Jelly Roll on the Impact of ‘Save Me’: ‘It Completely Changed My Life’

Jelly Roll celebrated his third No. 1 hit, with “Save Me,” a duet with Lainey Wilson, from his  Whitsitt Chapel album. But that wasn’t the first time fans heard the song. The Nashville native previously released the song in 2020, his response to the pandemic and loss of his father, unaware that it would be “Save Me” that would help kickstart his career in country music.

“The truth is, I think if I had never uploaded ‘Save Me,’ and been bold enough to try a different thing, I think I would have achieved what I thought my dream was,” Jelly Roll told Everything Nash and other outlets at a recent media event, explaining how “Save Me” changed the trajectory of his entire life.

“My dream was just to sell two to three thousand seats everywhere in the Southeast and Midwest, and my daughter could grow up in the best school district in the state of Tennessee,” he added. “I had just enough money at the time to afford a house in that school district.”

Jelly Roll already felt like a rich man at the time, becoming the first person in his family to own a house bigger than 700 square feet.

“I was already like, ‘This is my dream. ‘If I can just maintain and not [mess] this up for her, it’ll be great,'” Jelly Roll shared. “But I didn’t know what God had planned. ‘Man makes plans, God laughs’ was kind of the thing. God was like, ‘That’s your thing, ’cause I got a bigger box for you. I just need you to trust me.’ I was so uncomfortable.”

Jelly Roll posted the video of the original version of “Save Me” on YouTube, asking fans if he should release it or not. Although the response was a resounding yes, it was his wife, Bunnie, who ultimately convinced him to share “Save Me” with the world, and the rest is history.

“It completely changed my life,” Jelly Roll said. “My wife was my A&R. My wife is critical. She’ll be the first person to tell me if a song is mediocre. And she’ll also be the first to tell me if she thinks one is going to work. And she believed in it.”

It was Jelly Roll who had the idea to include Wilson on the new version of “Save Me,” at a time when her career was just taking off.

“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?”

Jelly Roll just announced his Beautifully Broken Tour, with Warren Zeiders and Alexandra Kay. The tour kicks off on August 27 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Find all of Jelly Roll’s music and tour dates at