Jelly Roll Energizes CMA Awards with Passionate Acceptance Speech for New Artist of the Year—”Let’s Party Nashville!”

Jelly Roll has been crowned New Artist of the Year at the 2023 CMA Awards on Wednesday night (November 8), beating out fellow nominees Zach Bryan, Parker McCollum, Megan Moroney, and Hailey Witters.

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In his speech, Jelly Roll thanked his label, and his wife, Bunnie (who hurt her leg so was sorely missed on the red carpet), for her support, then shouted out his fellow nominees, claiming that Zach Bryan is “one of the hottest things on Earth, not just in country music. You deserve this as much as anybody else.”

“But most importantly,” he continued, “there is something poetic about a 39-year-old man winning New Artist of the Year. I don’t know where you’re at in your life or what you’re going through, but I want to tell you to keep going, I want to tell you success is on the other side of it, I want to tell you it’s gonna be okay, I want to tell you that the windshield is better than the rearview mirror, that what’s in front of you is so much more important than what’s behind you.”

The crowd erupted into a standing ovation full of cheers and screams for Jelly Roll, who ended his speech with a resounding, “Let’s party Nashville!”

Jelly Roll released the highly anticipated album Whitsitt Chapel on June 2, which features the hit single “Need a Favor.” He was also nominated for Music Video of the Year for “Need a Favor,” Musical Event of the Year for “Save Me” with Lainey Wilson, Single of the Year for “Need a Favor,” and Male Vocalist of the Year. He recently won the CMT awards for Male Video of the Year, Male Breakthrough Video of the Year, and Digital-First Performance of the Year for the song “Son of a Sinner.”

Watch his speech below.

 Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

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