RIAA honoring Jewel for sales

More than 18 mil albums sold in the U.S.

NASHVILLE -- Jewel has been honored by the Recording Industry Association of America with a career milestone plaque commemorating sales of more than 18 million albums in the U.S.

Jenny Alves, RIAA's coordinator of artist industry relations, surprised the 34-year-old singer Thursday as she prepared to sign autographs at the Country Music Association festival.

"This is awesome. Thank you so much," said the singer, who also was scheduled to perform at the festival.

Jewel, whose full name is Jewel Kilcher, released a country album, "Perfectly Clear," on Tuesday. The lead single, "Stronger Woman," is No. 15 on the Billboard chart.

Perhaps best known for her pop and rock hits that include "Foolish Games" and "You Were Meant for Me," Jewel has sold 27 million albums worldwide since her 1995 debut.

She is touring with Brad Paisley in the summer.
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