“Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson Discuss Grit, Friendship, and Family Values”

Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.

Jelly Roll: “Life Isn’t About What You Do; It’s About Who You Do It With.”


“When Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson recently celebrated their joint No. 1 party at Nashville’s Tin Roof to commemorate their hits ‘Save Me,’ ‘Need a Favor,’ and Wilson’s fifth consecutive No. 1, ‘Watermelon Moonshine,’ Jelly Roll’s cousin set up a tattoo station in the back, offering free tattoos to the event’s 250 guests.

“That’s how down-to-earth our family is,” Jelly Roll quipped ahead of the party.

Jelly Roll, a Nashville local and former convict with a plethora of regrettable tattoos he no longer cares for, forged his unique blend of country, rock, and rap after years of hustling and selling music from his car trunk.

In contrast, Wilson, a charming Louisiana native devoid of tattoos, lived in a camper upon her arrival in town. Embraced by country fans for her authenticity, Southern charm, distinctive bell-bottom style, and unmatched storytelling prowess, Wilson connects deeply with her audience.

While they may seem like an unlikely pair on the surface, Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson embody genuine spirits shining brightly as symbols of resilience for the underdogs. Jelly Roll stands with the troubled youth seeking redemption and a brighter future, while Wilson champions the rural girls longing to share their country tales with the world. Both groups must outshine their competition with sheer hard work. However, Jelly Roll and Wilson demonstrate that with genuine talent and unwavering dedication, anything is possible.”

“You had to be a little crazy to release as many projects as I did and see them fail,” Jelly Roll reflected. “To invest so much time and money into something only for it to not work out, I held onto this deep-seated belief that I was meant to represent a group of people who weren’t being heard. I always knew that someday it would resonate.”

Wilson echoed Jelly Roll’s sentiments, admitting she might have a touch of madness herself for persisting in her pursuit of country music stardom. However, she also emphasized the importance of taking risks in the music industry—and in life—to achieve success.

“I believe it was grit,” Wilson affirmed. “The grit that my parents instilled in me from the start, coupled with the faith they planted in me. I’ve known from a young age that this was my purpose. I knew my gift was storytelling, and I genuinely believe that if you have a gift, you’re meant to share it with the world.”

For Jelly Roll, it was his father who encouraged him to persevere in the music industry when he felt like giving up. Conversely, Wilson received most of her parental support while working on the farm, while Jelly Roll’s father provided his encouragement in the same bar where they later celebrated their No. 1 party.


Jelly Roll’s father, Horace “Buddy” DeFord, was a familiar face at Tin Roof, so much so that the staff honored him with a plaque on the wall. Jelly Roll fondly recalls how his dad would hold court during happy hour at the bar. About a decade ago, Jelly Roll reached a low point and considered giving up on his music career. He even approached his dad about getting a job selling meat, their family’s trade. However, his father refused to entertain the idea.

“He told me, ‘Son, if you’re working as hard as you say you are, and as hard as I believe you are, if you had followed my wish for you in life and gone to Vanderbilt straight out of high school to become a doctor, you wouldn’t even have completed your master’s degree to enter medical school yet,'” Jelly Roll recounted. “He said, if you’re truly putting in that much effort, I believe that one day it’ll pay off.”

Several years later, when Jelly Roll moved into an exclusive neighborhood in Nashville, he found himself living next door to a doctor.

“I thought to myself, ‘That old man was right,'” he reflected. “In the end, it all worked out. Since then, I’ve moved on from that neighborhood of doctors. So, I guess I could have been a brain surgeon. I don’t believe you can put in that much hard work and dedication and not see it pay off in the end.”


Family holds immense significance for both singers. Wilson makes it a point to FaceTime her nephews daily, emphasizing the importance of her close-knit relationships with her parents, sister, and boyfriend, who ground her and remind her of her identity.

“I can’t be Lainey the artist if I’m not Lainey the sister, Lainey the friend, Lainey the daughter, Lainey the girlfriend—each role is crucial,” she explained. “Keeping your loved ones close is vital. I truly believe that grit runs in my blood. I come from five generations of farmers.”

The singers view each other as family as well. Jelly Roll credits his wife as his rock but often turns to Wilson for support and discussion about various aspects of his life, from career highs to handling criticism on social media. Wilson, in turn, emphasizes the importance of their bond.

“That connection is the cornerstone of everything we do,” Wilson affirmed.

“Life isn’t just about what you accomplish; it’s about the company you keep,” Jelly Roll added.

The duo even found themselves addressing the United States Congress on different occasions. Wilson spoke out against artificial intelligence’s use of her likeness to endorse weight loss products, highlighting the unexpected turns in her career. Jelly Roll addressed Congress regarding the drug epidemic, reflecting on his journey and the pact he made with God to use his platform for good.

“While it’s often said that artists make deals with the devil, I made a deal with God,” Jelly Roll stated. “I told God, ‘I’ve messed up my entire life. If things ever improve, I’ll make sure you receive credit, and I’ll use it for good.’ I’m just honoring my end of the deal. If God gave me a soapbox, I promised I’d stand on it, grab a megaphone, and shout his name.”

Wilson expresses profound joy in witnessing Jelly Roll’s success and the impact of his story.

“It’s incredible to see the Lord working through him and his journey,” she remarked. “I’m grateful that Jelly Roll is part of this industry.”