Jelly Roll Wins Best New Country and Pop Artist at the iHeartRadio Music Awards

Jelly Roll walked home with two new trophies at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. The Nashville native was crowned both Best New Country Artist and Best New Pop Artist during the ceremony, where he also performed “Save Me” with Lainey Wilson.

“My mama always told me I had a face for radio,” Jelly Roll quipped during his acceptance speech. “I remember being a kid sitting in the backseat of my car with my brothers. I had three older brothers and an older sister, and all we did was ride around and listen to the radio. We [sang] every single word. I never would have dreamed I would be one of the voices coming through your radio. And to be the Best New Country Artist, and to represent country music, and the Best New Pop Artist, you don’t know what this means to a kid like me.

“I was thinking about it: what does it mean when a guy like me has the opportunity to be the new Pop Artist of the Year, at iHeartRadio Awards?” he continued. “It means that God will always use the least likely messenger with the biggest message every single time. You can take it to the bank. I love you, Jesus, and I love you, Bunnie, my wife. and I love you, Bailee Ann, my daughter.”

Jelly Roll first released “Save Me” on his own in 2020, before adding Wilson to the version that appears on his Whitsitt Chapel album, changing everything for the once-troubled singer.

“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.

“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 and Wilson were already friends before their now-superstar careers began, which is why he was thrilled to include her on “Save Me” from his debut record.

“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 could soon add a few more trophies to his growing collection. The reigning CMA New Artist of the Year is nominated for three CMT Music Awards, including Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year, and Performance of the Year, all for  “Need a Favor,”

The CMT Music Awards will air live on Sunday, April 7, at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.