DETROIT (Billboard) - Pop singer Jewel is going country, and says she is willing to pay her dues to win acceptance. She will release her first country album, "Perfectly Clear," on June 3, and will hit the road with Brad Paisley, beginning June 11 in Albuquerque, N.M.
"I think my fans are going to like Brad because he's a songwriter and a musician; my fans like the real deal," Jewel said. "And I think his fans are going to like me. I think it's a great fit, audience-wise.... I'm expecting it to be a lot of fun."
Jewel said she's been a country music fan since she was a child, growing up on a ranch in Alaska, with a father who was "a cowboy listening to very traditional country music."
She said the producers of her previous album often "took the twang out of my song arrangements or melodic structures," and she was looking forward to putting those elements back into her music. Pop hits such as "You Were Meant For Me" and "Foolish Games" would have been great for country radio, she added.
Jewel is slated to join Paisley for 36 dates, with the tour concluding October 18 in Selma, Texas.