Jelly Roll recalls finding out about his CMA Awards nods + previews opening performance with surprise guest


Being the most nominated male artist for this year’s CMA Awards is something Jelly Roll didn’t see coming. 

His wife, Bunnie XO, initially thought he didn’t get a nod.

“I woke up and went straight online. I didn’t send it to my wife. I just looked at my phone and I said, ‘You’re not going to believe this.’ And she’s such a good wife. She immediately put her arm on my shoulder and said, ‘Baby, you’re new to the genre. It’s okay.’ She started consoling me and I said, ‘We’re the most nominated male,'” Jelly recounts.

“She said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘We’ve got five nominations, Bunnie…And we just started cheering,” he shares.

One of the nods is for is Male Vocalist of the Year.

“Just to be even involved in that is just unreal,” Jelly says. “Frankly, I feel like when it comes to Male Vocalist of the Year, I am low on the hog of that chain of people. I mean, one, I think we should call it the Chris Stapleton Award and he should just give it away every year, you know? And I think to think about me being next to Cody Johnson, who I think is one of the best singers in country music.

Morgan Wallen, who is just incredible in every way. Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton. I mean, we’re talking about guys that are really singing-singing, you know?” Jelly adds.

Jelly will open the CMA Awards with “Need a Favor” alongside a surprise, as-yet-unannounced guest.

“If you want to see a surprise, I would not miss opening the show, he says. “I got somebody coming out to sing with me, but I don’t think anybody’s going to see [that] coming.” 

The 57th CMA Awards air Wednesday, November 8, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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