First-Time Nominee Jelly Roll To Kick Off CMA Awards With Must-See ‘Need A Favor’ Performance

The five-time CMA Awards nominee will perform not just once, but twice, during “Country Music’s Biggest Night.”


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

October 27, 2023


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Jelly Roll; Photo by Jake Alita

Jelly Roll will open the 2023 CMA Awards with a “not-to-be-missed” performance of his chart-topping single, “Need A Favor.” 

The Country Music Association revealed the first round of performers for “Country Music’s Biggest Night” earlier this week and confirmed that first-time nominee and first-time performer, Jelly Roll, will have the opportunity to shine during the opening performance of the show. 

“Need A Favor” Performance

“Need A Favor” was co-written by Jelly Roll (Jason DeFord) with Austin Nivarel, Joe Ragosta, and Rob Ragosta. The track appears on his debut country record, WHITSITT CHAPEL. This won’t be the first time the singer/songwriter has performed “Need A Favor” for a national TV audience as he previously took the stage to perform the track on the CMA Fest special this summer.      

Jelly Roll performs at the VIP Stage at Nissan Stadium on Friday, June 9 during CMA Fest 2023 in downtown Nashville; Photo Courtesy CMA
Jelly Roll performs at the VIP Stage at Nissan Stadium on Friday, June 9 during CMA Fest 2023 in downtown Nashville; Photo Courtesy CMA

Later in the show, the Nashville native will return to the stage to perform a poignant rendition of The Judds’ “Love Can Build a Bridge” alongside first-time CMA Awards performer, K. Michelle. The pair recorded a cover of the song in honor of The Judds’ 40th anniversary. The collaborative track appears on the just-released A Tribute to The Judds album, which also features Ashley McBryde, Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson, Dolly Parton, Gabby Barrett, Gwen Stefani, and more. 

How Many Awards Is Jelly Roll Nominated For? 

Heading into the 57th Annual CMA Awards, Jelly Roll is a top nominee with an impressive five nominations: 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”).

With this feat, the superstar joins Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Maren Morris, Willie Nelson, and Gretchen Wilson who also received five nods in a first appearance on the Final CMA Awards Ballot. According to the Country Music Association, the record for most nominations in a debut year is six, with Glen Campbell, Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley, and Lainey Wilson holding the current record.

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

Was Jelly Roll Nominated For Any CMA Awards?

When the news of the CMA Awards nominations was revealed, Jelly Roll took to social media to share his genuine reaction with fans. 

“It is known as Country Music’s biggest night. It literally doesn’t get any bigger than this and I have 5 nominations,” he began. “I couldn’t control myself when I got the news .. everything about this is unreal.”

He said that despite what happens at the show, earning five nominations is a huge win in his eyes. 

“The truth is being nominated is already a win for me. Just being recognized by my peers and by the industry for the work we put in is amazing, especially for my people, this is a win for all the underdogs and forgotten,” he wrote. “These are the moments I hope my people are the most proud of, that I have taken our message to the masses without compromise and have been embraced.” 

In closing, Jelly Roll added, “Thank you to CMA’s. This is magical and you can bet the farm that my wife and I will show up dressed to impress yet trashy as ever – see y’all November 8th.”

The CMA Awards will also feature performances by Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Megan Moroney, Old Dominion, Carly Pearce, Chris Stapleton, Tanya Tucker, and Lainey Wilson. 

How To Watch The CMA Awards

Hosted by Bryan and Peyton Manning, Country Music’s Biggest Night™ broadcasts live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, on Wednesday, Nov. 8 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on ABC and available next day on Hulu.

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Lauren Jo Black

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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.