Jelly Roll Explains How He Kept Busy While Behind Bars and How It Kick-Started His Country Music Stardom

Breaking into country music with songs like “Son of a Sinner” and “Need a Favor”, Jelly Roll proved his love for the genre. And not only loving country music, the singer seems to be helping bring in a new era of country music. While enjoying his time in the spotlight alongside his wife, Bunnie XO, Jelly Roll once stood on the outside looking in. To make matters even worse, the singer found himself on the wrong side of the law. Although his life spiraled out of control at the time, Jelly Roll recently discussed how he used his time behind bars to help shape his future. 

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Stopping by Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Jelly Roll received a special treat as Martin Short filled in for Jimmy Kimmel. Explaining how he spent time in jail writing songs, the singer noted, “I was always writing songs to kind of like connect with my mother because she loved music. But in jail is when I really started – I had a lot of time. I was like maybe I should invest this time in something positive, and I wrote a bunch of songs.” 

[RELATED: The One Song Jelly Roll Says He May Never Release… Even Though He’s Performed It Live]

Jelly Roll Points To The Moment That Changed His Life

While using his time to help master his craft, Jelly Roll found a solution to not having any instruments. He simply used the tables around him to create his own beat. Although staying productive, his entire life changed when he learned about the birth of his daughter. He told Short, “I was incarcerated as a juvenile for some horrible decisions and I ended up in kind of that rotating door of the system for like a decade. I had a daughter, and it changed my entire life, man. It was almost like the Damascus Road experience where Saul turned to Paul for me.” 

Explaining how the news affected him, Jelly Roll insisted, “I was incarcerated, and they knocked on my door and told me she was born. And I just wept. It’s the first time I’d cried, and I can’t quit crying now. Now I cry if I just see a squirrel in the street. I’m like, ‘The little squirrel!’ Spent 30 years not crying, now I can’t stop.” 

Always willing to explore his past, Jelly Roll currently sits on top of country music as he prepares for his Beautifully Broken Tour.

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

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