Jelly Roll still can’t quite believe how his life is turning out. The Nashville native scored a No. 1 hit with “Son of a Sinner,” kicking off a long string of successes and accomplishments that included multiple awards, a second chart-topping single, a headlining tour and more. It’s a far cry from where Jelly Roll thought he might be, but even his biggest dreams didn’t include the superstar status he now holds.
“Everything’s changed,” Jelly Roll tells Audacy’s Katie & Company. “In every good way possible. A couple of bad ways possible, but that’s cool too. I expected that. You can’t expect God to give you this much of a blessing without a small burden. That’s kind of how that works. Even Paul complained about what he called the thorn in his side, whatever that affliction was that Paul had. But it’s been nothing short of incredible.”
Jelly Roll also has a Save Me documentary on Hulu, chronicling his life from time in prison to headlining a sold-out show at Bridgestone Arena. It’s just part of the way the singer-songwriter has been able to help inspire and change other people’s lives, especially those who thought their life would be nothing more than in and out of prison, as his was once.
“The story on Hulu, that did so much for me,” Jelly Roll says. “And now it’s just hiring people. I get to hire all my friends to work for me, so that’s cool. I’m getting to take dudes off the street and give them second chances. It’s really cool.”
Jelly Roll might soon have a third No.1 single, with “Save Me,” out now. He first released the song on his own in 2020, later including it on his Whitsitt Chapel album, this time with Lainey Wilson joining him on the track.
“This song changed my life first,” Jelly Roll concedes. “I never thought I would have a bigger song than this, and thank God He’s blessed me with a few since then. But to see the impact it’s had; they named the whole documentary after it. But then Lainey coming in…I was thinking, ‘Man, I think Lainey could really voice this to a demographic that needs to hear it that might not have heard it yet.’
“I think Lainey has the ability to put this in households it hasn’t been to yet, that it could help,” he continues. “My thing was, if this song has already helped this many people, I wonder how many more it could help if I had the right person help spread the message and awareness with me … Even the people the song had already touched heard it differently from the perspective of a woman.”
Jelly Roll is currently on his own Backroad Baptism Tour, where he is still surprised at how much his music is resonating with others.
“I think the most surprising part for me is performing new songs, and a big percentage of the crowd knowing it,” he shares. “I’m talking about songs that came out on the album five weeks ago, and they’re singing word for word of track No. 8. It’s old school; it feels like an old-school thing happening. That’s the cool part.”
Find Whitsitt Chapel and all of Jelly Roll’s music and upcoming shows at JellyRoll615.com