Folk/pop singer Jewel recently spoke at a private music industry event in New York City, reportedly receiving a standing ovation, in part due to her appraisal of Nirvana’s importance during the ‘90s.

Jewel was an integral part of the sonic shift from angst-ridden alt-rock to empathetic easy listening following the death of Kurt Cobain. Though she was on the other end of the pendulum’s swing, Jewel has a massive appreciation for Nirvana.

“I was a product of the ‘80s and came of age in ‘90s like many of you — when Nirvana was king,” Jewel began. “They were king and deservedly so, because they saw a gap. They felt a gap between where culture actually was, and what was being played on the radio. And that gap wasn’t small, it turns out. It ended up being a revolution.”
She continued, “Nirvana was part of the real world, the world that didn’t think it was a shiny happy place, a carry-over of the glitz, stadium rock and material-girl realness of the '80s. Kids were in pain. And Kurt, Krist and Dave were those kids. And they gave a voice to a generation that felt the same as they did. Outsiders.”

Of course, Jewel and Nirvana are miles apart, stylistically, but she pointed to one dynamic in particular during her speech. “I was that generation. I was one of those kids. How I felt on the inside wasn’t what I saw on TV or heard on the radio. But as the decade progressed, and a disengaged apathy began to set in and even become cool, I couldn’t afford to be disengaged and hopeless. I didn’t want to kill myself … Kids wanted solutions. They needed to hear a new truth. That no one will save your soul if you aren’t willing to save your own. That no one is coming for you — you are coming for you. We are going to be okay. Kindness matters.” [via Variety]

Jewel debuted the new song “No More Tears” at the event, so if you’re a fan, expect to hear it sometime soon.

Top 30 Grunge Albums of All Time

10 Best Nirvana Songs