Jelly Roll on His 4 ACM Awards Nominations: ‘I Didn’t Expect to Get This Many’

No one is more surprised than Jelly Roll that he received four ACM Awards nominations, including for the night’s highest honor, Entertainer of the Year. For Jelly Roll, who is also celebrating his first year as an ACM Awards nominee, his continued success is almost more than he can comprehend.

Jelly Roll marked his first win at an awards show in 2023 at the CMT Music Awards, when he won in all three categories that he was nominated in, including for Male Video of the Year. He followed that with the CMA Award for New Artist of the Year, two Grammy nominations, two People’s Choice Country Awards, two iHeartRadio Music Awards, and most recently, three more CMT Music Awards.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Getty Images for CMT


But to be nominated for his first ACM Awards, four times, and be included among the list of nominees for Entertainer of the Year, is far bigger than even Jelly Roll dared to dream for himself.

“I didn’t expect to get this many,” Jelly Roll tells People. “Even when I had a shelf built, I had it built for what I won last year thinking that was probably the best year of my life. I don’t know what to do about this thing still running.”

Jelly Roll is definitely not the standard in country music, nor does he necessarily want to be. It’s doubtful that he even owns a cowboy hat, but he does boast numerous tattoos, including on his face, and dresses more like the rap artist he was at the beginning of his career than one of country music’s biggest hitmakers. He also has built a platform speaking out about the dangers of fentanyl, urging change among lawmakers.

“Not every awards show in America’s giving an opportunity to the guy that’s talking against fentanyl and representing the people I speak about,” he admits. “And to see four nominations just showed me how much my peers and the industry cares about what I think, even my core messages outside of the music.”


Jelly Roll has also been on a quest to lose weight, and be a healthier version of himself. But even in that, his thankfulness is on full display.

“I’ve been getting healthier, and every morning we get in the sauna, me and my buddies, and we do highs and lows and a gratitude, and man, I just couldn’t get off gratitude,” he says. “I just couldn’t quit thinking about how unreal the last eight days have been.”

Among Jelly Roll’s latest three CMT Music Awards wins was one for the night’s highest honor, Video of the Year, for “Need a Favor.” Jelly Roll started out as one of 16 nominees, with those narrowed down to him, Kelsea Ballerini for “If You Go Down, I’m Going Down Too,” and Cody Johnson for “The Painter,”

“It’s just really cool to see — I think people understand that I represent a group of people that aren’t properly represented,” Jelly Roll said after his big win. “And when I win, we win. It’s like a win for a whole bunch of those kind of misfit people. I’m a straight-up misfit. I’m as white trash as I look like I am. I am who I am all the time. What you see here is what you see at a dinner table … I won the big one. That’s crazy. I didn’t think I had a chance at that one. I came down to the final three, and I was like, ‘This is wild.’”

In a now well-known story, Jelly Roll spent time incarcerated, both as a juvenile and adult. The fact that he is living the life he now has, is far more than the Nashville native ever dreamed for himself.

“I spent my whole life just thinking that what I was doing would never be heard or seen,”  Jelly Roll concedes. “I almost gave up on any dream of this thing ever being like it is now, and man, is it just incredible to be in the middle of it. I’m grateful.”

Jelly Roll will embark on his Beautifully Broken Tour in August, with Warren Zeiders and Alexandra Kay serving as his opening acts. Find all of Jelly Roll’s music and tour dates at

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Academy of Country Music