Terry Wyatt / Stringer / Getty Images
After a whirlwind year, Jelly Roll had the honor of opening the 2023 CMA Awards with a performance of his crossover hit, “Need a Favor.”
Jelly Roll released “Need a Favor” in December 2022 as the first single off of his album Whitsitt Chapel. The song reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. It also crossed over to claim the #1 spot on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart and the 14th spot on the all-genre Hot 100.
At the time of this writing, the song’s music video has over 29 million views on YouTube.
The singer already had a monumental year at other awards shows. He took home three awards at the CMT Music Awards in April, including the Male Video of the Year award for “Son of a Sinner.”
He also won four awards at the inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards in September. Jelly Roll couldn’t attend the ceremony because he had a concert in Cincinnati. But they managed to present one of his trophies to him at his show.
Going into the CMA Awards this year, he has the chance to add five more trophies to his collection
“It literally doesn’t get any bigger than this and I have 5 nominations. I couldn’t control myself when I got the news..everything about this is unreal,” he said on social media.
After such an exciting year, getting the chance to open the CMA Awards must have been the icing on the cake.
Before the performance, he started teasing the fact that he’d be singing with a special, surprise guest. Writing on Instagram, he said, “I have a special guest performing with me to open the show— try to guess who it is!”
Fans finally found out who Jelly Roll’s special guest was when he took to the stage to open the CMA Awards. It was Wynonna Judd!
The crowd went wild when Wynonna joined Jelly Roll onstage. They sang together for a large part of the time, but Wynonna and Jelly Roll also performed solos. Wynonna actually closed out the entire song with a powerful note. It was amazing to hear her and Jelly Roll rock out together!
What a way to start the ceremony!
Fans were a bit concerned about Wynonna though, as she held tightly onto Jelly Roll’s arm for most of the performance. Wynonna later took to social media to address the concerns, saying she simply got nervous in the moment.
“All is well,” she assured everyone. She also spoke about how much she loves Jelly Roll…and we got the idea she’d like to make more music with him in the future!