She has sold more than 27 million albums, has three Grammy nominations, and her first country album debuted at No. 1. And with weekly exposure as a judge on 'Nashville Star,' you might say Jewel is at the top of her game. But it was certainly a bumpy road to stardom.

"I became homeless after I got fired from my job because I wouldn't have sex with my boss," she tells GAC of her pre-fame years. "I almost died from blood poisoning because I had bad kidneys. I fell into this bad poverty cycle, and I couldn't get out."

For Jewel, her career aspirations weren't fame or fortune. She just wanted to survive.

"It wasn't like I was an artist trying to make my dream work," she explains. "I started writing songs and performing because that would give me money so I could live. Then a radio station put a bootleg recording of mine on the radio and my first label heard it."

When not filming 'Nashville Star,' Jewel is traveling with Brad Paisley's Paisley Party Tour, along with Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough. Click here for tour dates.