Coming off of his huge 2023 CMA Awards win for New Artist of the Year, Jelly Roll is about as hot as a volcano right now.

If you saw his acceptance speech during the show, you might think that he'd already scripted a winning moment at the podium in his head. He says he didn't — he was unprepared!

Jelly's speech was so powerful that some other artists are re-listening to it before they go on stage for inspiration. I had the chance to speak with Jelly Roll a few days after the CMA Awards, and I wanted to know the origins of that amazing speech he gave.

I first told him how prolific the speech was, how motivating and real and raw it was. Then, I asked him if that was off the top of his head, or something he kind of knew he wanted to say if he won.

"I didn't think I'd win," Jelly Roll admits now. "I thought Zach Bryan had such a killer year, between he and Parker [McCollum], I thought that I didn't really have a chance."

"So I kind of was just was sitting there chillin', and when they called me I was walking up the steps, and I was like, 'You better figure this out man, this is big!'"

He says he knew he only had 60 seconds to come up with something — there's a big timer counting down which artists can see from the stage. He went big and then some — he says people have been telling him to sell shirts with parts of his CMAs speech on them, which he's considering.

Jelly Roll has shows planned well through 2024, with no end to his success in sight.

Evan Paul is the host of Taste of Country Nights, a syndicated radio show heard on more than 120 country radio stations nationwide, every night from 7PM to midnight. He plays the best new country music and interviews today's top stars, like Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Dan + Shay, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Lady A, Morgan Wallen, + more! 

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Gallery Credit: Carena Liptak

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Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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