Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson Join Forces to Celebrate 3 No. 1 Hits—”Need a Favor,” “Save Me,” and “Watermelon Moonshine”

It’s Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson’s world and we’re just living in it. The star power of the BMI record-breaking artists was evident Thursday evening (Feb. 22) as the duo joined forces to celebrate three of their No. 1 hits—”Need a Favor,” “Save Me” and “Watermelon Moonshine.”

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“I could not have asked for a better dance partner,” Jelly Roll gushed of his duet partner, Wilson, as he stood on the stage of Nashville’s Tin Roof in front of family, friends, and industry insiders.

“I knew he was my kind of people,” Wilson returned the praise. “I love me some Jelly Roll. I love his story. I think God is using him in so many different ways and it is really unbelievable to see, to watch, to be a small part of.”

The duo took turns celebrating their individual No. 1 songs, “Watermelon Moonshine” for Wilson, “Need a Favor” for Jelly Roll, and the powerhouse track, “Save Me,” which they recorded as a duet.

BMI artists Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson (Photos by Lisa Konicki)

The BMI and ASCAP hosted evening kicked off with “Need a Favor” getting its accolades. Brothers Rob Ragosta, and Joe Ragosta, and best friend Austin Nivarel, who also produced the song, joined Jelly Roll at the podium to celebrate their first-ever No. 1 hit.

“We want to do this a lot more,” Rob said of writing the life-changing tune, choking back tears. “And if we never do again, there will never be a more perfect culmination of all the work we put into this.”

[RELATED: Watch Jelly Roll Perform “Need a Favor” Give an Inspirational Speech for Inmates at the Genesee County Jail in Flint, Michigan]

“It is an absolute honor that this happened with you [Jelly Roll],” Joe added. “We love you so much. Thank you for making it possible for me to write songs.”

Jelly Roll made a point to honor the friends’ first time at No. 1. “Of [my] five No. 1s, three of those songs are all written by people who have never had a No. 1 before. I’m proud of this statistic. I think it’s important to usher in a new generation of writers in this town. I hope you all celebrate them. First No. 1 for all three of them and they are best friends.”

Rob Ragosta (BMI), Joe Ragosta (ASCAP), Jelly Roll (BMI) and Austin Nivarel (ASCAP) (Photo by Lisa Konicki)

Next, as the songwriters of “Need a Favor” exited the stage, Wilson appeared next to Jelly Roll along with songwriter David Ray to celebrate “Save Me.”

“Me and David Ray have known each other for twenty-something years,” Jelly Roll said. “The story I tell people is I grew up kinda poor and he grew up piss poor, we had that in common. We were both dreamers from the time we met twenty-something years ago. When we wrote ‘Save Me’ nobody could have ever told us it was going to be a No. 1 song, nobody could have told us it was going to do 200 and something million views on YouTube, nobody could convince us that not only would Lainey Wilson get on this song, she would get on this song the same year she would go on to be the CMA Entertainer of the Year, the same year she would go on to win a Grammy for the Country Album of the Year.”

[RELATED: The Meaning Behind Jelly Roll’s Song of Addiction and Recovery “Save Me”]

Jelly Roll continued, “My wife’s always said I got a horseshoe up my ass and I truly believe that today more than I ever believed it because there are a lot of people in town that wished they caught Lainey Wilson at the moment I caught Lainey Wilson on this song.”

Lainey Wilson, Jelly Roll and songwriter David Ray (BMI) (Photo by Lisa Konicki)

“This song is really special to me and the amount of people it touched,” Wilson shared. “It has truly changed my life and it has been a big part of my story. I had been a fan of the song for a long time. When I heard that maybe they were interested in me doing the female part of the song, I was like this is going to be cool to hear the female perspective of this. I kinda made a promise to myself that any song that I cut that I didn’t write, I needed to feel like I wrote it. I needed to feel like I had been through it or experienced it in some kind of way. Or it was a story that needed to be told even if it wasn’t mine specifically. This one was something I could relate to 190%.”

Before leaving the stage, Ray had a special gift, a diamond necklace made by Icebox, which he presented to Jelly Roll, thanking him for cutting the song.

Jelly Roll with songwriter David Ray presenting a gift. (Photo by Lisa Konicki)

Wilson remained on the stage for the last presentation, but this time, songwriter Josh Kear joined her to celebrate “Watermelon Moonshine,” which was also written with Justin Schmidt, who was not in attendance.

[RELATED: Lainey Wilson Has a Message for Her Exes Who Think “Watermelon Moonshine” Is About Them]

The song about an innocent time in your life, when nothing else matters, means a lot to Wilson, “Every single one of us in that writing room could relate to this story,” Wilson shared. “It took me back to that place. I could feel it, I could smell it, I could hear it. I’m just so thankful.”

Jelly Roll ended his tribute by saying, “I love you all, if we do what did last year baby more duffel bags with Rolexes and cash. Let’s go! I got too many people to thank. It takes a village to raise a child and you all in this room know it takes multiple villages to raise a song. Children are easier than songs, I promise you that. I got two and I’m 50/50, one is great and one is horrible. I appreciate you all letting me come up here and talk to you all. Enjoy your time at the Tin Roof. We wanted to do a No. 1 party—I just didn’t want to do no stuffy corporate shit. Thank you!

Earlier in the day, Jelly Roll also announced a 90-date arena tour kicking off on August 27 in Salt Lake City, Utah, making stops in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia before wrapping on October 27 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Main image by Lisa Konicki

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