Not many people know about this talented signer with a checkered past
When you hear the name “Jelly Roll” what do you think of?
If “country music star” isn’t one of those things, let us enlighten you…
Jelly Roll is a 38-year-old rising country and hip-hop artist. The Tennessee native has slowly climbed his way to stardom in the last few years with a message that tells about the grace of second chances.
Incarcerated at the age of 14, Jelly Roll endured a troublesome childhood riddled with crime and bad choices. He welcomed is first child while still behind bars, a moment that forced the singer to change perspective on who he wanted to be.
After completing his GED, Jelly Roll dove headfirst into the music scene in 2003. Kicking off with a hip-hop vibe in his debut, The Plain Shmear Tape, he rode the wave of collabs, mixtapes, and a few run-ins with the law. But Jelly wasn’t one to be boxed in – he flipped the script and embraced the cool fusion of rock and country. Fast forward to November 2021, he ended up rocking the Grand Old Opry stage like it was his personal playground.
“I cried like a baby in front of 12 strangers. I had just signed my record deal, so I didn’t even really know my record label,” he recalled of the moment during an Opry interview ahead of his fourth performance in April 2023.
“But it was part of the reason I signed my record deal – I had two prerequisites in my deal. I was like ‘You gotta promise me you’ll get me in the local newspaper, then you gotta promise me you’ll get me to the Grand Ole Opry.’ I had to at least prove that I am who I say I am, even if they never bring me back, that’s fine. But just let me be the guy who gets to do it.”
Jelly Roll’s breakthrough into the mainstream came with his 2021 major label release, “Ballad of the Broken,” soaring up both the rock and country charts. However, it was the authentic country vibes of “Son of a Sinner” that truly catapulted him to success. Dropping as a single in March 2022, the track skyrocketed to the top, claiming the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s US Country Airplay chart. This triumph not only solidified Jelly Roll’s country credentials but also fueled his determination to dive even deeper into the genre for his 2023 follow-up, “Whitsitt Chapel.”
The new album has already birthed two chart-topping singles in the country realm – “Need a Favor” and “Save Me.” The latter boasts a collaboration with none other than Lainey Wilson, a major star in the contemporary country scene, adding an extra layer of stardust to Jelly Roll’s musical journey.
Unsurprisingly, the duo dominated this year’s CMA Awards nominations. Wilson emerged as the night’s leading nominee with an impressive tally of nine nods.
Jelly clinched victories in three categories: Male Video of the Year, Male Breakthrough Video of the Year, and Digital-First Performance of the Year, all thanks to his sensational hit, “Son of a Sinner.” Stepping into Wednesday’s 2023 CMA Awards, he garnered five nominations and secured a notable win for New Artist of the Year.
Speaking of the CMA’s, fans were worried following this performance with Jelly Roll and Wynonna Judd. The two musicians harmonized together as they song “Need a Favor” on the live stage. However, Judd had Jelly’s shoulder in a death grip. Her eyes seemed glassed over as she sung the lyrics.
Hundreds of tweets from concerned fans flooded the internet. It was certainly an odd thing to witness, but Jelly Roll didn’t let it stop the show. The two blew everyone away with an outstanding performance.
Jelly Roll has definitely got a set of pipes! Best of luck to the rising star.