The Country Music Association named their 2023 New Artist of the Year during Wednesday night’s (Nov. 8) live awards show broadcast.
What do Lady A, Morgan Wallen, Garth Brooks, Ricky Skaggs and Randy Travis have in common? They were all named CMA New Artist of the Year (previously known as the Horizon Award) at the beginning of their careers and went on to achieve huge success.
Now there’s a new name to add to the list of New Artist winners! During the 57th CMA Awards show that aired live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, one of the year’s biggest breakthrough artists took home the trophy for 2023. The nominees were: Zach Bryan, Jelly Roll, Parker McCollum, Megan Moroney, and Hailey Whitters.
Golden Bachelor Gerry Turner and Lady A took the stage to announce that this year’s winner is … JELLY ROLL!
A shocked Jelly Roll made his way to the stage to accept the trophy before telling the crowd, “I got a thousand people to thank, but most importantly my Lord and my wife. I love you so much. You changed my life.”
The audience rose to their feet as the singer said, “There’s something poetic about a 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 want to tell you to keep going, baby. I want to tell you that success is on the other side. I want to tell you it’s gonna be okay. I want to tell you that the windshield is better than the rearview mirror for a reason.”
It’s no surprise that Jelly Roll was named New Artist of the Year. The artist, whose real name is Jason DeFord, has seen incredible success this year after his debut country single, “Son of a Sinner, ” went No. 1 and made history by spending 25 weeks atop Billboard‘s Emerging Artists chart.
Jelly Roll garnered five nominations at this year’s CMA Awards, including: Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year (“Need a Favor”), Musical Event of the Year (“Save Me” with Lainey Wilson), and Music Video of the Year (“Save Me”).
Congratulations to Jelly Roll on a well-deserved win! See his acceptance speech in the video below.