Jelly Roll Pens Emotional Message To Fans After Earning His First No.1 At Country Radio: ‘I Do This For Y’all’

Jelly Roll has already scored a No. 1 hit at rock radio with “Dead Man Walking,” and now the Nashville…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

January 8, 2023


11:40 am

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Jelly Roll; Photo by John Shearer

Jelly Roll has already scored a No. 1 hit at rock radio with “Dead Man Walking,” and now the Nashville native has officially earned his first No. 1 hit at Country radio with “Son Of A Sinner.”

The genre-bending hitmaker took to social media on Sunday (Jan. 8) to celebrate the exciting news of his first-ever chart-topping hit at Country radio. 

“There is no greater reward for a singer and songwriter in Nashville Tennessee than to have the #1 song on country radio,” he shared in a lengthy social media post.

Jelly Roll; Photo by John Shearer
Jelly Roll; Photo by John Shearer

He went on to reflect on his musical journey and the struggles he endured to earn his place on the charts.  

“Now imagine that happening to a guy that grew up in this town… a guy that at every turn the first 25 years of his life he made the wrong decision,” he explained. ”Imagine everyone telling that guy he had no chance at country radio. ‘You’re too over weight, you have too many tattoos, they will never let another convicted criminal on country radio’ – now imagine country radio proving everyone wrong and taking the chance on the song, the message and the man.”

With tears streaming down his face, the singer/songwriter continued his message as he graciously thanked his fans for allowing him to follow his dreams.

“If you can imagine that, then you can understanding why I’m so filled with gratitude as tears stream down my face while I type this, I currently have the number 1 song on country radio,” Jelly Roll wrote. “Thank you to my fans who called and requested this song at their local radio station and celebrated like I did the first time they heard it played— I do this for y’all. Thank you Country Radio and all the DSPs for making Son of a Sinner my first number 1 at country radio. I vow to never let you down or forget the chance you gave me when everyone told you not to!”

Jelly Roll then showcased gratitude for his label, Stoney Creek/BMG Nashville, as well as the label’s President, Jon Loba. 

“I want to take a second to thank my label STONEY CREEK AND BMG- Loba and his misfits — y’all took the biggest chance – every label in town told me I had a better chance signing with a label in LA than to ever have a chance in this town with my history — not only did that not scare BMG it made them want to double down and go all in!”

Jelly Roll; Photo Courtesy Stoney Creek Records, BMG
Jelly Roll; Photo Courtesy Stoney Creek Records, BMG

Produced by ERNEST and Ilya Toshinskiy, “Son Of A Sinner” takes the No. 1 spot from Jimmie Allen’s “Down Home,” which sat atop the charts for multiple weeks. 

The tune, which was co-written by Jelly Roll alongside ERNEST and David Ray Stevens, finds the 38-year-old singing about his life as a traveling musician and detailing his personal struggles with the “right and wrong” while battling drug addiction.

“I’m just a long-haired son of a sinner / Searching for new ways I can get gone / I’m a pedal to the highway if you ever wonder why we write these songs / ‘Cause I’m only one drink away from the devil / I’m only one call away from home / Yeah, I’m somewherе in the middle / I guess I’m just a littlе / Right and wrong,” Jelly Roll sings on the tune’s chorus.

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The news of Jelly Roll’s No. 1 comes at the same time as his wife, Bunnie XO (whose real name is Bunnie DeFord), sits at the top of the iTunes charts with her Dumb Blonde podcast.

“Not only did my husband’s song ”Son of a Sinner” just hit #1 on country radio,” Bunnie XO wrote on Facebook. ”My podcast is sitting at #1 for the first time ever! 😭 We both hit #1 at the same time – TOGETHER. Wild how the universe works. 😭”

New Music

Jelly Roll recently released two brand-new songs, including “She” and “Need A Favor,” both of which are expected to appear on his forthcoming new album, which will be his first full-length Country project. 

During a recent interview with Music Mayhem, Jelly Roll opened up about his debut Country album, which he said is expected to arrive in “April or May [of 2023].”

“I’m really proud of it. I’m going to have some features on it. It’s a country record for sure,” he explained to the publication. “It’ll be my debut country album. I’m kind of really excited about taking my first real big leap into the genre. I think ‘Son of a Sinner’ was just kind of showing people what I could do, but we also got some real kind of rock records on there, some real kind of rocky records on there. And we’ll have a couple of songs where I’m spitting a little bit too. So it’s still true to Jelly Roll for sure.”

The new project will serve as the follow-up to his 2021 album, Ballads Of The Broken, which includes the chart-topping hits “Son Of a Sinner” and “Dead Man Walking” as well as fan-favorite tunes such as “Sober,” “Empty House,” and more.

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Additionally, the singer, whose real name is Jason DeFord, shared that he is going to focus on losing weight and finishing his new album during the first half of 2023 before hitting the road on a yet-to-be announced tour.

“I’m going to spend the first couple months of the year just focusing on family and health,” Jelly Roll told Music Mayhem. “I lost some weight this year 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 currently has no headlining tour dates on the books, however, he is expected to appear at several festivals this summer, including Tailgate N’ Tallboys Bloomington, Tailgate N’ Tallboys Clinton, TidalWave Music Festival, and more.

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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.