Jelly Roll Reflects On Life-Changing ‘Need A Favor’ As It Dominates Country Radio Charts

This marks Jelly Roll’s second No.1 at country radio.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

August 7, 2023

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Jelly Roll; Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA

Jelly Roll earned his second consecutive No.1 with “NEED A FAVOR.”

The chart-topping hit, which claimed the top spot on the Mediabase Country Airplay chart and Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, follows his first-ever No. 1 hit at Country radio, “Son Of A Sinner.”

According to Luminate, the tune climbed to the top of the Billboard Country Airplay chart (dated August 12) with 32.9 million audience impressions between July 28 and August 3. 

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“A second No. 1 at Country radio is something I wouldn’t have even allowed myself to dream about,” Jelly Roll, whose real name is Jason DeFord, told Billboard of his latest No. 1 hit. 

“‘NEED A FAVOR’ has absolutely changed my life. It’s been incredible to watch the fan reaction and see what’s happening out there on the road. Thank you to everyone who has continued to believe in this song, and to country radio for supporting therapeutic music. I’ve seen firsthand the impact the music continues to have with people across the country.”

In addition to climbing to the top of the Country Airplay chart, the tune also crossed over to the pop genre and is currently sitting at No. 22 on Billboard’s Adult Pop Airplay chart. 

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In June of 2023, Jelly Roll performed the song at the 2023 CMA Fest and was brought to tears. 

He later took to social media to commemorate the milestone moment.

“If you listen closely, you can hear my voice shaking the first half of the song— I was trembling I was so nervous. 65,000 people in my hometown stadium- the same stadium my father took me to every Sunday for Titans games – the same Stadium I’ve been taking my daughter to since she was a baby,” he wrote. “Thank you CMA fest for letting me be a part of your 50th anniversary – I have literally been going to “Fan Fair” since I was a child. This night was unbelievable… to hear 65k people “and God I need a Favor” in unison like one voice.”

He went on to admit that hearing that the song topped the charts is “almost unbelievable.”

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

“Speaking of NEED A FAVOR- I can officially say it is the #1 song on Country Radio right now. There is no greater achievement in this town than being #1 in country radio. The fact this is my 2nd number one at Country Radio this year makes if almost unbelievable to me to be honest – and this same song also held 3 weeks at number 1 on Rock radio. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any wilder y’all continue to amaze me. Thank y’all – this has been an unreal year.”

Co-written by Jelly Roll (whose real name is Jason DeFord) alongside Austin Nivarel, Joe Ragosta and Rob Ragosta, “NEED A FAVOR” finds the hitmaker telling the story of a man coming face to face with his demons and nearly losing the person he loves the most, and with nowhere left to turn he sends prayers up to God for a saving grace.

“I only talk to God when I need a favor / And I only pray when I ain’t got a prayer / So, who the hell am I, who the hell am I / To expect a Savior o-o-oh / If I only talk to God when I need a favor / But God I need a favor,” Jelly Roll sings on the tune’s chorus.

Jelly Roll -- Whitsitt Chapel
Jelly Roll — Whitsitt Chapel

“NEED A FAVOR” appears on Jelly Roll’s debut full-length country record, WHITSITT CHAPEL, which arrived on June 2 via BMG/Stoney Creek Records. The project, named after the church the Antioch native grew up attending, features 13 tracks and debuted at the top of the Billboard Top Rock & Alternative Albums chart and at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Album chart.

“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.

WHITSITT CHAPEL also includes three collaborations. Brantley Gilbert and Struggle Jennings joined Jelly Roll on “Behind Bars” and Yelawolf is featured on “Unlive,” while Lainey Wilson teamed up with the 38-year-old hitmaker to recreate his fan-favorite tune, “Save Me.”

The genre-bending star’s latest chart-topping hit comes on the heels of the launch of his 44-date headlining Backroad Baptism Tour, which kicked off on July 28 with a sold out show at Bank Plus Amphitheater in Southaven, Mississippi.

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

Additionally, the massive headlining tour runs through Saturday, October 14, where the trek will wrap up in Tampa, Florida at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre. 

Hosted by Josh Adam Meyers, Jelly Roll’s Backroad Baptism Tour features support from Ashley McBryde, Caitlynne Curtis, Chase Rice, Elle King, Merkules, Struggle Jennings, Three 6 Mafia and Yelawolf on select dates.

In the midst of his headlining tour, Jelly Roll will also serve as support on several dates of Eric Church’s The Outsiders Revival Tour. 

For a complete list of tour dates, visit Jelly Roll’s official website HERE.

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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 Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. 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.