November 5, 2007 Scott Borchetta, the president and CEO for Big Machine Records, is launching a second imprint, the Valory Music Company, and has signed Jewel to a multi-album deal, billboard.com reports.
"She's just one of the best singer/songwriters in any genre," Scott says, adding that a move to country is "a natural progression for her."
The label's name is a variation on June Carter Cash's birth name, Valerie June Carter. According to Scott, the name means "fierce; the brave one; of valor."
Along with Jewel, whose album was produced by Big & Rich's John Rich and is expected in the spring, Valory will be home to Justin Moore and Jimmy Wayne. Justin has been in development, and Jimmy moves over from the Big Machine roster, which includes Taylor Swift, Trisha Yearwood and Jack Ingram, among others. It also handles promotion for Garth Brooks.
Jewel, who has cut five of her six albums in Nashville, says country has always been in her plans. "I've been wanting to do this record my whole career," she says, "but my label was always scared of country music. I've always had country songs on my records. If I had been discovered now, living in my car in San Diego, I think I would have been signed as a country act."
Earlier this year Jewell hosted the country reality show Nashville Star and she has made a number of appearances at Muzik Mafia events. She co-wrote and dueted with new artist Jason Michael Carroll on "No Good In Goodbye," which appears on his debut album, Waitin' in the Country. She will be a presenter on the Country Music Association Awards show on Wednesday.