Jelly Roll is nominated for his first two Grammy Awards, both for the all-genre Best New Artist category, and for Best Country Duo/Group Performance, for his “Save Me” performance with Lainey Wilson. While he is grateful for the nominations, the 39-year-old says he doesn’t believe he should win in either of the categories.
“I’m not planning on winning,” Jelly Roll said at Audacy‘s Riptide Music Festival. “I didn’t plan on winning a CMA [Award] and it worked out for us. I didn’t plan on winning a CMT [Award] and it worked out. I didn’t even know the People’s Choice [Country Awards] were happening, so that was a real big surprise.”
Two of the other nominees in Best Country Duo/Group Performance are Vince Gill and Paul Franklin, who are nominated together for their “Kissing Your Picture (Is So Cold)” collaboration, from their Ray Price tribute album, Sweet Memories: The Music of Ray Price & The Cherokee Cowboys. Despite his deep desire to walk away with a Grammy, Jelly Roll says Gill deserves it more.
“Full disclosure with each other, I think Vince Gill deserves the Country Collab of the Year,” the Nashville native maintains. “I just think Vince is an icon, and I don’t know how many more years we’re going to be around to give him his flowers, so we should now.”
Jelly Roll, who also says that Noah Kahan should win New Artist of the Year, hints that if he does win a coveted trophy, he will celebrate in a big way.
“I don’t think I should win either one of them — but if I do, we are gonna turn it up, baby!” he hints. “Y’all think I went crazy at the CMAs, I’m bringing the house down at the GRAMMYs. I’m telling you, the Holy Spirit will show up for sure!’”
Jelly Roll has already far surpassed any dreams for himself, which at one time was just to make it out of prison — and never return.
“I don’t even know that I had a dream, but it was like just whatever it took not to be a criminal,” Jelly Roll says. “The dream was, whatever I need to do … My guitarist who’s been with me for ten years said it best: we started living our dream three or four years ago. It’s just whipped cream and cherries on top of a brownie now. But I would have never dreamed — I wasn’t confident enough about myself to dream.”
“When I sold out the Exit/In in Nashville, Tennessee or the Ryman [Auditorium], I was like, ‘This is it! If it never gets any better, I’m good. I’ll never sell crack cocaine again!” he adds with a laugh. “It’s crazy. Now you look and, we’re doing arenas and headlining. It’s just unreal.”
When Jelly Roll became a father, he knew he wanted a better life for himself, and his daughter Bailee, than behind prison walls. Still, the country music hitmaker can’t believe how much of a transformation has taken place in himself in recent years.
“It feels incredible, especially because I spent so many years not being very lovable,” Jelly Roll admits. “So trust me, I got all my bad human years out of me. There’s a lot of people who could line up right now and give ‘We hate Jelly Roll’ stories. But I changed, and it’s just a testament to change. And it shows that you can change. I still change. Even in the last year, I say slightly less crazy stuff. I still say wild stuff every now and then. But I’m just getting better as a human.”
All of Jelly Roll’s music and upcoming shows can be found at JellyRoll615.com.