Jelly Roll & His Wife Grieving Loss of Two Family Members

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for BBR Music Group)

Late last week, country music rocker Jelly Roll announced on Twitter that he and his wife Bunnie DeFord are grieving the loss of two family members. In a November 4th tweet, Jelly Roll shared that his nephew and mother-in-law both recently passed away. His nephew was killed in South Nashville in late October. On November 3rd, Bunnie said her final goodbyes to her mother. 

“I got the call that my nephew was killed the same day I headlined red rocks,” Jelly Roll then explained in the tweet. “Still put on a show -seen my nephew in a casket the same day I played Rome River Jam and still rocked it. Took my wife to say her final goodbyes to her mother and still rocked Estero Florida last night.”

Along with the loss of two family members, Jelly Roll recently shared a sweet tribute to Leslie Jordan, who died in a car crash last month. “You were a beautiful soul,” the country music hitmaker stated with a snapshot of him and Jordan together. “You supported me early on when people were still confused by me— thank you so much for your life and the many smiles you put on our faces for years.  Love you always Leslie- REST IN PEACE my fellow hunker downer.” 

Jelly Roll Announces Plans to Donate $250,000 Worth of Music Resources to a Juvenile Detention Center 

CMT reports that during a recent press conference at Bridgestone Arena, Jelly Roll announced plans to donate $250,000 worth of music resources to a local juvenile detention center. The music is doing this in partnership with non-profit Impact Youth Outreach. 

“As a local kid, I felt like it was important to start addressing the problem hands-on, at a community level,” Jelly Roll shared. “Music is my passion, so it’s the first thing that I know how to bring to people. Kids are killing each other… it’s just getting sad. As a community, we have to stand up, and we have to do something about it. I’m challenging my musician friends: To come from your ivory tower, get [out] from behind your guitar, roll your sleeves up and…see the problems we have in this community.”

Jelly Roll reflected on the struggles he has witnessed while in Nashville. “While you’re ridin’ up and down Broadway, makin’ a quarter-million dollars a show,” he stated. “I’d like you to see the side of the city that can’t afford dinner… To see the side of Nashville that didn’t make all the TV shows.”

Jelly Roll will also be funding five $10,000 scholarships for graduating seniors in Davidson County. He also wishes eventually like to expand his philanthropic efforts beyond Nashville. He wants to aid neighboring centers in need of resources.