Jelly Roll soared to victory at the 2023 CMA Awards, seizing the new artist of the year title with undeniable flair. Amid the electrifying atmosphere of Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday (Nov. 8), Lady A heralded his name, prompting a heartfelt exchange of a kiss with wife Bunnie Xo and a warm embrace with fellow nominee Zach Bryan.
Ascending the stage, enveloped by the strains of his performance with Wynonna Judd, Jelly Roll expressed gratitude, acknowledging the collective effort that led to his triumph. Amid shouts of appreciation for his fellow nominees—Parker McCollum, Megan Moroney, and Hailey Whitters—he took a moment to commend Zach Bryan, declaring his admiration not only for country music but for Bryan himself.
However, the pinnacle of his speech was an impassioned call to his fans. At 39, winning new artist of the year, Jelly Roll became a poetic beacon of inspiration. With a resounding voice, he urged everyone, irrespective of their life stage, to persevere. “Success is on the other side,” he proclaimed, each line resonating louder, echoing the cheers of the live crowd. His message echoed through the arena: “It’s going to be OK! The windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror for a reason, because what’s in front of you is so much more important than what’s behind you!”
In a triumphant conclusion, Jelly Roll rallied the audience, shouting, “Let’s party, Nashville!” Trophy held high, he basked in a standing ovation, marking a milestone in his stellar night.
While new artist of the year was a highlight among his five nominations, Jelly Roll is poised for more accolades, with nods for single of the year and music video of the year for “Need a Favor,” as well as male vocalist of the year and musical event of the year. Anticipation also surrounds his presence at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, where he contends in categories like top new artist and top rock artist. Set to stream on BBMAs.watch and Billboard’s social channels on Nov. 19, the BBMAs promise another momentous celebration.
The 2023 CMA Awards, steered by the dynamic duo of Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, unfolded in a live spectacle on ABC. Jelly Roll’s captivating acceptance speech, resonating with encouragement and celebration, stands as a testament to his rising star in the country music constellation.