NASHVILLE (Billboard) - Singer-songwriter Jewel, who is releasing a country album this summer on Nashville-based independent Valory Music, is finding early acceptance from country radio. Her single “Stronger Woman” is the Hot Shot Debut on Hot Country Songs this week, at No. 50.
It’s Jewel’s second appearance on the country chart: In 1999 she peaked at No. 56 as the duet partner of Merle Haggard when the pair reprised his 1984 No. 1 “That’s the Way Love Goes.”
The new song, written by Jewel and Marv Green, is a midtempo, banjo-laden testament to believing in one’s self. “I like a beginning, middle and end to my songs,” Jewel recently told Billboard in explaining her move to country. “That’s pretty much just country radio right now.”
Playing Jewel on a country station is not a stretch, according to KEGA Salt Lake City program director Cody Alan. “If you listen back to old Jewel music, you realize the rootsy feel of her songs are country in nature,” he said. “Her relationship with (professional bull rider/cowboy) Ty Murray helps to give her some country cred. That, along with a great female lyric on ‘Stronger Woman’ seem like the makings of a country hit.”
The song will be available exclusively at iTunes starting February 5. Jewel’s album “Perfectly Clear,” which was produced by Nashville heavyweight John Rich, is due June 3.