06/06/2008 at 02:35 PM EDT
Having sold more than 18 million albums in the U.S. and 27 million albums worldwide since her professional debut in 1995, Jewel has been honored by the Recording Industry Association of America – which surprised her with a career-milestone plaque on Thursday as she prepared to sign autographs at the Country Music Association festival in Nashville. "This is awesome. Thank you so much," said the singer, 34, the Associated Press reports. Jewel (full name: Jewel Kilcher) released her new album, Perfectly Clear
on Tuesday. Its lead single, "Stronger Woman," is already No. 15 on the Billboard
chart. This summer, she tours with Brad Paisley.
– Stephen M. Silverman To see Jewel's PEOPLE Music Country Lounge VIDEO, click here. Like this story? Click on the Yahoo Buzz! button below to Buzz it up!