Jewel credits radio for breakthrough


We’re not sure if Jewel is mainly a folk, country or pop act, but she says she’d be an unknown act were it not for radio. In fact, in her case, it rescued her from homelessness. She told NBC’s Today Show, "I was homeless for about a year and I went back to singing, ’cause that’s what I grew up doing with my dad as a child. We made our money by bar-singing. So I was looking for a place to sing, and it was my own material. And after about a year of being homeless and doing that, a radio station played one of my songs on the air — a bootleg. I didn’t have any demos. I wasn’t trying to get signed. But a record label heard it, and all the sudden it was like being Cinderella. Limousines started showing up." Jewel said.

The singer’s comments are of interest since the recording companies are trying to pretend that radio airplay has no value and performance royalties are required to give them a fair shake. "Jewel joins a chorus of entertainers who recognize the value of radio airplay in boosting their careers," said NAB EVP Dennis Wharton. "That’s a point that should not go unnoticed as RIAA wages its war against the number one promotional platform for musicians."