February 9, 2009 in Features

Jewel’s new LP lulls us to sleep

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As a teenager, Jewel had her share of hard times, including a period of homelessness. To soothe herself, she wrote a song called “Raven” when she was 16.

That song, and another, “Angels Standing By,” were written to help ease the stress she felt while living in her blue Volkswagen bus.

The songs are part of an upcoming collection of original lullabies she hopes to release this spring.

“I’ve been writing lullabies since the beginning,” the 34-year-old singer-songwriter, who was born Jewel Kilcher, said in a recent phone interview.

“I kind of did it for myself to help myself fall asleep when I really worried, like when I was homeless and I’d fall asleep in my car,” she said. “I wrote the song ‘Angels Standing By’ … to try and soothe myself – rock myself to sleep, basically – because I was so scared and stressed.”

Jewel, whose last album, “Perfectly Clear,” was country-influenced and co-produced with John Rich of Big & Rich, said the lullaby album will be spare and self-produced at her home studio.

She said working from the 2,000-square-foot ranch near Stephenville, Texas, that she shares with her husband, rodeo champion Ty Murray, was easy and convenient.

But it also was liberating, getting her back to why she makes music – “not having all these considerations that you think of, except what moves me.”

The upcoming album also has been influenced by movies, specifically those like “Shrek” that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.

“They sort of exist on two levels,” Jewel said, “and that’s something I wanted this record to do.”

The songs also could be for her own children – one day. She said she and Murray want to start a family.

“I hope that my life ends up being my greatest work of art, not just my music.”

Brown back on the town

Whitney Houston’s former husband, singer Bobby Brown, is expecting a baby with his girlfriend, Alicia Etheridge, whom he started dating in 2007, his agent, Ravi Dabiesingh, confirms to Usmagazine.com.

“He is very excited, as Bobby is big on family,” Dabiesingh said without a hint of irony. Brown has a daughter with Houston, and three other children.

NFL stars make better dates

Reality star Khloe Kardashian, who just broke up with NBA player Rashad McCants, said her sister Kim Kardashian, who is seeing NFL star Reggie Bush, has it made.

“Football players have one game a week, and they practice every day,” she said, “but they’re all at home. … In basketball, they’re on the road all the time.”

The birthday bunch

News correspondent Roger Mudd is 81. Actress Janet Suzman is 70. Singer Carole King is 67. Singer Barbara Lewis is 66. Actor Joe Pesci is 66. Author Alice Walker is 65. Actress Mia Farrow is 64. Actress Judith Light is 60. Country singer Travis Tritt is 46. Actress Julie Warner is 44. Singer Chad Wolf of Carolina Liar is 33. Guitarist Richard On of O.A.R. is 30. Actor David Gallagher is 24.

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