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Jewel says she’s ‘really excited’ for her 10-year-old son to play drums on her tour

The singer-songwriter spoke with TODAY about the challenges of being a mom and a musician.
/ Source: TODAY

Jewel has a new outlook when it comes to being a musician. The 47-year-old singer-songwriter has been performing since she was a young girl in Alaska, often with her father, Atz Kilcher.

She’s keeping the family tradition going, this time with her 10-year-old son, Kase Murray, who will be joining her on tour and playing the drums later this year.

“Kase is going to play. He plays drums,” Jewel told TODAY at the “American Song Contest” red carpet on Monday after her performance. “So I’m really excited that he’ll get to tour with me. It’s going to make me enjoy touring again.”

“We’ve toured a little bit, not a whole ton,” added Jewel, who was accompanied by her son on Monday. “We’ve always had my whole family out, so this will be just he and I.”

Jewel with her 10-year-old son, Kase, on the "American Song Conest" red carpet on April 4, 2022.
Jewel was joined by her 10-year-old son, Kase, on the "American Song Contest" red carpet Monday.Gregg DeGuire / FilmMagic

Jewel represented her home state of Alaska during the NBC singing competition show’s third episode. Hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg, the show is modeled after “Eurovision Song Contest” and includes 56 artists from the 50 states, U.S. territories and Washington, D.C., competing to win the country’s vote for Best Original Song. Aside from Jewel, other recognizable singers who are competing include Michael Bolton and Macy Gray.

Jewel performed an original song called “The Story.” During her performance, she took a moment to dedicate the track to anyone whose life has “taken a turn for the worse.”

“Or anybody who’s afraid the magic is gone. Take heart, the story is not over yet,” she said during the episode.

Jewel shared that the dedication message came to her earlier in the morning when she was on a hike.

“I talked to the producers, like, ‘Can I say this during my bridge? I know I didn’t practice it,’” she shared with TODAY. “But I really felt that the song really is about when you think your life’s over, it takes these dark turns, but the story’s (not over).”

Jewel performs her new song "The Story" during episode 3 of "American Song Contest."
Jewel performed her new song "The Story" during episode 3 of "American Song Contest."NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

One might wonder why the four-time Grammy-nominated singer decided to compete for “American Song Contest” when she’s already achieved so much success in her career. Jewel noted that, as a mother, the show allows her to spend more time with her son.

“Times change, you know. The world is so different. And I think it’s really hard — a lot of women don’t talk about what it’s like to not only be a woman as you grow and age in the music business, but to be a mom,” the “You Were Meant For Me” singer said. “It’s hard to find opportunities that don’t make me go on tour for two years. I think it’s why we lose a lot of women in our middle age. And I think women are obviously great writers. ...

“So for me, this show really checks the box of, hey, it’s supporting songwriters (and) I’m a huge ‘Eurovision’ fan. But it let me be a mom without going on tour for a year. And (it) lets me do a really popular show, have my son with me on the weekend and go home and still be a mom.”

Earlier this year, Jewel announced her 13th studio album, “Freewheelin’ Woman,” which will be released on April 15. The artist said that she feels like her songwriting and singing are at their “peak” and she’s “really proud” of what she’s written.

Jewel said she pushed herself with the sound, and she hopes people enjoy it. 

“I always want to do something that’s new, but it has to be authentic,” she explained. “This is a much more soulful album. I really pushed myself on the range and the melody writing.”

“American Song Contest” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on NBC.