Jun 10, 2024 - Music

"Lifelong dream": Jelly Roll's journey from juvenile detention to CMA Fest

Jelly Roll

Jelly Roll in the jacket that shows his journey from troubled youth to country star. Photo: Terry Wyatt/WireImage via Getty Images

Country star Jelly Roll's Saturday night set at Nissan Stadium might have been the emotional high point of CMA Fest 2024.

The big picture: He wore a jacket showing Nashville's juvenile detention center on one side and the stadium on the other.

Zoom in: During his set, he explained that the two buildings are right next to one another. He asked the crowd to make noise for the kids in the detention center.

  • "I know they can hear us because I was one of them one time. I was in that juvenile facility," he said.
  • "I was in and out of jail. I was in and out of drug addiction. And tonight I am headlining CMA Fest."
  • He paused and wiped tears away as the crowd cheered.

Zoom out: Jelly Roll, who is a Nashville native, said he remembered his dad taking him to watch the Titans play at the stadium when the team first arrived in Music City.

  • "It has been a lifelong dream of mine to play in this stadium."

Go deeper: Mainstream artists could pursue country crossovers in 2024


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