stephenville,
Texas, the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” The 27-year-old singer/songwriter is dating seven-time, all-around, world rodeo champion Ty Murray, and for the past two years, she has divided her time between her place in Santa Fe, N.M., and Murray’s 1,800-acre ranch an hour and a half south of Dallas. “She’s here about 75 percent of the year,” says Stephenville resident Paige Posey.
Jewel sightings are about as common in Stephenville as cowboy hats and cattle. “She’s in Wal-Mart all the time,” says Tarena Major, owner of The Bijou, a local coffee bar and hair salon. “Last time I saw her she was walking around in jeans and boots with spurs. I wondered why on earth anyone would go into Wal-Mart with spurs on.”
Her low-key lifestyle in Stephenville isn’t much different from her rural upbringing in Alaska, where she worked on a farm caring for horses. But just because she’s traded the typical Hollywood fast track for a down-home lifestyle doesn’t mean she’s out of the spotlight. With the release of her third album This Way, the singer has been hitting the promotional trail, including a cover shot on Vanity Fair’s music issue.
Not only are Jewel and Murray dating, but they’re also collaborating. Her new album features “Till We Run Out of Road,” which the two co-wrote, and they may soon share more than songwriter royalties. Says Posey: “They have talked about getting married.”