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Jelly Roll Revisits His Former Nashville Jail Cell, Reflects on Career Success: Watch

Mr. Nimbus | 01/09/2024

Jelly Roll‘s career has been on a swiftly upward trajectory since he earned his first Billboard No. 1 hit, “Dead Man Walking,” in 2021, gaining acclaim and commercial success including three Country Airplay No. 1s, earning the new artist of the year honor at November’s CMA Awards and more. In 2023, Jelly Roll was also featured on the cover of Billboard’s Country Power Players issue.


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See latest videos, charts and news

But the Antioch, Tenn. native recently revisited the place where he spent some of his more troubled years…and the place that sparked inspiration for so many of his songs.

As part of a recent interview with CBS News Sunday Morning, Jelly Roll visited his former jail cell at Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility in Nashville. From the age of 14, Jelly Roll spent years in and out of juvenile and adult correctional facilities for crimes including drug dealing and aggravated robbery. But he also had a passion for music, making hip-hop mixtapes and giving them away to people he met.

“There was a time in my life where I truly thought this was it,” the singer-songwriter said, growing emotional as he spoke with CBS News Sunday Morning‘s Kelefa Sanneh. “And then, coming here after being nominated for two Grammys just hits different.”

He added, “I wrote hundreds of songs right here. I wrote [the 2010 song] ‘Ridin’ All Alone’ chorus right here.”

He signed with BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records, after BMG Nashville president Jon Loba heard “Save Me,” which appeared on Jelly Roll’s 2020 album Self Medicated. In 2021, his song “Dead Man Walking” topped Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Airplay chart. He followed with three consecutive Country Airplay chart-toppers, “Son of a Sinner,” “Need a Favor,” and a new version of “Save Me,” a collaboration with his BBR Music Group labelmate Lainey Wilson. His debut country album, Whitsitt Chapel, debuted at No. 2 on the Top Country Albums chart, and a No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

Heading into 2024, Jelly Roll is nominated for Grammys for best new artist, as well as best country duo/group performance, for “Save Me.” Later this month, his new single, “Halfway to Hell,” will impact country radio on Jan. 22.

Watch Jelly Roll’s full interview below.

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Written by Mr. Nimbus

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