Jelly Roll made a powerful debut on the Madison Square Garden stage during the star-studded iHeartRadio Z100 Jingle Ball presented by Capital One on Friday night (December 8). The genre-blending country megastar, hailing from the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee, took the New York audience to church with fan-favorite anthems from his latest full-length album, Whitsitt Chapel.
The reigning CMA Awards New Artist of the Year winner kicked off his set with “Halfway to Hell,” the opening track on his album named in honor of the church he attended growing up. After performing “Son of a Sinner,” his first No. 1 on country radio, Jelly Roll proved he’s a lifelong fan of all genres of music. He launched into a hip-hop/R&B medley, leading the whole venue in a singalong of classic throwbacks like Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” OutKast’s “Ms. Jackson” and Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend,” among others. That’s when surprise guest Jessie Murph emerged on stage to join Jelly Roll and perform the duo’s duet, “Wild Ones.”
Jelly Roll, who recently celebrated his 39th birthday, moved on with “Need a Favor,” another smash-hit single from Whitsitt Chapel. He also shared a powerful dedication as he led into “Save Me,” rooting for the underdogs and anyone enduring hardships in their lives. Jelly Roll recently said he “could not have picked a better person to reimagine this song with,” than reigning CMA Awards Entertainer of the Year Lainey Wilson.
“You’re anchored and surrounded by the love for your family and your commitment to helping others,” the Grammy Award-nominated artist wrote in a recent tribute to Wilson. “This is more than a featured song, this is a fellowship. Bunnie [Jelly Roll’s wife] and I think the world of you and Duck [Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges, former football player and Wilson’s boyfriend]. Tell your mom and dad thanks for being so sweet to me everytime they see me . Love you. We have one of the fastest growing singles on country radio right now and I couldn’t be more proud of what the songs stands for and who I got to sing it with 🙏.”
Jelly Roll released his 13-track album, Whitsitt Chapel, in June, pledging to “create a project that felt hopeful. I believe the worst feeling a person can have is feeling hopeless or worthless. This is therapeutic music. Real music for real people with real problems.” The former iHeartRadio On The Verge Artist, joined forces with an all-star team of songwriters to bring the album to life, including including Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, HARDY, Jesse Frasure, Hillary Lindsey, Matt Jenkins, Jessie Jo Dillon, Austin Nivarel, Hunter Phelps, Michael Whitworth, producer Zach Crowell, and others.
The highly-anticipated annual annual iHeartRadio Jingle Ball show took place at Madison Square Garden in New York, following unforgettable shows in Tampa, Florida; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; and Detroit, Michigan. The New York lineup also included Olivia Rodrigo, SZA, OneRepublic, Sabrina Carpenter, Big Time Rush, Doechii, Pentatonix, Melanie Martinez, and a special performance from Cher (Jelly Roll was particularly hyped for the final artist of the night, Rodrigo).
If you missed any of the holiday fun, fans across the country will be able to watch an exclusive television broadcast on ABC on Thursday, December 21st 8pm ET/PT. The special will also be available on demand and on Hulu the following day.