Paula Cole Talks About Confronting Her Fears

May 20 [12:00 EST] -- You might not know it from her emotive, flailing performance in her video for "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone," [Video, 1MB QuickTime] but Paula Cole says she was once riddled with self-doubt.

Cole, who is currently ranked at number eight on the "Billboard" singles chart, recently told MTV News that she had to overcome a certain native shyness in order to be able to record her current album, "This Fire."

the singer told MTV News. "I have a choice here, to believe in myself and therefore have a much better life, thank you very much [800k QuickTime]. In my heart there were things I needed to do, I felt I should do, like produce my second album, which I literally lacked the courage to do that, for years. And finally I reached inside of myself and I did it and it meant confronting little fears and big fears."

If stagefright is one of those fears, Cole will confront

it in a big way when she joins Jewel, The Wallflowers, No Doubt, and other acts at the "Blockbuster Rockfest '97," outside Dallas, on June 20. Cole will then hitch up with Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, the Cardigans, and Jewel once again on this summer¹s Lilith Fair tour, which gets underway on July 5.