Jelly Roll: Watch His Great Speech, CMA Opening, Closing Performances
Things can change a lot in a decade. Ten years ago, Jelly Roll was a rapper who was forced to change the name of his mixtape from Whiskey, Weed and Waffle House to Whiskey, Weed and Women when Waffle House sent him a cease and desist letter for using their name without permission.
But these days, everyone seems to be embracing the rapper-turned rockstar/country star. In the past few years, he’s had hits on both country and rock radio. And last night, Jelly Roll — who has been putting out music for two decades — won Best New Artist at the CMA Awards. His rousing speech brought the house down. That provided one of the many great moments of the show. It was also one of Jelly Roll’s three great moments in the show.
After giving props to fellow nominee Zach Bryan, who he was sitting next to, he said, “There is something poetic about 39-year old man winning New Artist of the Year! I don’t know where you’re at in your life or what you’re going through, but I wanna tell you to keep going, baby. I wanna tell you success is on the other side of it! I wanna tell you it’s gonna be okay! I wanna tell you that the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror for a reason! Because what’s in front of you is so much more important than what’s behind you!”
Jelly Roll also provided the show’s opening performance, performing his massive hit “Need A Favor” with Wynonna Judd. As we reported, fans were concerned about Wynonna, since she was holding on to Jelly Roll during the performance. And by the way, both of them sounded amazing.
Jelly Roll paid tribute to Wynonna with another duet. He and R&B singer K. Michelle closed the show with a moving version of the Judds’ “Love Can Build A Bridge.” Watch that performance below.