Meet Jelly Roll’s Parents, Donna & Buddy

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Amanda Nowitz

Who are Jason “Jelly Roll” DeFord’s parents, Donna and Buddy as fans have mainly seen his wife, Bunnie XO, and his daughter, Bailee. Jelly also has a son, Noah who has been around once in a while but has been kept out of the public eye. So, who helped to create this country dynamo who has won the world over with his music? Keep reading for more details.

Jelly Roll Loves His Parents

Jelly Roll is always taking his daughter, Bailee, and wife, Bunnie XO all over with him. They just hit up Stagecoach as a family together which was a huge deal for Bailee. Fans helped her celebrate her sweet sixteen with a group rendition of “Happy Birthday.” It was a very memorable moment but the family has had a crazy year filled with a tour, awards, and so many celebrities who want to say “hi.” Yet, it is well known that Jelly had a hard life and was in prison too many times to count. So, who are his parents, Donna and Horace “Buddy” DeFord?

Jelly Roll-YouTube
Jelly Roll-YouTube

He was seen calling his mother, Donna to tell her about his Grammy nominations. More so, Jelly asked her if she wanted to go with him. She said she needed something nice to wear first.


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A post shared by Jelly Roll (@jellyroll615)

Jelly and his parents lived together in Antioch, Tennesse for thirteen years but the duo eventually called it quits, per People. Buddy worked in meatpacking as a businessman. Jelly has joked he would have followed in his dad’s footsteps. Sadly, this split was part of the reason that Jelly went down a bad path and  admitted it was rough for Donna:

“Many time the police knocked on my mothers door looking for me, many night she went to sleep worried the phone would ring in the middle of the night and something would’ve happened bad.”

She also accepted “thousands” of jail calls from him but that stopped happening in 2009 when he turned his life around.


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A post shared by Jelly Roll (@jellyroll615)

The year prior, Jelly Roll made Donna and Buddy grandparents when Bailee was born. His son, Noah Buddy, was born in 2016. Sadly, his father passed away in 2019 from cancer.

Going Deeper With Jelly

Before Buddy met Donna, he had three other kids, but Jelly Roll was their one and only child together. He was married five or six times, but the singer is not sure of the exact number. Aside from working with meat, he also pulled in money as a bookie so doing extracurricular activities was in Jellys’s blood. He did volunteer and had a great connection with God, so, again, they are very much connected. Per Jelly:

“Every Monday or Tuesday morning he would do men’s small group Bible study, and he was the guy who brought the coffee and the donuts. That was his thing.”

As for Donna, she was the one who started calling Jason “Jelly Roll” because of his weight. He shared that, by the time he went to high school, that was his permanent nickname. She has always been a huge support for him, the one who got him into music, and he loves to see her at his shows.

It looks like they made a beautiful soul who has helped inspire countless fans across the world. Did you know this about his parents? Let us know in the comments below.

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