Jelly Roll


Jason Bradley DeFord, known professionally as Jelly Roll, is an American singer-songwriter who skillfully blends diverse genres in his music. Born on December 4, 1984, in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee, DeFord’s unique sound captures elements of rap, country, and hip-hop. In 2023, he achieved significant recognition by winning three CMT Music Awards for his hit song “Son of a Sinner.”

Jelly Roll’s latest album, Whitsitt Chapel, showcases his talents as an influential and rising country rap artist. With raw emotion and storytelling woven into his songs, he captivates listeners as they relate to the themes and experiences he shares through his music. Combining his Southern roots with a modern twist, Jelly Roll redefines the country-rap genre and expands its reach to a broader audience.

Jelly Roll’s Background

Family Life

Jelly Roll, born Jason DeFord in Nashville, Tennessee, started his music career in hip-hop before transitioning into country music. He grew up in Antioch, a neighborhood known for its struggles with crime and poverty. Despite the challenging environment, Jelly Roll managed to find solace in music and its ability to provide an emotional outlet.

Early Struggles with the Law

As a young man, Jelly Roll was involved with the law on multiple occasions. He spent time in a juvenile detention center before eventually serving prison. During these experiences, he began to reflect on his life and use music as an escape, sharing his story through his songs. Songs like “Son of a Sinner” provide a transparent look into his hardships and obstacles.

In recent years, Jelly Roll has focused on overcoming his struggles and sharing a message of hope and redemption. His transition into country music has allowed him to connect with a wider audience and share his unique perspectives while staying true to his roots in Antioch, Tennessee.

Music Career

Influences and Collaborations

Jelly Roll began his career in hip hop, selling mixtapes out of his car, and later gained attention through his collaboration “Pop Another Pill” with Memphis rapper Lil Wyte in 2010. This led to the formation of the hip-hop group SNO, of which Jelly Roll was a member. Throughout his career, Jelly Roll has worked with artists such as Tech N9ne and Struggle Jennings, showcasing diverse influences in his music, including hip-hop, country, and country rap.

Evolution and Recognition

As Jelly Roll transitioned into country music, he continued fusing hip-hop and country elements, resulting in his unique sound. His talents were recognized at the CMT Music Awards, where he won three categories with his song “Son of a Sinner.” Jelly Roll’s Opry debut symbolized his acceptance within the country music community, and his journey as a rapper turned country artist was documented in the ABC News Studios documentary Jelly Roll: Save Me.

Notable Works

Some of Jelly Roll’s most notable works include:

  • “Pop Another Pill”: A collaboration with Lil Wyte that garnered over 6.3 million YouTube views and initiated Jelly Roll’s music career.
  • Year Round: The album by hip-hop group SNO, which Jelly Roll was a member of.
  • “Son of a Sinner”: A country song that helped Jelly Roll win three categories at the CMT Music Awards.
  • “Save Me”: A duet with Lainey Wilson, indicating Jelly Roll’s successful transition into country music and featured on his upcoming country album.

Personal Life

Marriage and Parenthood

Jelly Roll has been married to Bunnie DeFord, also known as Bunnie XO, since 2016. Together, they have formed a strong bond and support each other personally and professionally. Jelly Roll has a daughter and a son from previous relationships. He deeply cares for his children and is committed to being a present and loving father.

Mental Health Journey

Jelly Roll has openly discussed his struggles with mental health, specifically anxiety. He has faced various challenges throughout his life, including serving prison time and overcoming addiction. The song “Dead Man Walking” is a candid reflection of his experiences, illustrating the dark times he has faced in his journey towards self-improvement. With the help of his wife, Bunnie XO, Jelly Roll is addressing his mental health issues head-on and seeking the support necessary to stay on a positive path.

In the Public Eye

Media Appearances

Jelly Roll, a country rap star, has been making notable appearances in various media platforms. One of his significant appearances was at the 2023 CMT Music Awards where he performed on April 2, shining a bright light on the country rap genre. He has also appeared on popular radio programs, such as the Bobby Bones Show, where he shared his experiences, music, and passion for the industry.

Moreover, Jelly Roll made a splash in the podcast world when he was featured on the Dumb Blonde Podcast, talking about his music, life story, and career’s ups and downs. This exposure has allowed audiences to glimpse the artist’s life behind the music.

Social Media Presence

Jelly Roll has a strong social media presence, particularly on Facebook, where he interacts with his fans and shares updates regarding his music, concerts, and events. By leveraging social media, he has stayed connected with his fan base and expanded his reach with new listeners.

  • Facebook: Connect with thousands of fans and share music updates.
  • Instagram: Share personal photos, stage performances, and behind-the-scenes moments.
  • Twitter: Engage with followers through tweets and updates.
  • YouTube: Post music videos, live performances, and exclusive content.

Through his appearances and social media presence, Jelly Roll has successfully gained recognition and established himself within the music industry while showcasing his unique blend of country and rap music. This presence has given him a platform to share his music and allowed fans to engage and connect with the artist on a personal level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wife’s profession

Jelly Roll is married to Bunnie Xo, a fellow content creator, and entrepreneur. She is known for her content on YouTube, where she shares her personal experiences, opinions, and day-to-day life.

Net worth

While Jelly Roll’s net worth is undisclosed, the rapper has succeeded in the industry through album sales, concert performances, and collaborations with other artists. As a result, Jelly Roll has managed to accumulate a significant amount of wealth.

Origin of name

The stage name “Jelly Roll” was inspired by his fondness for his mother’s homemade jelly rolls. It also serves as a nod to the early 20th-century jazz and blues pianist Jelly Roll Morton.

Age and spouse’s age

As of June 13, 2023, Jelly Roll is 37 years old, born on December 4, 1985. His wife, Bunnie Xo, is 35 years old, born on August 14, 1987.

Residence location

Jelly Roll and his family reside in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The city has significantly influenced his music and career, providing a hub for his collaborations with other artists in the industry.