Jelly Roll Shares Honest Thoughts On Earning His First-Ever ACM Nominations

Jelly Roll also revealed which friend and fellow country star he is rooting for in the Entertainer of the Year category.


Nicole Palsa

| Posted on

May 13, 2024


3:46 pm

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Jelly Roll; Photo Provided

One year ago, Jelly Roll left his mark on the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards with a scorching delivery of his hit, “Save Me” featuring special guest, Lainey Wilson. While he was already making tremendous strides in his career at the time, the country artist did not earn a single nomination. Things look very different for Jelly Roll this year as his hard work and die-hard fans have helped him achieve four nominations at the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards in the categories of Entertainer of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Single of the Year (“Need a Favor”), and Music Event of the Year (“Save Me” with Lainey Wilson).

The “Halfway to Hell” singer recently sat down with co-hosts Kelly Sutton and Amber Anderson as a guest on Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast to discuss his reaction to being nominated for the ACM’s top honor, Entertainer of the Year. 

Jelly Roll Feels His Entertainer Of The Year Nomination Came “A Little Bit Early”

Jelly Roll; Photo Courtesy RODEOHOUSTON®
Jelly Roll; Photo Courtesy RODEOHOUSTON®

Despite his chart-topping singles and sold-out tours solidifying his superstar status, Jelly Roll admits he doesn’t feel like he fits the description of an Entertainer of the Year nominee yet.

“I don’t think I deserve to be in the category,” he tells Country Heat Weekly. “I think I’m there a little bit early, and I appreciate the nod, and it means a lot that I got it, and I am truly honored. But I mean, when you look at guys like Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs, they’re selling out stadiums.” 

However it’s not lost on the singer that his own powerhouse shows and noteworthy philanthropic efforts stay in the headlines.

“I’ve been reading reviews so it’s like maybe I do belong to be in the nom, but the kid in me looks at that category and goes ‘man, there’s a dog fight in the top three or four and I’m just kind of on the outside of that dog fight. Just glad to be here.’ That’s how I feel about it,” he shared honestly.

Which Artist Does He Think Should Take Home The Title?

When he looks at his fellow ACM Entertainer of the Year nominees, Jelly Roll says there’s one artist who stands out.

“Frankly, if I could give the award away myself, I would give it to Cody Johnson. I don’t think anybody’s going to do more shows than him this year. I don’t think anybody works harder than him. And I don’t know if y’all have ever seen a Cody Johnson live show, but I mean, it’s like he’s riding a bull. It’s like he never left. He brings bull rider energy for 90 something minutes. It’s insane to me he’s in that good of shape. It is jumps, screams, kicks, I mean, it’s an old school Garth Brooks show.”

Does Jelly Roll Plan His Inspirational Acceptance Speeches?

Jelly Roll is no stranger to accepting awards these days, most recently winning three honors at the 2024 CMT Music Awards (Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year, and CMT Performance of the Year) and being named Best New Artist in the Country and Pop categories at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards. He has also become notorious for delivering pulpit-worthy speeches, inspiring fans around the world.

“I wish these award shows were determined on who would have the best speech,” Jelly Roll jokes. “I won’t even plan for a speech; I don’t go in planning to win, I just go in glad to be in the conversation. Like me being in the entertainer, what the ACMs don’t know for me is, and I hope they hear this and know this, I won Entertainer of the Year by y’all nominating me.”

Jelly Roll at the 2023 ACM Awards
Jelly Roll at the 2023 ACM Awards

In addition to being a four-time nominee, the Tennessee native has been tapped to perform on the ACM Awards stage. The rest of the star-studded lineup includes Post Malone, Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett, Parker McCollum, Chris Stapleton, Lainey Wilson and can’t-miss collaborative performances from Kelsea Ballerini with Noah Kahan, Nate Smith and Avril Lavigne, and Blake Shelton with Gwen Stefani. This year’s host and 16-time ACM Award winner, Reba McEntire, will also take on double duty as a host and a performer. 

The 59th Academy of Country Music Awards will be held on Thursday, May 16. The show will air live from the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas at 8 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. CDT / 5 p.m. PDT exclusively on Prime Video. For this special occasion, fans do not need a Prime membership to watch, as everyone is invited to the “Party of the Year.”

For those hoping to attend the star-studded night, a limited number of tickets are still available for purchase. 

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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.