Jelly Roll and Bunnie Make Red Carpet Debut at 2022 CMA Awards

For his CMA Awards red carpet debut, Jelly Roll donned an all-black suit with a leather element on the jacket,…


Nicole Palsa

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November 9, 2022

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Jelly Roll and Bunnie; Photo Courtesy ABC

For his CMA Awards red carpet debut, Jelly Roll donned an all-black suit with a leather element on the jacket, adding dimension to the ensemble. Grinning from ear to ear and throwing his arms open wide, he welcomed his wife Bunnie XO (Bunnie DeFord) by his side for the couple’s first time on a red carpet. The husband and wife pair posed for photos, sharing a kiss and beaming with joy.

Jelly Roll and Bunnie; Photo Courtesy CMA
Jelly Roll and Bunnie; Photo Courtesy CMA

Bunnie XO wore a strapless, sheer lace dress, complete with matching opera gloves and dainty pink bow around her high ponytail.

This morning, Jelly Roll tweeted his excitement for the milestone moment: “First red carpet today yall- crazy”

The “Son of a Sinner” singer also told Taste of Country ahead of his red carpet debut, “My first CMA, this is crazy. I can’t believe I’m here. I’m waiting on the security to escort me out at any minute.” He added, “My wife is gonna look like a human Barbie doll. She has got the most beautiful see-through pink floral dress I’ve ever seen. It’s the sexiest thing, with the gloves. So I’m gonna wear all black, like Johnny Cash, baby. I’m fixing to look like an over-sized Merle Haggard. It’s gonna be awesome.”

The couple recently celebrated a full-circle moment in Las Vegas. Jelly Roll headlined the Downtown Rocks festival on Fremont Street in Sin City on October 15. The show, which took place on Third Street and was part of the Fremont Street’s free concert series, was extra special for the hitmaker, as it’s just feet away from where he met his wife, Bunnie XO (Bunnie DeFord), seven years ago in 2015.

Jelly Roll told the sold-out crowd of 20,000 fans in his wife’s hometown of Las Vegas, “In 2015 right down the street on this street was a bar called the Las Vegas Country Saloon. I was drunk that night in there and I met the most important person in my life, the woman who would go on to being my wife. A woman who grew up right here in Las Vegas, Nevada. 7 years later, I’m happily married with custody of our child and I just can’t do this set one second longer without bringing out Las Vegas’ own Bunnie DeFord.”

The 56th Annual CMA Awards will feature performances from Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Cody Johnson, and Carly Pearce.

The show will open with an all-star tribute to the late Loretta Lynn from Underwood, Reba McEntire and Lambert.

Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, and Lainey Wilson will join together to honor the 2022 CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Alan Jackson.

Additionally, the show will includ star-studded collaborations from Kelsea Ballerini, Kelly Clarkson and Carly Pearce, HARDY and Lainey Wilson, Elle King with The Black Keys, Brothers featuring The War and Treaty, Thomas Rhett and Katy Perry, Chris Stapleton with Patty Loveless, Zac Brown Band, Jimmie Allen and Marcus King as well as Ashley McBryde with Pillbox Patti, Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack and John Osborne.

Mookie Betts, BRELAND, Jessica Chastain, Jordan Davis, Sarah Drew, Cole Hauser, Tyler Hubbard, Wynonna Judd, Lady A, Rex Linn, Little Big Town, Parker McCollum, Reba McEntire, Ben and Erin Napier, Jeannie Seely, Michael Shannon, and Lainey Wilson are scheduled to present during the ceremony.

Co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, the 2022 CMA Awards will broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena and aired on ABC (8:00-11:00 PM/ET).

The CMA Awards will also be available for viewing on Hulu beginning Thursday, Nov. 10.

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Nicole Palsa

Written by

Nicole Palsa

Nicole Palsa is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 2012, she has written about the newcomers, superstars, and legends of country music for publications including Music Mayhem, Country Now, and Country Music Tattle Tale. Palsa has served as a volunteer guide with Musicians On Call since 2016 and is a Troubadour member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications and her Bachelor of Arts degree in French. In addition to being a devoted country music fan, Nicole is a family historian and genealogist who can often be found in stacks of research. She is also an avid traveler with a passion for wildlife and nature photography.