Jelly Roll Shares What Inspired His CMA Awards Speech

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Jelly Roll Opens Up About His Inspirational Speech After Winning New Artist Of The Year At The 2023 CMA Awards

Jelly Roll won the New Artist of the Year award at the 2023 CMA Awards on November 8. It was his first time ever winning an award from the CMA.

Needless to say, Jelly Roll was quite emotional when he took to the stage to accept his trophy. He started off by recognizing his fellow nominees, particularly Zach Bryan.

Zach Bryan, I think you are one of the hottest things on Earth, not just country music. You deserve this as much as anybody else,” he said.


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Jelly Roll went on to thank God and his wife, Bunnie Xo, before delivering one of the most inspirational moments of the night. He said:

There is something poetic about 39-year old man winning New Artist of theYear. 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 accepts his CMA Award for New Artist of the Year
Christopher Polk / Variety / Getty Images

Jelly Roll Appears On His Wife Bunnie’s Podcast To Speak About His CMA Win

Bunnie is the host of the Dumb Blonde Podcast. She had Jelly Roll on for the November 15 episode of the show to talk about his win at the CMA Awards.

During their conversation, Jelly Roll opened up about what inspired his famous speech. He said:

“I was given exactly 60 seconds to say something. I didn’t think I was gonna win, so I knew this was my only time to talk. I was thinking, how can I thank the most important people the quickest? Thank the other nominees, of course, who I thought were so deserving, and especially Zach, because it was really important for me to make a point to give Zach his flowers on that stage.”

Jelly Roll explained his thought process as his speech continued:

“‘What can I say to make somebody feel like they’re not alone?’ That’s literally what was rushing through my head. What can I say that can inspire somebody?”

Jelly Roll clearly found a message that hit the mark, because over 777,000 people have watched his speech on YouTube at the time of this writing. You can see the video below.