Jelly Roll Opens up About His Time Behind Bars and Why Fame Is More Difficult Than Prison

The song that saved Jelly Roll is called, ironically, “Save Me.” The Lainey Wilson duet cemented his country bona fides and sent him hurtling into overnight stardom. Jelly Roll navigates a much different world now. Instead of peddling mixtapes out of his car, the “Need a Favor” singer tops country music charts. Instead of court appearances, he dominates award show stages. But which life is easier for him? You may be surprised.

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Jelly Roll Opens Up About Prison to Howard Stern

Jelly Roll makes no bones about his checkered past. It’s part of his appeal. The three-time CMT Award winner was in and out of jail as he grappled with addiction in his teens and early twenties. During his Wednesday (June 12) appearance on The Howard Stern Show, he again spoke candidly about his time behind bars.

Jelly Roll admitted to finding “a sense of safety” while locked up. It was a sharp contrast to his life on the streets of Antioch, Tennessee, where “anything could happen at any time”

“Rule No. 1 of the streets is there are no rules,” the GRAMMY nominee told Stern. “Rule No. 2 is, don’t forget No. 1.”

Thanks to Jelly Roll’s newfound fame, his life looks completely different now. And the rapper turned country star didn’t hesitate when Stern asked which world was easier to navigate.

“Prison,” he said. “So much easier.”

In jail, Stern pointed out, “you know how to function… you know what to do.”

“But now when you’re backstage and someone says Paul McCartney wants to meet you, that’s new territory,” the radio host said wryly.

“”You p*** yourself a little bit,” Jelly agreed with a laugh. “Just a small dribble.”

[RELATED: Watch Jelly Roll Leave Howard Stern in Awe With Breathtaking Otis Redding and Hootie & the Blowfish Covers]

Jelly Talks Friendships With Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi

Earlier this year, Jelly Roll (real name: Jason DeFord) met two of his childhood idols, Jon Bon Jovi and Paul McCartney, during a MusiCares event honoring the former. He’s still not quite over it.

“[H]e just immediately started loving on me,” Jelly told Stern of the former Beatles bassist. “It was really cool.”

Bon Jovi has also become a friend. “The even weirder part is when it goes past meeting them and you start to develop a relationship with your idols, and you find out that they’re actually really cool people, too,” said Jelly, 39.

Featured image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for SiriusXM

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