Jelly Roll Reflects on a Past Nashville Jail Cell Visit: ‘There Was a Time in My Life Where I Truly Thought This Is It’

Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.

The Country Artist Shares Insights on Conquering Challenges and Career Triumphs in ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ Interview

Jelly Roll Revisits Past Jail Cell That Inspired His Music in CBS Interview

In a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Jelly Roll, the 39-year-old musician born as Jason DeFord, took a poignant journey back to his former jail cell at the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility in Nashville. This visit served as a reflection on the troubled times that inspired many of his songs.

Recalling his emotional past, Jelly Roll shared with CBS News Sunday Morning‘s Kelefa Sanneh, “There was a time in my life where I truly thought this was it.” He continued, expressing the unique impact of returning to the facility after being nominated for two Grammys: “And then, coming here after being nominated for two Grammys just hits different.”

Highlighting the creative process that unfolded within those walls, he added, “I wrote hundreds of songs right here. I wrote [the 2010 song] ‘Ridin’ All Alone’ chorus right here.” The interview sheds light on Jelly Roll’s journey, showcasing the transformative power of his experiences and how they shaped his musical expression.


In the course of his life, the country singer has faced numerous encounters with the law, having been to jail approximately 40 times, primarily for various drug-related charges. Remarkably, his first arrest occurred at the age of 14.

The year 2023 marked a significant turning point for Jelly Roll. Amidst grappling with his past, he achieved remarkable success, securing three No. 1 country hits, releasing the widely acclaimed album “Whitsitt Chapel” (his seventh studio record and inaugural venture into country music), and clinching the title of new artist of the year at the CMA Awards. Additionally, Jelly earned two Grammy nominations, including one for best new artist.

However, this notable success in country music required Jelly Roll to confront his personal challenges and reshape his relationship with certain vices before fully embracing his newfound fame in the genre.


Jelly Roll’s Journey to Sobriety and Giving Back

In a candid revelation to PEOPLE in December, the “Son of a Sinner” performer shared a significant aspect of his journey to sobriety. He explained, “I had to learn that you could drink alcohol without doing cocaine. It took me a long time to learn that. I’ve never said that, but that’s real. There was a long time where I just assumed, when people told me they drank without doing cocaine, I was like, I thought we only drank to do cocaine.”

Despite never attending rehab for his drug addiction, Jelly Roll actively engages in philanthropy. He frequently visits centers nationwide, delivering warm meals, playing music, and offering encouragement to those in need. This commitment extends to juvenile centers as well.

Reflecting on his dedication to giving back, Jelly Roll stated, “I always said that if I ever got in this situation, I would do everything I could to give back. The fact that just me showing up places can make people happy is such a gift, and I feel like if God gave me that gift, I should show up.” His journey exemplifies not only personal growth but a commitment to making a positive impact on others as well.