Jelly Roll Shares Emotional Story in 2024 ACM Awards Speech: ‘It Saved Me’ (Exclusive)

The 37-year-old musician and his partner Lainey Wilson accepted the Best Music Event award at the 2024 ACM Awards on Thursday. He went backstage after the win to talk with ET’s Rachel Smith about his tearful winning speech and why, along with the 30-year-old actress from Yellowstone, he was almost brought to tears.

Of their poignant single, he said, “I was so emotional because it saved me.” “‘Save Me’ was really the beginning of me finding my real voice and was kind of me stepping out of my shell and being comfortable and just being open and vulnerable.”

“I never wrote vulnerable music to that degree, but it changed my life,” he said. You have to remember that I released ‘Save Me’ in the middle of 2020, during a very difficult period in my life. People responded to the song, and I received thousands of notes expressing how much it has helped them. I was quite moved by this song because, I believe, tonight was the final night it qualified for any cycle. That means it never received the justice I believed it deserved if I didn’t win tonight.”

Wilson joined the stage during the live broadcast to give her own comments after their victory. She then swiftly handed the baton to Jelly Roll, who said, “no pun intended,” that their song truly did transform his life for the better.

“I’m going to try not to get emotional but seriously, this song saved me,” he declared on stage.”I knew people would relate to it, even though I wrote it from my soul while I was in a dark place.”

Jelly Roll Shares Emotional Story in 2024 ACM Awards Speech: 'it Saved Me' (Exclusive)

He said, “I launched it on this stage with Lainey a year ago today. I co-wrote this triple platinum hit with a high school buddy. We never imagined we would be songwriters, and I never imagined I would be standing here.

Jelly Roll reiterated his amazement and thankfulness at the accolade as he spoke, and he also spoke the truth about where a younger version of himself had imagined he would wind up in life.

As the camera blinked to his wife Bunnie XO in the audience cheering and nodding, he remarked, “I thought I would die or go to jail and I’m standing here as an ACM Award winner.” Before using music to change his life, the Whitsitt Chapel artist spent time in prison.

Jelly Roll Shares Emotional Story in 2024 ACM Awards

Following his first victory of the evening, the singer used one last opportunity to enliven the already ecstatic audience by yelling, “You hear what I’m talking about, Texas? Go, baby.

Jelly Roll received four nominations on Thursday for the ACM Awards, including nominations for Male Artist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year. The newest indications of acknowledgment come after he stormed the CMTs and the GRAMMY Awards earlier this year.

He won all of his nominated categories at the CMT Awards in early April, a feat he repeated in 2023. After the victories, he told Cassie DiLaura of ET backstage how surprised he was to be taking home another round of awards. Words escape me. Words run out of me. I was thinking, ‘Man, this is ridiculous,’ by the time I went up there the last time,” the artist said. “Man, this is just unbelievable.”

In an interview with ET in June 2023, Jelly Roll discussed the significance of music in his life and the reason he keeps writing songs for others who are going through similar things to what he was before being successful. “I feel that everything in life has let me down at some time. “But music was always my constant,” he said. “I had a boombox when I had nothing else. I had a tiny radio and some headphones when I was in jail.”

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