Jelly Roll Says He’s Focusing On His Health To Prepare For His Upcoming Backroad Baptism Tour

“I’m working out daily… praying and meditating …. Eating better — losing weight. Making sure I bring the best version of me on my new album and this tour,” Jelly Roll shared.


Maren Angus-Coombs


Posted on March 19, 2023

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Jelly Roll; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Breakout country music star Jelly Roll made a new year’s resolution to lose weight and he is sticking to it as he prepares to embark on his biggest headlining tour yet.

On Feb. 28, he tweeted, “Just know that I’m doing my part — I’m working out daily… praying and meditating …. Eating better — losing weight. Making sure I bring the best version of me on my new album and this tour… this what growth and gratitude look like in real time.”

Where Did Jelly Roll Get His Nickname?

Jelly Roll, whose real name is Jason DeFord, was given the nickname by his mother due to his physique. He has laughed it off in several interviews that he has spent his “life trying to grow into the name and I think I’ve done it.”

He has definitely embraced the nickname, but his health journey began in 2022.

“I lost some weight in 2022, but in 2023 I wanna finally conquer the demon. I don’t leave for a big tour until about the middle of the year. So I plan on taking the first half of the year to tighten the album up and get some work in.”

Jelly Roll; Photo By Andrew Wendowski
Jelly Roll; Photo By Andrew Wendowski

Hes Also Focusing On His Mental Health

Another part of his health journey includes his mental health. According to Everything Nash, DeFord spent time in prison for various offenses, including aggravated robbery and drug possession with intent to deliver. His criminal past, all stemmed from untreated mental health issues.

“This is something I think people really need to hear,” he said in an interview 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 cloys over my bed. Like the blanket was too heavy to push off of me.”

The paralyzing depression led to anxiety issues for the “NEED A FAVOR” singer.

“Then the anxiety sets in, the unrealistic anxiety,” he continued. “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.”

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Dealing with untreated anxiety and depression led him down a dark path which event spiraled out of control. 

“I would have realized that my need for acceptance stemmed from feeling like I wasn’t good enough,” the Tennessee native reflects. “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.’”

He Earned His First-Ever No. 1 At Country Radio With “Son Of A Sinner”

Jelly Roll left behind a life of crime for a successful career in music.

His first No. 1, “Son Of A Sinner,” led to a sold-out Bridgestone Arena concert with proceeds from the show being donated to Impact Youth Outreach to build a recording studio at Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center in Nashville, where he was once incarcerated.

“You couldn’t have told that kid sitting in B pod and cell 20 that he was going to go on and sell out the arena downtown and give all that money back to that juvenile,” Jelly Roll told Music Mayhem. “That was when I realized – when I was standing there looking at my old cell. And I hope that, hopefully, this sheds light on a situation that is easily glossed over. If you don’t know a kid that’s been in trouble or had a tough upbringing like that, then you don’t think about the impact that it’s having on those kids.”

Jelly Roll; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Jelly Roll; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Jelly Roll Recently Announced His Debut Country Project

Jelly Roll’s debut country album, Whitsitt Chapel, is set to release on June 2 via Stoney Creek Records. The title was inspired by his childhood church in Nashville.

“This album is about growth and gratitude happening in my life. I wanted to create a project that felt hopeful. I believe the worst feeling a person can have is feeling hopeless or worthless. This is therapeutic music. Real music for real people with real problems,” Jelly Roll shared in a statement.

He Will Soon Hit The Road On His Headlining Backroad Baptism Tour

He is set to embark on his headlining 2023 Backroad Baptism Tour later this year. Hosted by Josh Adam Meyers, the Backroad Baptism Tour kicks off on Friday, July 28 at Bank Plus Amphitheater in Southhaven, Mississippi and runs through Saturday, October 14, where the trek will wrap up in Tampa, Florida at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre.

“The Backroad Baptism Tour is a big one for me, y’all! I’m bringing my friends out on the road this summer, and I can’t wait to see every one of you mutherf***ers at a show,” Jelly Roll shared.

Ashley McBryde, Caitlynne Curtis, Chase Rice, Elle King, Merkules, Struggle Jennings, Three 6 Mafia, Yelawolf will serve as support on select dates of the tour.

He will also open for Eric Church on select dates of Church’s The Outsiders Revival Tour.

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