Jelly Roll Talks His Personal Struggle Behind “Save Me” and Why He Couldn’t Even Listen to the Song 

Jelly Roll is no stranger to delivering emotional songs and sometimes even more emotional acceptance speeches. The singer just took home the award for Music Event of the Year from the 2024 ACM Awards last night for his song “Save Me” with collaborator Lainey Wilson. It was an emotional night for sure, and “Save Me” is one of his most vulnerable tracks. And according to Jelly Roll, it might just be too vulnerable.

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In a recent interview with Taste of Country before last night’s ACM Awards ceremony, Jelly Roll was asked about which song of his has been the most difficult to perform. The country star opened up about the fact that “Save Me” was not only hard to perform, but it was hard for him to even listen to. 

“‘Save Me,’” Jelly Roll answered quickly. “Man, was that one. I had trouble playing it in a room for people for like 3-4 weeks after I recorded it. Like, I couldn’t listen to it with them, you know what I mean? And so, singing it was really rough.”

“Save Me”’s lyrics paint a picture of a man struggling with addiction and self-destructive tendencies, desperate for a loved one or a higher power to save him. Yet, he pushes everyone away. The song was written during the COVID-19 pandemic soon after Jelly Roll’s father had passed away.

“I’m a lost cause / Baby, don’t waste your time on me / I’m so damaged beyond repair / Life has shattered my hopes and my dreams.”

One can only imagine how difficult it must have been to be so vulnerable on a song, release it, and perform it on the regular. But we’re glad Jelly Roll did it, because the track has become a massive (and now award-winning) hit.

Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson Officially Win Music Event of the Year at the ACM Awards

Jelly Roll got emotional on stage when accepting the award for “Save Me” last night.

“I was in a dark place,” Jelly Roll said. “[And] I wrote it from my soul, I knew people would connect with it.”

The song was originally released with just Jelly Roll in 2020, but he soon released a new version of the song in 2023 with fellow country star Lainey Wilson.

“I wrote it with a high school friend,” Jelly Roll said, fighting back tears at the ACM Awards. “We never thought we’d be songwriters. I never thought I’d be standing here. I thought I would die or go to jail and I’m standing here an ACM Award winner.”

If anyone deserves recognition and a successful career, it’s Jelly Roll.

Photo by Omar Vega

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