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Taking one look at Jelly Roll, some might consider him anything other than a country music star with the numerous tattoos that line his body and face. Not to mention he credits rappers like Three 6 Mafia for inspiring him when he was younger. But the singer not only performed at the Grand Ole Opry, he also won numerous awards at the 2023 CMT Music Awards.
With a music career dating back to 2003, Jelly Roll has taken over country music. With each concert, the singer seems to welcome more and more fans to his style. And now, with fame and the world at his fingertips, the star continues to help those less fortunate and advocate for those behind bars.
For any fan of Jelly Roll, they know the road hasn’t been easy for the star. His teenage years were full of bad decisions and confrontations with the police.
In 2021, he recalled his life, stating, “I did a lot of drugs. I drank a lot of codeine, a lot of cough syrup. I took a lot of Xanax, did a lot of cocaine, just really took it overboard. I’ve had years – dude, I don’t remember years. Also, addiction for me is more than just my problems.”
A Generational Habit
Jelly Roll’s addiction didn’t happen overnight but was a part of his life since birth. He admitted, “My mother has struggled with addiction her whole life. When you grow up in a middle- and lower-class community, no one sees the effects of drug abuse like those people.”
While his mother fought addiction, he credited her for helping him find his voice since she often played artists like Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks.
Although addiction followed him throughout his younger years, he beat the habit and eventually turned to music to help heal his soul. While once selling mixtapes and singing hip-hop, he knew his home was country music after performing at the Grand Ole Opry. “I knew that night that that was gonna be home for me. When I walked out of the building, I looked at my wife and I said, ‘We’ll be coming in and out of this parking lot for the next 30 years.’”
Jelly Roll Hopes To Change Justice System
While Jelly Roll enjoys his freedom and stardom, he consistently finds ways to give back to those still in the justice system. Seeing how the justice system treats rehabilitated inmates, the singer criticized it, asking, “Why do we not have more programs focused on rehabilitation instead of discipline? It just shows how bad we’ve done on educating Americans on the disease of addiction and on what Big Pharma is doing to us in allowing these labs to create fentanyl. We’ve gotten so far away from compassion. That’s scary.”
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Hoping to speak with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee about criminal justice reform, Jelly Roll said, “I don’t appreciate the way they treat guys like me, especially after we’ve been proven to be rehabilitated and become taxpaying citizens. I put millions of dollars back into the community of Nashville.”
Have you had the chance to see Jelly Roll live? If so, be sure to share your experience below.