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Jelly Roll Shares How God Was His “Driving Force” To Straighten Out And Follow His Dreams

Jelly Roll

Chart-breaking country megastar Jelly Roll believes his late-found success is proof that God had “a bigger purpose” for him, even when he got lost along the way.

The now 39-year-old spent the majority of his teen and young adult years behind bars for crimes ranging from drug dealing to assault. It wasn’t until his first child, Bailee, was born, while he was behind bars, that he realized he needed to get his life together and follow his dreams.

Jelly Roll, whose real name is Jason DeFord, began working towards his GED at 23, got out of jail, and went on to gain full custody of his daughter, who now lives with him and his wife, Bunny X.O. in Nashville, TN.

Aside from becoming a full-time father, Jason also became a full-time musician. He began pouring everything he had into forging a career and eventually had a big breakthrough after releasing Ballad of the Broken in 2021. While speaking to Fox Digital, he admitted that God was his “driving force.”

“Faith was a lot of me believing it was going to work out for me,” he shared. “Could you imagine being a 37-year-old, unsuccessful musician when you told people that was your job?” 

Jelly Roll Believes He’s God’s “Least Likely Messenger”

Jelly Roll didn’t just recently begin working towards his goal of stardom decades before becoming a household name, however. He had been songwriting for decades and even tried making it in hip-hop in 2003.

“It wasn’t like something I did on the side. Like, it was my job. And I just always had faith that God had a bigger purpose for what I was trying to do,” he said before adding, “Not everybody has to make a deal with the devil in this business.”

Because of his background, Jelly Roll considers himself God’s “least likely messenger,” but he believes that he was chosen to prove to others on rocky paths that they can find their way out.

“God never called the equipped. God always equipped the call,” he explained. “I think that I am a living manifestation of that.” 

“I would think that people look at me, and they see a piece of me in them,” he continued. “And when I have a small victory, now they’re like, ‘That’s one for us.'”

This story’s featured image is by Hubert Vestil/Getty Images.

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