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Jelly Roll breaks down in tears on stage as he reflects on drug addiction and incarceration

The country star was in and out of jail for drug-related offenses

Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
June 11, 2024
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Jelly Roll was unable to control his emotions when he headlined CMA Fest on Saturday. 

The 39-year-old broke down in tears when he addressed the audience ahead of performing Son of a Sinner at the festival in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Jelly Roll was visibly choked up as he shed tears while reflecting on his time in and out of jail for drug-related offenses before he found fame. 

jelly roll cma fest 2024© Getty Images
Jelly Roll was unable to hide his emotions

In a video shared on TikTok, the country music star welled up as he spoke to the crowd about his previous drug addiction and jail time.

"I was in that juvenile facility. I was in and out of jail. I was in and out of drug addiction and tonight I am headlining CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee," he said with tears in his eyes. 

His emotions got the best of him as he could be seen crying before he covered his face with his hat as he continued to sob.

"I'm here to tell you that whatever you want to do in your life you can do it I don't give a [expletive] what anybody says to you," he added. 

jelly roll cma fest 2024© Getty Images
Jelly Roll was in and out of jail before fame

"I dedicate this song to all the people that live between right and wrong. This song is called Son of a Sinner."

Since finding success, Jelly Roll has made sure that he pays it forward and continues to give back to his community, including launching a music studio inside the Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center where he was once incarcerated. 

jelly roll cma fest 2024© Getty Images
Jelly Roll sobbed in front of the crowd

He also visits multiple rehabilitation centers and homeless shelters to "spread the love", and during his Backroad Baptism Tour last year, he raised $590,000 to help at-risk youth. 

"I always said that if I ever got in this situation, I would do everything I could to give back," he told People

"The fact that just me showing up places can make people happy is such a gift, and I feel like if God gave me that gift, I should show up." 

jelly roll cma fest 2024© Getty Images
Jelly Roll reflected on his past drug addiction and jail time

Last month, Jelly Roll admitted that while he no longer uses hard drugs, he still smokes marijuana because it helps with his anxiety.

"I get in trouble for this, all the time, but my stance on marijuana will always be the same: I believe marijuana has helped me in so many regards, with my anxiety," he told Taste of Country

"This is a hot-button topic, but, truly, marijuana has kept me sober," he added. 

jelly roll acm awards 2024© Getty Images
Jelly Roll still smoke marijuana

He even went as far as to say that without marijuana, he would be "drinking codeine and popping Xanax and snorting cocaine again, but a world with weed, I'll be alright". 

Admitting that he knows his kind of sobriety isn't for everyone, he continued: "I know that I have friends that don't do that. I have friends that are in the program that are totally against any kind of mind-altering anything. 

"I respect that. I have so much respect for those people. That's just not how my sobriety worked out."

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