5 Things to Know About Jelly Roll

In the last year, Jelly Roll has been a pinnacle figure in mainstream media thanks to his past musical accolades and his new album, Whitsitt Chapel. In response to his CMT Award-winning album, Jelly has been here, there, and everywhere; as he’s made appearances at CMA Fest, Bussin’ With The Boys, The CMT Music Awards, and many others.

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Due to his booming success, media presence, and the impending release of his fourth album, Jelly is on track to become one of the most popular celebrity figures in 2023. That being said, given that Jelly is seemingly going nowhere anytime soon, here are five things to know about the country music star.

1. Jelly Roll Has Served Time

Much of Jelly’s image revolves around his redemption story, and that narrative derives from the fact that Jelly had been in and out of prison up until the birth of his daughter, Bailee, in 2008. According to BillBoard, Jelly was charged with aggravated robbery at 16 and was staring down a 20-year sentence. Furthermore, at 23, Jelly was convicted and incarcerated for possession with intent to distribute. His time in jail has evidently caused some complications due to Tennessee state laws: Jelly can’t vote, own a firearm, or volunteer at most non-profit organizations.

2. He Got Engaged and Married Bunnie XO on the Same Night

It’s not a surprise that Jelly Roll has an undying affection for his wife, Bunnie Xo, as Jelly has been incredibly public about the sentiment and even has gone so far as to post a love letter of sorts on Instagram. Though, what most folks don’t know is that their official bond was made in an incredibly short time frame. On August 31, 2016, Jelly walked on stage at the Yelawolf concert in Las Vegas and posed the question to his future wife. Both intoxicated by joyous spirits and actual spirits, the two then went to the nearest courthouse and married. Six years have passed, and they are still married.

3. Jelly Roll Got Started in Hip-Hop

Jelly’s initial emergence into the music scene was not with country music, but with hip-hop. In 2010, Jelly released the song “Pop Another Pill” with Memphis-based rapper Lil Wyte. The song reached 6.3 million views on YouTube and led Jelly to become a member of SNO, as well as releasing the album Year Round. Subsequently, Jelly released a vast amount of independently produced music and collaborated with other rap artists such as Haystak, Struggle Jennings, and Tech N9ne.

4. He’s a Waffle House Fanatic

Just like anybody else in the South, Jelly Roll loves Waffle House. In a 2013 interview with Gawker, Jelly stated that he’s most likely eaten at the restaurant nearly a thousand times. Additionally, Jelly stated, [he] “had to look at my birth certificate…to make sure I wasn’t born in a Waffle House!” The artist orders the same thing every time— an all-star special with scrambled eggs, wheat toast, hash browns, a side of sausage, and a chocolate chip waffle. His devotion to the franchise is so deep, that he actually used their logo for his album Whiskey, Weed, and Waffle House. Waffle House did impose legal action upon Jelly Roll for the use of the logo.

5. He is an Advocate for Incarcerated Youth

As previously stated, Jelly received legal punishment at a young age; thus, it makes sense why he has such a formative presence on the topic today. In the past, Jelly has donated over $250,000 to numerous social programs in the Nashville area that advocate and serve underprivileged and incarcerated youth. Furthermore, Jelly partnered with Nashville non-profit, Impact Youth Outreach, and donated an undisclosed amount of money to Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center; the detention center Jelly was placed in following his assault charge at 16. In addition, $10,000 of that donation went towards funding five scholarships for graduating seniors in Davidson County.

Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for CMT

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