Despite the fact that she’s an incredibly accomplished artist who has received four Grammy Award nominations and has sold over 30 million albums since 2008, people seem to be overly preoccupied with Jewel’s teeth. In fact, ‘teeth’ is one of the most common search terms when it comes to the 42-year-old singer. Why can’t people seem to get over her mouth? What is it about Jewel’s teeth that’s got everyone so interested?
Read on to find out.
Jewel is known for having crooked teeth– something she’s well aware of. In an article she wrote for Redbook, Jewel discusses what it was like taking on the role of June Carter Cash (for those of you don’t know, June has pretty perfect teeth) in the Lifetime biopic, Ring of Fire.
I knew that if I wanted to do the role justice, I would have to get prosthetic dentures that matched her beautiful smile. Because I—despite having written 500 songs, having hits in nearly every genre, getting Grammy nominations, singing for a pope and a president—am best known for having crooked teeth.
In the article, Jewel goes on to chronicle her experiences fielding questions about her mouth. On a number of radio shows, people have called in asking about her teeth. She also recalls some dentists calling in and offering to fix them for free. Jewel writes, “One time a DJ said, ‘You may have heard me describe my next guest as a snaggle-toothed singer from Alaska. Jewel, how are you?’ To which I replied, ‘You must be that small-penised man from South Carolina I’ve heard so much about.’ I was promptly taken off the air and dismissed from the studio.”
Last year, Jewel wrote another article for Marie Claire, in which she opens up about her relationship with Sean Penn, and the time she first came into contact with the filmmaker. After appearing on Conan O’Brien’s show one year, the singer traveled back to Alaska to take a rest– she’d been touring endlessly and was exhausted. While she was there, her father got a call from a man who said he was Sean Penn, but Jewel’s dad didn’t believe the guy and hung up. Penn called a second time, assured Jewel’s father that he was, indeed, Sean Penn, and said he’d heard his daughter on Conan and that he wanted her to write a song for a film he was directing.
Jewel and Penn eventually started a slow-moving romance. “I moved very slowly with him but he was a persistent and inventive suitor, and I enjoyed it immensely. He sincerely believed in my music, and this felt as good as anything. He was a talented artist and took my songs and lyrics seriously, and I was starving for anyone who believed in me.” Penn took her to the film’s premiere, and had an agent come up to him afterwards who said he should try and get her some acting jobs. The same agent asked Penn if Jewel would fix her teeth. Jewel writes, “I remember the look of total amazement on Sean’s face. He shook his head. The agent looked at me, unconvinced.”
Despite the criticism, Jewel has always said she won’t change her smile– she’s proud of her teeth and the way she was born. In her Redbook article, Jewel writes, “I could fix my snaggle or not, and it wouldn’t matter—either way, there would be some who think I’m prettier and some who hate it. There is no way to win but to make yourself happy.”