Is Jelly Roll Related to Willie Nelson? All The Facts & Truth

is jelly roll related to willie nelson

How is Jelly Roll related to Willie Nelson? The answer is… Well, first, you need to know what Jelly Roll is.

Jelly Roll is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter named Jason Bradley DeFord. He was born on 4 December 1984 in Nashville.

In his early years of a singing career, he made several mixtapes, singles and released albums that helped him to gain a large amount of attention from hip-hop listeners.

Jelly Roll has acquired commercial success with his fusion of rap and rock, also from country music, and he is best known as a country music singer.

Drawing on his own experiences, he frequently uses his songs to address problems such as mental illness, addiction, and personal struggles. Jelly Roll has worked with musicians other than himself, such as Struggle Jennings, Yelawolf, and Lil Wyte.

jelly roll

Some Known Facts About Jelly Roll

His mother gave him the nickname.

DeFord, born in Nashville on December 4, 1984, claimed that his mother gave him his stage name. According to, she gave it to him when he was a “chubby kid,” and it has stayed ever since.

He has completed his sentence.

Jelly Roll spent time in and out of jail before becoming a well-known musician. He was caught red-handed while doing a robbery as a teenager. During his time in prison, he was about 21 years old, according to Billboard.

He opened up during an interview that he was an addict. Roll had anxiety issues and went through depression. He revealed that he used cocaine, sleeping pills, and cough syrup to escape the harsh reality of his life.

He enjoys Waffle House a lot.

Jelly Roll asserted he has dined at the well-known restaurant chain hundreds of times, if not thousands of times, in a 2013 interview with Gawker. He always has the same breakfast: hash browns, a side of sausage, scrambled eggs with cheese, and wheat bread.

For his 2013 mixtape “Whiskey, Weed & Waffle House,” he used the restaurant chain name, which they didn’t accept and found inappropriate. For this, the restaurant filed a case against him and asked him to apologize to them publicly.

Among his influences are Jim Croce and Johnny Cash.

Jelly Roll named some of his musical influences in a May 2022 interview with Taste of Country, including Johnny Cash (left), Jim Croce, James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and even Three 6 Mafia. “love the old outlaw stuff,” he declared. They were the ones who had the biggest influence on my style and tone.

He got engaged and married on the same date.

On August 31, 2016, after a Yelawolf and Deftones concert in Las Vegas, Jelly Roll proposed to his wife, Bunnie Xo. He explained how he entered the stage during Yelawolf’s performance to drop the question in a 2020 Facebook post.

The couple chose to get married the same night in a nearby courthouse even though, according to the same article, they were both wasted. Thankfully, they are still together after more than six years. The host of the well-liked Dumb Blonde podcast is Bunnie, aged 43.

He broke a record for up-and-coming performers on Billboard.

On February 11, Jelly Roll reached the top spot on the Billboard Emerging Artists chart, marking his 25th week at the top of the list. In the seven-year history of the chart, that broke NLE Choppa’s 24-week run in 2019 and 2020.

The formula used to rank the top up-and-coming artists each week takes performance across several Billboard charts into account.

He has No. 1 songs in both rock and country.

Although “Son of a Sinner” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart in January, Jelly Roll had previously achieved success on the list. In 2021, his song “Dead Man Walking” peaked at number one on the Mainstream Rock chart.

Willie Nelson, who is he?

One of the greatest country musicians of all time, Willie Nelson, is a national treasure of the United States. He was born in Texas in 1933, and at a young age, Nelson began performing.

At the age of seven, he composed his first song. At the age of ten, Willie joined his first band. The singer also served in the American Air Force but was later released due to back issues.

He enrolled in Baylor University to begin his undergraduate career, but he left due to his success in music.

Are They Both Related?

So the answer to the above question is no. Willie Nelson and Jelly Roll are not blood relatives. They are two different musicians associated with various genres and decades. They might share admiration for one another’s artistic abilities, but they are not related.

The “Waylon & Willie” CD by Jelly Roll and Struggle Jennings could be responsible for the mistake. The CD bears the names of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, who were close friends and fellow musicians. Struggle Jennings is Waylon Jennings’ grandson. Willie Nelson is not related.

According to Famous People Today, Jelly Roll claimed in an interview that Struggle Jennings and the two legends that inspired him led him to choose the moniker “Waylon & Willie” to honour them. He stated:

“We wished to accomplish something greater than ourselves. To honour our heroes, we wanted to take some action. To honour our grandfathers, we wanted to do something.

He added that Willie Nelson was gracious and courteous when they first met at a concert.