Jelly Roll Writes Tearful Message As ‘Son of a Sinner’ Hits No. 1

Jelly Roll officially has a No. 1 hit at country radio. The singer, whose real name is Jason DeFord, has a chart-topping single with “Son of a Sinner,” from his 2021 Ballads of the Broken album, released in 2021.

“There is no greater reward for a singer and songwriter in Nashville Tennessee than to have the No. 1 song on country radio,” Jelly Roll shares on social media. “Now imagine that happening to a guy that grew up in this town… a guy that at every turn the first 25 years of his life he made the wrong decision. Imagine everyone telling that guy he had no chance at country radio. ‘You’re too overweight, you have too many tattoos, they will never let another convicted criminal on country radio’ – now imagine country radio proving everyone wrong and taking the chance on the song, the message and the man.

“If you can imagine that, then you can understand why I’m so filled with gratitude as tears stream down my face while I type this,” he adds. “I currently have the No. 1 song on country radio.”

Jelly Roll also expressed his gratitude to everyone who helped him achieve the career milestone, and accomplish what many — including maybe himself — thought would never happen.

“Thank you to my fans who called and requested this song at their local radio station and celebrated like I did the first time they heard it played— I do this for y’all,” Jelly Roll says. “Thank you Country Radio and all the [Digital Service Providers] for making ‘Son of a Sinner’ my first No. 1 at country radio. I vow to never let you down or forget the chance you gave me when everyone told you not to!

“I want to take a second to thank my label STONEY CREEK AND BMG — [Jon] Loba and his misfits — y’all took the biggest chance- every label in town told me I had a better chance signing with a label in LA than to ever have a chance in this town with my history — not only did that not scare BMG it made them want to double down and go all in!”

There is no greater reward for a singer and song writer in Nashville Tennessee than to have the #1 song on country…

Posted by Jelly Roll on Sunday, January 8, 2023


Jelly Roll has been vocal about the struggles he faced in life, which resulted in stints in prison for various offenses, including aggravated robbery and drug possession with intent to deliver. The 38-year-old can now see that his criminal history can all be attributed to not receiving the appropriate mental health services he needed when he was younger, which is why he is such an advocate for those services now.

“This is something I think people really need to hear,” Jelly Roll admitted on Audacy’s I’m Listening podcast. “I woke up, and for no reason, I did not want to get out of bed. I could not pinpoint [why]… I just woke up and felt a cloud over my bed. Like the blanket was too heavy to push off of me. Then the anxiety sets in, the unrealistic anxiety. Is this a bad omen? Is something bad going to happen to somebody around me and this is the feeling it’s fixin’ to happen? Is something going to happen to me? Then the next thing you know, you’re checking your blood pressure for no reason.”

The rising star can now look back and see how much better his life would have been if the appropriate services would have been available and accessible to him when he was younger.

“I would have realized that my need for acceptance stemmed from feeling like I wasn’t good enough,” Jelly Roll acknowledged.  “I felt like nobody accepted me…When you feel like nobody accepts you, there’s always that one group that will and it’s always the trouble. I feel like I might have made some crazy different life decisions if I could have sat down and felt vocal enough to say, ‘Hey, I’m leaning towards this because I don’t feel accepted anywhere else.’”

Jelly Roll recently sold out Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, donating all of the proceeds to the juvenile detention center where he was once incarcerated, to build a state-of-the-art studio.

All of Jelly Roll’s music and tour updates can be found by visiting his website.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of BBR Music Group / Chum Daddy