Jelly Roll, Photo Courtesy of John Shearer/Getty Images for Jelly Roll; Morgan Wallen, Photo Courtesy of David Lehr
Jelly Roll, Photo Courtesy of John Shearer/Getty Images for Jelly Roll; Morgan Wallen, Photo Courtesy of David Lehr

Jelly Roll Dubs Morgan Wallen “The King Of Country Music Right Now,” Says He’s A “Real Guy In A Town Full Of Fakes”

When it comes to spotting insincere people, Jelly Roll isn’t afraid to call it like it is. But on the flip side, he will also point out the folks who consistently stay genuine about who they are.

And one of those people, he says, is Morgan Wallen.

“Morgan Wallen is a real guy in a town full of fakes,” Jelly Roll said during a recent interview with Music Mayhem. “That’s the truth. There’s a lot of fake smiles in country music, and Morgan Wallen is the real fu****g deal.”

Jelly Roll, 38, initially met Wallen, 29, through mutual friend and fellow Nashville native, ERNEST. Wallen confirmed that friendship in 2022 while co-hosting the Country Countdown USA alongside host Lon Helton. At the time, the “You Proof” hitmaker also had plenty of positive things to say about Jelly Roll’s success and personality.

“I know him through ERNEST. I think ERNEST has known him a good while,” Wallen previously said. “…. Jelly’s always in a good mood and wants to make sure everyone has a great time. He’s always really respectful…. I see how other people treat other people who may not have as much stature as me or as much success as me, and I see him treat them the same. That’s what I look for when it comes to a man. I’m glad to see him having the success he’s having, and he’s super talented on top of being that. It’s good to see good people winning.”

Recalling Wallen’s words of love and support, Jelly Roll says, “Him going out of his way, that’s just his character, right? Yeah. He went out of his way. He don’t do many interviews, and when I’m sitting in the top five [at Country radio] and needed a little extra boost, it doesn’t hurt that Morgan does an interview and shouts me out and just what a great fu****g dude, man.”

At the time of Wallen’s shout-out, Jelly Roll’s “Son of a Sinner,” produced by ERNEST and Ilya Toshinskiy and co-written by Jelly Roll alongside ERNEST and David Ray Stevens, was sitting in the Top 10 on Billboard’s US Hot Country Songs Chart. Jelly Roll has since taken that song to the top of the charts, marking his first No. 1 at country radio. And, while he earned that success all on his own, Jelly Roll can’t help but humbly credit the camaraderie that he has experienced within the country format for that achievement.

“I told somebody the other day privately, but I’ll say it publicly, that Morgan has helped me more than you would think just by the advice he’s given me privately, the way he speaks about me in rooms privately, and the way he spoke about me publicly. He has been [a good friend to me],” Jelly Roll said of Wallen. “I tell you what, it doesn’t hurt when the biggest artist in the genre has your back. Definitely. So I’ve been, I mean, I couldn’t have asked for a better friend at a better time.”

“I just appreciate his friendship, and I appreciate him being a staple in the city. I’m excited about his success as well,” he added.

In addition to receiving support from one of the biggest – if not THE biggest artist in country music, Jelly Roll has also noticed how Wallen has championed his buddies, ERNEST and HARDY, who have joined him on tour multiple times. Jelly Roll calls the trio of friends the “best combination in country music” due to their “real friendship” and the fact that Wallen took the two artists under his wing when he had the opportunity to do so.

“The way Morgan took HARDY and ERNEST on the tour last year and then doubled back and brought them both back out [again],” Jelly Roll said in a Bussin With The Boys interview. “That’s a man that took his friends with him when he got into a situation to call his own shots because let me tell you how Nashville works. Every record label and booking agent in town was pitching everybody but HARDY and ERNEST among me to Morgan.”

“He’s the 800-pound gorilla,” Jelly Roll added. “Morgan Wallen is the king of country music right now.”

Morgan Wallen will soon embark on his massive One Night At A Time World Tour with HARDY and ERNEST, as well as supporting acts Bailey Zimmerman and Parker McCollum. Marking one of the largest tours of 2023 so far and the biggest tour of Wallen’s career, the 58-show trek will visit 26 stadiums, plus arenas, amphitheaters and festivals to fans across four countries and two continents. 

The tour officially kicks off on Wed., March 15 in Auckland, NZ at the Spark Arena. The U.S. leg of the tour begins on April 14 with back-to-back nights at Milwaukee’s American Family Field. The tour will make its way around North America with stops at 17 stadiums as well as various arenas, amphitheaters, and festivals.

Jelly Roll, who is currently on a break from touring aside from performing at a handful of festivals, recently released two brand-new songs, including “She” and “Need A Favor,” both of which are expected to appear on his forthcoming new album, which will be his first full length Country project.

During a recent interview with Music Mayhem, Jelly Roll opened up about his debut Country album, which he says is expected to arrive in “April or May [of 2023].”

“I’m really proud of it. I’m going to have some features on it. It’s a country record for sure,” he told us. “It’ll be my debut country album. I’m kind of really excited about taking my first real big leap into the genre. I think ‘Son of a Sinner’ was just kind of showing people what I could do, but we also got some real kind of rock records on there, some real kind of rocky records on there. And we’ll have a couple of songs where I’m spitting a little bit too. So it’s still true to Jelly Roll for sure.”

The new project will serve as the follow-up to his 2021 album, Ballads Of The Broken, which includes the chart-topping hits “Son Of a Sinner” and “Dead Man Walking” as well as fan-favorite tunes such as “Sober,” “Empty House,” and more.

Jelly Roll currently has no headlining tour dates on the books, however, he is expected to appear at several festivals this summer, including Tailgate N’ Tallboys BloomingtonTailgate N’ Tallboys ClintonTidalWave Music Festival, and more.

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