Jelly Roll
Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for CMT

Jelly Roll might be new to the country awards show scene, but he made a big impact on the 2024 CMT Awards on Sunday, April 7.

Jelly Roll, 39, was nominated for Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year and CMT Performance of the Year, taking home the trophies for all three. To celebrate his musical achievements, he stepped out at Austin’s Moody Center with wife Bunnie XO.

Throughout the awards ceremony, Jelly Roll also made it clear that he was a fan of everybody else by giving out free hugs, singing along to the performances and more.

Keep scrolling to revisit Jelly Roll’s best moments from the 2024 CMTs stage:

Getting Inside His Head

Host Kelsea Ballerini poked fun at awards show lip reading from the Golden Globes and the Grammys by having CMT attendees narrate their inner monologues.

“You know sometimes the camera just lands on you and people misinterpret your reactions. Trust me,” Ballerini explained. “You may think you know what’s going on in our heads, but you don’t. So right now, we’re going to find out what the stars in our audience are really thinking. That’s right, we’re reading minds in here.”

Every Time Jelly Roll Stole the Show at the 2024 CMT Music Awards

Jelly Roll
Rick Kern/Getty Images for CMT

After Lainey Wilson and Chase Stokes, Ballerini’s boyfriend, delivered their thoughts, it was Jelly Roll’s turn.

“Now we all know, Mr. Angelo Rollingsworth [is my real name],” the singer, whose legal moniker is actually Jason Bradley DeFord, joked.

Moments later, Keith Urban revealed that he wanted to sit next to Jelly Roll during the ceremony and internally proclaimed that he was “not happy.” Instead, Urban, 56, was seated next to Buc’ee’s mascot Bucky the Beaver.

2024 CMT Awards Red Carpet

Related: The Best Red Carpet Fashion From 2024 CMT Music Awards

The 2024 CMT Music Awards took over  Texas, which means fan-favorite country stars flocked to the red carpet. The biggest names of the genre brought their fashion A-game to Austin’s Moody Center on Sunday, April 7. We’re talking flirty frocks, glamorous gowns, stylish suits — paired with bold hair, fierce makeup and accessories to remember.  […]

Moody Center is the New Barbie Dreamhouse

Ballerini had several wardrobe changes during the show, including one look where she wore a replica of Margot Robbie’s cowboy-inspired Barbie jumpsuit and hat. She proclaimed that she is “Country Barbie” and had an idea for who could be her “Weird Barbie” — Jelly Roll.

“Weird Barbie” is the name of Kate McKinnon’s movie character, referring to a doll that had been played with (and thus, loved) so much.

Every Time Jelly Roll Stole the Show at the 2024 CMT Music Awards

Jelly Roll
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT

Everyone Gets a Hug From Jelly Roll

Ballerini focused on Jelly Roll in another one of her hosting segments.

“Part of being a host is I get to give good news and bad news. So, I do have some bad news for the celebrities in the audiences: There are no gift bags tonight, I know, I know,” she said. “But, we do have something way better that I can give out right now. Ready? A hug from Jelly Roll, come here, baby! Best hug ever! It’s an award in itself.”

After Jelly Roll and Ballerini embraced, she asked if anyone else “wanted to get in on this action” too.

Couples Pack on the PDA at 2024 CMT Awards

Related: Jelly Roll and Bunnie XO, More Couples Pack on the PDA at CMT Awards

The 2024 CMT Music Awards was the ultimate date night for country music’s hottest couples on Sunday, April 7. Jelly Roll, who is nominated for three awards, brought wife Bunnie XO to the ceremony. The singer, 39, opted for an all-black look with a beige leather jacket and a diamond cross necklace. Bunnie XO, 44, […]

“Hold on, Gayle King’s getting a hug!” Jelly Roll exclaimed. “Ashley [McBryde]’s getting a hug. Cody [Johnson] gets a hug. But, Gayle King gets a hug! Gayle King, how was that hug?”

King, 69, immediately asked for a follow-up cuddle.

“Yes, this is awesome! Anyone else want one? I’m giving hugs for free,” Jelly Roll added before watching Ballerini hug the TV journalist. “A Kelsea and Gayle hug? Let me tell y’all something. I am excited to tell y’all right now, I’m lost. I just wanted to hug somebody again. You can’t get me hugging people and then stop.”

Every Time Jelly Roll Stole the Show at the 2024 CMT Music Awards

Jelly Roll
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT

After the hugging segment, Jelly Roll helped Ballerini introduce “our friend” Lainey Wilson, whom they “both love to death,” and her performance of “Country’s Cool Again.”

He’s a Winner

Jelly Roll won CMT Performance of the Year for his rendition of “Need a Favor” at last year’s awards show. After giving Bunnie XO, 44, a sweet peck, he walked up on stage.

Every Time Jelly Roll Stole the Show at the 2024 CMT Music Awards

Jelly Roll
Hubert Vestil/Getty Images

“I love you, Austin, Texas! This is a moment I want to take to thank the fans for everything they’ve done for me. I want to thank God, I want to thank my beautiful wife and my daughter, who’s at home,” Jelly Roll said in his acceptance speech. “One year ago, I was invited to perform at my first awards show and I walked on this stage and I sing ‘Need a Favor’ for the first time on national television right here. And what I’m emotional about is in that last year, you have changed my life in every way. I would have never thought my life could be changed.”

His speech then took a less serious tone, adding: “I stand here tonight a man that plans to party on 6th Street and go to the comedy mothership! I’ll see you later!”

No. 1 Fan

Every Time Jelly Roll Stole the Show at the 2024 CMT Music Awards

Jelly Roll
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT

Brooks and Dunn, Sammy Hagar and Wilson, 31, teamed up for a special tribute to the late Toby Keith, who died earlier this year. Jelly Roll and Bunnie XO stood up the entire time, singing along to Keith’s biggest hits. After Hagar, 76, finished his set, Jelly Roll raised a red Solo cup. (The entire crowd and band were giving plastic glasses, a nod to Keith’s song of the same name.)

Another Win

Jelly Roll also took home the trophy for Male Video of the Year, where he gave an impassioned and rousing speech.

“First of all, my brother Cody Johnson, ‘The Painter,’ that was one of the best music videos I’ve ever seen in my life. That’s my brother in real life. I love you, Cody Johnson,” Jelly Roll gushed. “Thank you to CMT, man. I couldn’t believe it, y’all gave me a chance last year. I came back this year on fire! I’m having one of the greatest nights of my life.”

He continued, “But speaking of second chances, it is important that I stand up here tonight and represent those [who] are looking for second chances. The kids … down here in the Austin juvenile detention facility are watching this tonight. I’m cheering y’all boys on. You can beat this. You can change. You can turn it around, I promise you. I once heard a man say, ‘Don’t change until the pain to remain the same is greater than the pain it takes to change and that’s what it takes.’ I love you, Texas!”

2024 CMT Music Awards Winners

Related: 2024 CMT Awards: Complete List of Winners and Nominees

The 2024 CMT Music Awards celebrates some of the biggest names in country music. The Sunday, April 7, awards show kicks off at 8 p.m. ET at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. Kelsea Ballerini makes her return to host the awards show for the fourth time — with 2024 marking her first time doing […]

Ready to Party

When King took the stage later that night to present Female Video of the Year, she revealed that she just had another interaction with Jelly Roll after their now-viral hug.

“Jelly Roll’s going to be on [CBS Mornings] live tomorrow morning, and I just saw him backstage and said, ‘Jelly, please don’t stay out too late,’” King said. “He said, ‘I can’t make no promises, Gayle. I can’t make no promises.’ I just adore him.”

When Jelly Roll won Video of the Year, he responded to King’s remarks. “Gayle King, I’m gonna be a little late in the morning,” he added. “We’re gonna party, Austin. Let’s go!”

Clean Sweep

Jelly Roll won every award he was up for on Sunday, which even surprised him.

“Billy Bob Thornton just gave me my third trophy of the night, y’all,” he said after earning Video of the Year. “Cody Johnson, I’m not gonna tell you anything up here I don’t tell you on the phone: You are my favorite cowboy forever and ever and one of my best friends in the business, I love you, brother. Kelsea Ballerini, you know what I think of you too, girl. You go, baby.”

After thanking his team and fans, Jelly Roll proved to be husband goals.

“My beautiful wife, Ms. Bunnie DeFord, I am blessed to have you as a partner,” he gushed to Bunnie, who was then tearful from her perch in the crowd. “You find beauty in broken things and I love you.”

High Fives for All

Jelly Roll concluded his live performance, which wrapped up the show, by high-fiving members of the crowd as he walked down from the stage.


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