Raised off the grid in Alaska, singer Jewel Kilcher, known professionally as Jewel, has sold tens of millions of records. The multi-platinum-selling singer and songwriter also co-hosts a successful TV series. But she is having nothing to do with her family’s latest venture – a low-budget reality show following their off-grid lives.
Her father and siblings are cashing in on her fame by allowing cameras from Discovery TV to follow them as they endure winter off the grid in Alaska. Jewel has not confirmed she is feeling betrayed by their decision to go for the series without her. She says the roots of the family are more adventuring than ecological: “”As a kid, we traveled by bush planes to Alaskan native villages. It would drop us off in the night, and dog sleds would pick us up in the village. I was probably about 6 or 7 years old.”
The simply titled, “Alaska: The Last Frontier,” is just the latest in the ever-expanding list of reality TV shows set in Alaska. Discovery were desperate for a new show to capitalise on the unexpected success of Gold Rush (2010). Now they have two. “Man, Woman, Wild”, thew only show to tell you how to make acorns for breakfast, returns from hiatus in a new time slot as Mykel Hawke, a wilderness expert and former Green Beret, and his wife, Ruth England, a city girl and television journalist, find themselves stranded on a glacier in Alaska. In “The Last Frontier” the Kilcher family takes center stage, though without the family’s most famous member.
Announced in March with the working title, “Mountain Men of Alaska,” the Discovery series focuses on patriarch Atz Kilcher, Jewel’s father. He and the rest of the clan live on a 600-acre homestead outside of Homer that was settled 80 years ago by Jewel’s grandfather, Yule Kilcher. That land is home to three generations, and the show’s first episode follows the Kilchers as they prepare for winter, highlighting their off-the-grid lifestyle.
As an adult Jewel has put down roots in Texas with husband Ty Murray. She debuted in 1995 with her album “Pieces of You,” which sold more than 15 million copies, thanks to her hits “Who Will Save Your Soul,” “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games.” Fittingly, she is the host of the Bravo TV singer-songwriter competition “Platinum Hit,” where she also serves as one of the judges.
“When Ty and I decided we wanted to start a family, I knew I needed to concentrate on work that didn’t require as much travel,” said the 37-year-old entertainer.
“My husband rodeoed his whole life and traveled quite a bit, so sometimes he’d rather sit at home than take another trip.”
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