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Jelly Roll has experienced many fan encounters over the years, but the country star shared which interaction “still stands out” among the rest for Us Weekly’s Backstage Pass.

“Last year in Las Vegas there was a veteran in his 70s with his wife – I knew he was a veteran because the hat he was wearing said so, he was very proud,” Jelly Roll, 39, exclusively told Us. “Seeing that man and his wife enjoy the concert was one of the most surreal moments of tour – I was proud to have him as a fan. I asked security to bring him backstage and we talked for close to an hour – it really meant a lot to me.”

As he gears up to perform at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards on Monday, April 1, Jelly Roll said he still finds it “crazy” that there are “people who come to my shows and are in the front row singing every single word along with me.”

More fans will get the chance to sing along with Jelly Roll at the iHeartRadio Music Awards as the artist is one of many stars set to perform at the ceremony. Jelly Roll is up for a total of eight awards, including Artist of the Year, Best New Artist (Pop), Country Artist of the Year, Best New Artist (Country), Best New Artist (Alt and Rock), Rock Song of the Year and Rock Artist of the Year, and is nominated in the new category Favorite On Screen for his track “Save Me.”

While Jelly Roll told Us that he loves all his songs “for all different reasons,” it’s his breakout hit “Save Me” that “continues to reach people in ways that I couldn’t have imagined when writing it.”

He continued: “The fans sing [‘Save Me’] back every night. It’s also incredible to see the impact of radio and how the fans sing back ‘Need A Favor’ – the connection the music continues to have and reaction from people for any of my songs is something I never take for granted.”

Released in 2020, “Save Me” marked Jelly Roll’s first platinum hit since releasing his fix mixtape, The Plain Shmear Tape, in 2003. He made the switch to country music one year after the song’s release and has since performed at the Grand Ole Opry, scored his first No. 1 song with “Son of a Sinner,” won New Artist of the Year at the 2023 CMAs and has been nominated for two Grammys.

Jelly Roll Shares His Favorite Fan Experience
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Regardless of whether he’s performing at a concert or an awards show, Jelly Roll always follows the same backstage rituals. “We listen to music, hang out before the show then right before taking the stage we gather before we take the stage in a circle with the band and entire team and say a prayer and get hyped to go out there and perform,” he shared. “And a kiss from the wife.” (Jelly Roll has been married to his wife, Bunnie XO, since 2016.)

Jelly Roll always likes to have good vibes in his dressing room, which he described as “a friends and family gathering and catching up with old and new friends in each city.” He added: “I’ve been focusing more on my health recently – so we’ve added time before to take a min and a breath before the show too.”

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He also enjoys celebrating after a performance, telling Us that his ideal afterparty includes “the band, the family, the team, tequila, meeting more of the fans [and] playing demos of the new music.”

The 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards air on Fox Monday, April 1, at 8 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Sarah Jones


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