Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson, ‘Save Me’: Story Behind the Song

Jelly Roll seems poised to have his third No. 1 hit, with “Save Me,” his duet with Lainey Wilson. The song, from his 2023 Whitsitt Chapel album, is one Jelly Roll first released on his own in 2020, before he had a record deal, inspired by the numerous challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“We were all in the darkest place we’d been in a long time when I wrote that song in May 2020. They were still spraying boxes with Lysol,” Jelly Roll previously recalled to Billboard, when speaking about the song. “We were all living with our own thoughts a little more than we’re used to.”

Ironically, it was Jelly Roll’s raw, original version of “Save Me” that caught the attention of BMG President Jon Loba, who gave Jelly Roll his first record deal.

“I saw that pain, vulnerability, that tenderness,” Loba remembered. “I loved his vocal. I just said, ‘That’s a country song.’ I was convinced his storytelling, his heart and his brand would be accepted by our genre.”

It was Jelly Roll’s idea to enlist Wilson to join him on “Save Me” for Whitsitt Chapel, someone whom he counts as one of his very best friends.

“I got to show y’all a trick y’all didn’t know she could do … She said, ‘I’ve loved ‘Save Me’ from the first time I heard it, but I never felt it the way I felt it coming until I heard it coming from a woman’s perspective,'” Jelly Roll said when their duet was released. “I think that’s what made this such a beautiful marriage for me. She’s been through some sh– down there in Louisiana, too, you know?”

Wilson was thrilled to join Jelly Roll on “Save Me,” which earned the pair a Grammy Awards nomination, for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

“Jelly goes against the grain and is 100 percent himself 100 percent of the time,” Wilson says. “I love that about him as a human and an artist.”

Jelly Roll was full of emotion after he learned he had two Grammy Awards nominations, both for “Save Me” and the all-genre Best New Artist.


I’m embarrassed to post this but my wife says honesty and rawness got me this far … I’ll post a more complete thought about this when I get my head together. I just never would’ve imagined

Posted by Jelly Roll on Friday, November 10, 2023


“The greatest honor an artist can ever hear is that they’ve been nominated for a Grammy,” Jelly Roll said in teary video he posted on social media. “And I got to hear that this morning. I haven’t cried like this since my daddy died. I tried to make this video seven times, y’all. I love you all.”

The Grammy Awards nominations came two days after Jelly Roll earned the CMA Award for New Artist of the Year.

“There is something poetic about a 39-year-old man winning New Artist of the Year,” Jelly Roll said at the time. “I don’t know where you’re at in your life or what you’re going through, but I want to tell you to keep going, I want to tell you, success is on the other side. I wanna tell you it’s gonna be okay. I want to tell you that the windshield is better than the rearview mirror, because what’s in front of you is so much more important than what’s behind you.”

Find “Save Me” and all of Jelly Roll’s music and upcoming shows at

Read ‘Jelly Roll: 11 Things to Know About the Reformed Singer’ here.