Jelly Roll Says It’s “One Of The Coolest Experiences” When His Mom Gets To See Him Perform: “I Am Grateful”

“I am grateful that she is able to see my perform at this level. She got to come see me sell out the legendary Rupp Arena in Lexington,” Jelly Roll wrote.

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Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on October 12, 2023

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Jelly Roll And His Mom; Photo Courtesy of Instagram

Jelly Roll loves performing for his fans, but there’s one person whose presence makes any show extra special – his mom.

“One Of The Coolest Experiences”

In an Instagram post on Thursday (Oct. 12), Jelly Roll revealed that his mom was in attendance during his sold-out Backroad Baptism Tour date at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, on Tuesday (Oct. 10), posting a series of photos of himself pushing his mom in a wheelchair through the arena, including a visit to opener Struggle Jennings’ dressing room at his mom’s request.

“One of the coolest experiences for me is when my mother makes it out for a show,” Jelly Roll shared in his caption. “I started writing songs because I seen how much she loved music and how much it helped her . I am grateful that she is able to see my perform at this level. She got to come see me sell out the legendary Rupp Arena in Lexington Kentucky – of course she asked me to take her to Struggle’s dressing room to see him. She loves Struggle to death.”

He also documented the unforgettable show at Rupp Arena via video on social media.

“I never would’ve dreamed of playing the legendary Rupp Arena- definitely wouldn’t have believed I would sell it out on a TUESDAY! Lexington was special- thought of Smurf and Big Lazy. Thank you Kentucky- wild night – PS my mom came to see me,” Jelly Roll wrote.

His Mom Gave Him His Stage Name

The singer’s mom was actually the one who gave him the nickname Jelly Roll, which ended up becoming his stage name.

Born Jason Bradley DeFord, Jelly Roll’s mom christened him with the unique moniker due to his love of donuts as a child, and the name stuck after a friend began unknowingly using the same moniker.

“So I was a chunky little kid that loved doughnuts and every Sunday after church I’d get one,” he previously recalled. “She called me her little jelly roll, and then I had a high school friend named ‘One-Arm’ Clay, in middle school, actually, that started calling me that ’cause he knew it was my mama’s nickname for me and it stuck. I mean, once ‘One-Arm’ Clay started calling me that…”

Jelly Roll Credits His Mom As Reason For Writing Songs

In addition to providing what would become his stage name, Jelly Roll’s mom was also the reason he began writing songs. During an appearance on The Bobby Bones Show, he explained that he started writing songs at age seven or eight.

“In the words of Brantley Gilbert, I didn’t know I could sing, but I knew I could talk fast,’” he said. “So I wrote a lot of raps.”

His Mom Struggled With Mental Health And Addiction

The Tennessee native added that his mom struggled with addiction and mental health issues when he was growing up, but would listen to music and it would “change everything.”

“She’d put old records on and smoke cigarettes in that old muumuu and sit at the kitchen table just white trash as could be, singing along to Bob Seger or Waylon Jennings, and I just remember thinking, ‘I want to make music that makes people feel like this music makes my mother feel.’”

“Had my mother had help from a doctor, I might have been a surgeon and had a six-pack and been called ‘Slim Totem’ or something,” he joked. “It just turned out the other way. So I’ve always kind of wrote real songs for real people.”

Jelly Roll And His Mom; Photo Courtesy of Instagram
Jelly Roll And His Mom; Photo Courtesy of Instagram

Speaking to Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast earlier this year, Jelly Roll elaborated on the effect music had on his mom when he was young, sharing that he realized the only time his mom would leave her room was because of music. 

“I didn’t know anything about drug addiction, anything about schizophrenia or bipolar or any of the stuff she was dealing with, her manic depression back then, what they call it, I didn’t know any of this,” he explained. “I just knew that this lady never f—in’ leaves that room, and when she does, it seems like the music does it. So I spent my whole life writing songs for her. I indirectly was writing these songs for the addicted and the broken, you know what I mean? Because that’s what I was seeing.”

New Song, “Save Me”

The news comes as Jelly Roll’s latest single at Country radio, “Save Me,” featuring Lainey Wilson, continues to make its way up the charts and currently sits in the Top 15.

Jelly Roll’s latest single “Save Me” featuring Lainey Wilson made a major impact at Country Radio upon its release on September 5. The song earned a whopping 60 first-week adds on stations around the country. “Save Me,” which received over 91 historic adds.

The genre-bending star recently opened up about reimagining the tune with Lainey Wilson and how she gives the song a whole new life. “I didn’t realize how much of an impact the song was going to have on me when I heard it from the perspective of a woman,” Jelly Roll admitted. “Lainey’s like a sister. I think she’s got one of the best voices in country music, and we’re already friends so it was just such an easy collab.

New Album, WHITSITT CHAPEL

The new reimagined version of “Save Me” featuring Lainey Wilson appears on Jelly Roll’s latest album, WHITSITT CHAPEL, which arrived on June 2, 2023. The tune was originally recorded as a solo song on Jelly Roll’s 2020 album, Self Medicated.

WHITSITT CHAPEL, named after the church the Antioch native grew up attending, features 13 tracks, including his chart-topping hit “NEED A FAVOR,” “SHE,” and more.

“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 previously shared in a statement.

The project debuted at No.2 on the Billboard Country Album Chart and in the Top 3 on the Billboard 200 all-genre chart with 90,000 album equivalents.

Jelly Roll's 'WHITSITT CHAPEL' Album Art
Jelly Roll’s ‘WHITSITT CHAPEL’ Album Art

Backroad Baptism Tour

Jelly Roll, whose real name is Jason Deford, is currently in the midst of his Backroad Baptism Tour, which has been playing to capacity crowds across the country since it kicked off on Friday, July 28. The trek runs through Saturday, October 14, when it will wrap up in Tampa, Florida at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre.

Ashley McBryde, Caitlynne Curtis, Chase Rice, Elle King, Merkules, Struggle Jennings, Three 6 Mafia, and Yelawolf will appear as special guests on select dates of the nearly sold-out tour.

2023 CMA Awards

Additionally, Jelly Roll recently joined the ranks of Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash and more as he landed five nominations at the 2023 CMA Awards as a first-time nominee.

Following behind his “Save Me” duet partner Lainey Wilson who leads CMA Awards nominees, the genre-bending star earned five nominations, including Single Of The Year (“NEED A FAVOR”), Male Vocalist Of The Year, Musical Event Of The Year (“Save Me” with Lainey Wilson) and Music Video Of The Year (“NEED A FAVOR”).

“5 CMA nominations . I can’t believe it , like literally,” he initially wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, before further elaborating on Instagram.

For more information about Jelly Roll and his upcoming tour dates, visit his official website HERE.

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Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

See more posts from Andrew Wendowski