Jelly Roll gets emotional opening up about how his wife, Bunnie XO, played a crucial role in securing custody of his only daughter, Bailey.
There is no doubt about it, 2023 has been Jelly Roll’s year.
The rapper turned country sensation, honored as CMA New Artist of the Year, boasts three #1 country singles and recently earned two Grammy Award nominations following the debut of his first country album, Whitsitt Chapel, earlier this year.
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The Heart Behind The Success: Jelly Roll Credits Wife Bunnie XO For His Country Music Journey
While Jelly Roll has made a huge name for himself in country music, he says he owes many of his significant moments to the support and love of his wife, Bunnie XO.
Jelly and Bunnie first crossed paths in 2015, tying the knot on Aug. 31, 2016. As their relationship blossomed, Jelly was navigating the challenge of securing full custody of his eight-year-old daughter. With Bailee’s mother facing addiction issues, Jelly fought hard to provide for his child despite limited resources.
In a recent Bussin’ With the Boys podcast episode, Jelly shared that not only was Bunnie more financially successful at the start of their relationship, but she also provided the funds for him to secure custody of his daughter, Bailee Ann.
From Struggles To Redemption: Jelly Roll’s Journey Through Addiction, Prison Time, And The Unwavering Support Of Bunnie XO
Jelly Roll, born Jason DeFord, has candidly shared his past challenges with battling addiction and serving time for armed robbery. He admitted that when he first met his future wife, he was homeless and living in a van after being released from prison, while Bunnie was thriving as a high-end escort in Las Vegas.
While still incarcerated, Jelly Roll learned he had become a father—a pivotal moment that spurred him to turn his life around. Upon release, his priority was gaining custody of his daughter. Despite the challenges of not having a home, Bunnie stood by him, offering unwavering support and a commitment to do whatever it took.
“I don’t have a house. I’m homeless,” Jelly remembers of that time. “So she’s like, ‘Well, the first thing we have to do is get you somewhere to live in Nashville.’ I was like, ‘Well, I can’t put it in my name. I’m a felon. I don’t have enough proof of income to get the kind of place we’d need to get her in the right school district.’ Bunnie’s like, ‘Let’s just go get a condo so you have a bedroom for her.'”
So they did, and in their pursuit of that goal, Bunnie revealed something to Jelly that brought him to tears.
“She said, ‘No matter what happens with us, I’m gonna help you get this little girl.’ And I was like, ‘Man, what character,'” he continues, struggling to speak through the emotion in his voice.
The family dynamic has significantly changed since then. Jelly and Bunnie are now married, with full custody of Jelly Roll’s 15-year-old daughter, Bailee Ann. Additionally, Jelly is a devoted father to his 7-year-old son, Noah, who frequently enjoys time with his superstar father and half-sister.
Jelly, now having his life together, still gives credit to Bunnie for the transformation of his family and life. Listen to him talk about how she helped him get custody of his daughter below.