An Unforgettable ACM Awards Moment: Jelly Roll And Lainey Wilson Team Up For ‘Save Me’ Duet

The surprise duet ended up being one of the best performances of the night.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 12, 2023


9:08 am

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Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC

Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson took the ACM Awards by storm on Thursday evening (May 11) when they joined forces for a surprise performance of “Save Me.” 

The genre-bending star teamed up with the Bell Bottom Country queen to recreate the fan-favorite tune, “Save Me,” at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. 

Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC-
Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC-

Jelly Roll kicked off the performance singing the opening verse before Wilson joined him on stage for the second verse. The pair of hitmakers then flawlessly combined their signature vocals on the chorus in perfect harmony. 

“I’m a lost cause / Baby, don’t waste your time on me / I’m so damaged beyond repair / Life has shattered my hopes and my dreams,” Jelly Roll and Wilson sang on the chorus. 

Ahead of their collaborative performance, Jelly Roll revealed that he was “so nervous” to sing with his surprise duet partner. 

Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Sebron Snyder for PMC
Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Sebron Snyder for PMC

“I am nervous. I’m not even excited yet. Cause I’m so nervous. I’m singing with… I’m singing with a special guest and I am nervous because that special guest can really sing and I’m new to singing, so I’m nervous,” Jelly Roll said at the time. 

“When you hear who it is you’re going to be like, ‘oh I see, I’d be nervous too,’” he added, before sharing, “it’s going to be big.”

Moments after their performance, the studio version of the track was released to streaming platforms. 

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

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WHITSITT CHAPEL, named after the church the Antioch native grew up attending, will feature 13 tracks, including his current single “NEED A FAVOR” and the previously released track, “SHE.”

“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.

Additionally, Jelly Roll will soon embark on his massive 44-date headlining arena tour, dubbed the Backroad Baptism Tour.

Hosted by Josh Adam Meyers, the trek kicks off on Friday, July 28 at Bank Plus Amphitheater in Southhaven, Mississippi. The Backroad Baptism will run through Saturday, October 14, where the trek will wrap up in Tampa, Florida at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre.

Meanwhile, Lainey Willson is currently on tour with Luke Combs on his massive World Tour.

Jelly Roll and Bunnie DeFord (Bunnie XO); Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC
Jelly Roll and Bunnie DeFord (Bunnie XO); Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC
Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC
Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Flores for PMC

The 58th Academy of Country Music Awards featured performances by Jason Aldean, Jordan Davis, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Dolly Parton, Jelly Roll, Ed Sheeran, HARDY, Keith Urban, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson, Bailey Zimmerman and more.

Nine awards were announced during the live broadcast, including Entertainer of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Duo of the Group, Group of the Year, Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Song of the Year, and Music Event of the Year. Several winners were also announced ahead of the show.

Additionally, “Country Music’s Party Of The Year” featured a star-studded list of collaborations and unforgettable moments. Reigning ACM Female Artist Of The Year Carly Pearce teamed up with Trisha Yearwood to perform a special medley of in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Yearwood winning Female Artist Of The Year. 

Meanwhile, Cole Swindell joined forces with Jo Dee Messina to deliver an epic performance of the “She Had Me At Heads Carolina” remix and Ashley McBryde took fans to Lindeville with a performance of “Bonfire At Tina’s.”

Gabby Barrett, BRELAND, Brandy Clark, Jordan Davis, Mickey Guyton, Tyler Hubbard, Dustin Lynch, T.J. Osborne, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, MacKenzie Porter, Dak Prescott, Emmitt Smith, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban and Trisha Yearwood served as presenters during the ceremony.

The two-hour awards show streamed live for a global audience across 240+ countries and territories exclusively on Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch.

Co-hosted by country music icons Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks, the 2023 ACM Awards broadcasted live from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas at 7/6c.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.