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Jewel‘s first country album, Perfectly Clear, is out now. The 34-year-old singer, who lives with rodeo star boyfriend Ty Murray, 38, opens up.

What do you like about country music?
I grew up on country music. I was raised on a ranch in Alaska. My dad’s a cowboy. I’ve been writing country music my whole career. I did a song called You Were Meant For Me that was a country song but my label wouldn’t play it at country radio. Not that I complain because I sold 30 million records, but it always bummed me out not to be at country radio. So I got off that label and was able to do this project. I’m so excited.

How do you spend your free time?
I love writing songs in Nashville. The best writers in the world live here, and it’s a lot of fun. At the ranch, we ride horses and hang out and just chill. It’s nice.

How do you stay in shape?
Oh gosh! It’s hard with my lifestyle. When I’m home at the ranch, I jog. We have a good four miles of dirt road. When I’m here, I just don’t have a chance. Sometimes I do yoga or go to the gym when I can. Other days you hope you don’t eat too much because you can’t work out.

What do you love about Ty?
He’s a standup guy in a world of flakes. He has honor, means what he says, does what he means, he’s like the real John Wayne. I like that.

Advice for Miley in dealing with paparazzi?

It’s about the lifestyle you live and what you surround yourself with. I did my first record at 18 and sold a million records. I come from a ranch in Alaska, and I wasn’t prepared. That’s why I stayed away from Hollywood, I stayed away from Barbies and I tried to live a lifestyle that was going to help me grow up as a writer. What you court is what you get and it’s hard for people who are celebrities. Not Miley, but other celebrities, because of paparazzi is the only way they’ve ever become famous.

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