Jewel was born in Payson, Utah, but spent most of her youth in Alaska on the border with Canada. She is the daughter of Atz Kilcher, social worker, and Nedra Caroll. Her parents gave folk concerts she attended.
In elementary school, one realizes that she suffers from dyslexia.
Her parents divorced when she was eight years old. Nedra stays in Anchorage and Atz settles on her parents' farm.
Jewel spent most of her adolescence on the farm of her paternal grandparents, of Swiss origin.
In 1993, then unknown, she is severely affected by an acute kidney infection. Due to lack of medical coverage and financial resources, hospitals refuse to treat it.
In August 2008, she married Ty Murray, a rodeo champion.
She is also the cousin of actress and singer Q'Orianka Kilcher and a good friend of Sophie Grégoire, the wife of Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau.