WATCH: Jelly Roll Makes ‘Tonight Show’ Debut With Electrifying Performance Of ‘Halfway To Hell’

“What a wild ride.. Jimmy Fallon and Jelly,” the genre-bending star shared following the show.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

October 4, 2023

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Jelly Roll; Photo by: Todd Owyoung/NBC

Jelly Roll made his debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday evening with an energy-filled performance of “Halfway To Hell.” 

The Tennessee native’s Tonight Show appearance was something he was “so fired up” about and marked another milestone moment of his wildly successful year. 

“Halfway To Hell”

For his performance, Jelly Roll delivered the television debut of “Halfway To Hell,” which is the opening track off his debut country record, Whitsitt Chapel

Jelly Roll; Photo by: Todd Owyoung/NBC
Jelly Roll; Photo by: Todd Owyoung/NBC

The song was written by Jelly Roll (Jason DeFord) alongside Jesse Frasure, Matt Jenkins, and Jessie Jo Dillon and finds him crooning over finding balance in his life between Heaven and Hell. 

“Halfway to Heaven or halfway to Hell/ My angels and demons at war with myself/ One foot in the fire and I still can’t tell/ Am I halfway to Heaven/ Halfway to Heaven or Hell,” he sang from the famous NYC studio. 

Fans may have noticed that Jelly Roll subtly gave a nod to his son, Noah, on the show as he sported a shirt with “Noah” name tag on the lapel. 


YouTube video

Following his performance, Jelly Roll shared his disbelief over having the opportunity to bring his music to the popular late-night show. 

“Things I started to believe would never happen have been happening. What a wild ride.. Jimmy Fallon and Jelly,” he shared on X alongside a photo of him and the talk show host. 

“What A Wild Ride”

The genre-bending star made his way to the Big Apple in the midst of his sold-out Backroad Baptism Tour, which runs through October 14. In fact, he performed on The Tonight Show and flew directly to his concert in Charleston, West Virginia that same evening. 

Performed A Concert In West Virginia After The Tonight Show

Some NYC traffic delayed his concert a bit, but according to social media, Jelly Roll made it on stage by 9:50 and went on to deliver a full concert for the capacity crowd. 

“Charleston WV – we are on the way be patient – should be there soon,” he wrote on social media. 

Jelly Roll; Photo by: Todd Owyoung/NBC
Jelly Roll; Photo by: Todd Owyoung/NBC

Jelly Roll’s Tonight Show performance comes as his latest single, “Save Me,” featuring Lainey Wilson continues to climb the charts at country radio. The buzzed-about track is already in the Top 20 and shows no signs of slowing down.

“Save Me” officially impacted country radio on September 5 and earned a whopping 60 first-week adds on stations around the country. 

Five CMA Awards Nominations

After taking home four trophies at last week’s People’s Choice Country Awards, Jelly Roll is heading into the upcoming 2023 CMA Awards with five nominations as a first-time nominee. 

Jelly Roll landed nops in the following categories: 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 his five nods, Jelly Roll joins Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Maren Morris, Willie Nelson and Gretchen Wilson who also received five nods in a first appearance on the Final Ballot. 

According to the Country Music Association (CMA), 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.

Upon hearing the news of his nominations, Jelly Roll took to social media to share his reaction with fans. 


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

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

Jelly Roll went on to admit that no matter what happens during the upcoming CMA Awards broadcast, the nominations alone are a 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.” 

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

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.”

Fans can tune into the 2023 CMA Awards in November to see if Jelly Roll will take home the trophies. Co-hosted by country superstar Luke Bryan and National Football League Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, the 57th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville on Wednesday, November 8 at 8/7c on ABC.

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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.