More than two decades ago, Jelly Roll was home sick with a sinus infection when he watched the country change in real time.
The genre-blending artist reflected on that impactful moment he shared with his mother when he was a teen in 2001, speaking with iHeartRadio’s Wayne D during a special 9/11 tribute performance hosted on Monday evening (September 11) in Los Angeles, California. The event remembered the thousands of Americans who lost their lives in the horrific terrorist attack 22 years ago (other country stars also penned heartfelt tributes to remember that day). Jelly Roll told Wayne D that out of the horrific tragedy, he developed a newfound respect for first responders who run toward the danger, and said he appreciated the ways Americans united to support one another in the days after the tragic event. He said on the L.A. stage that “this is one of those days that we’ll remember forever, at least annually, with the whole United States — the world, for that matter — will always stop on 9/11 and acknowledge what happened right here in this country.”
Jelly Roll performed some of his career-spanning, genre-bending anthems (and a few nostalgic covers) during the iHeartRadio LIVE with Jelly Roll: A Special 9/11 Tribute Performance on Monday, including many from his latest album, Whitsitt Chapel, which Jelly Roll previously described as a collection of “therapeutic music” that made its highly-anticipated debut earlier this year.
The show also spotlighted two organizations: Tunnel To Towers, a charitable nonprofit organization founded as a tribute to New York Fire Department firefighter Stephen Siller, who died in the 9/11 attacks. The organization has delivered more than 1,000 mortgage-free homes to U.S. heroes and committed more than $500 million to all their programs. Tunnels To Towers is delivering more than 200 mortgage-free homes to catastrophically injured veterans and first responders this year. Donations can be made at https://t2t.org/. iHeartRadio LIVE with Jelly Roll: A Special 9/11 Tribute Performance also spotlighting 9/11 Day, aiming to rekindle the unity that Aly Roll remembered about the days following the tragic event. 9/11 Day participants come up with one good deed — individually or with family or friends — and share on social media with the hashtag #IWillFor911Day. To learn more about the organization, learn how to do a good deed in the community or donate go to 911day.org.
Jelly Roll kicked off his show — which was live-streamed on iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel and broadcast across iHeartRadio stations nationwide — with “Son of a Sinner,” his first No. 1 at country radio. He followed it with his first No. 1 at rock radio, “Dead Man Walking,” followed by “Need A Favor,” “Save Me” (a collaboration with fellow award-winning country star Lainey Wilson) and more.
Jelly Roll shared with Wayne D that, growing up in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville, he never had the confidence to dream he’d be where he is in life now. He’s proud of what he’s accomplished in the last 13 years, since he got out of prison for the last time, he said. Now, Jelly Roll’s 14-year-old daughter shared that she wants to be baptized in a small-town church, similar to the one her now-superstar dad went to growing up and got baptized in when he was her age.
The Nashville, Tennessee-born megastar, a former iHeartRadio On The Verge Artist, grew up going to Whitsitt Chapel, and named his latest album after it. The 13-track project arrived in June, shortly after Jelly Roll told his powerful story in an in-depth documentary on Hulu. The 13-track album also included collaborations with Brandley Gilbert and Struggle Jennings, Yelawolf and other highlights. Jelly Roll teamed up with a star-studded team of co-writers to make the album happen, 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.
1. Halfway To Hell - Written by Jason DeFord, Jesse Frasure, Matt Jenkins, Jessie Jo Dillo*
2. Church - Written by Jason DeFord, Michael Hardy, David Garci**
3. The Lost - Written by Jason DeFord, Jesse Frasure, Miranda Lambert*
4. Behind Bars (with Brantley Gilbert and Struggle Jennings) - Written by Jason DeFord, Brantley Gilbert, Michael Whitworth, Andrew Baylis, Brock Berryhill, Austin Nivare***
5. Nail Me - Written by Jason DeFord, Kevin Gruft, Austin Nivare^
6. Hold On Me - Written by Jason DeFord, Hillary Lindsey, Alysa Vanderheym, Michael Whitwort^
7. Kill A Man - Written by Jason DeFord, Riley Thomas, Andrew Baylis, Michael Whitwort^
8. Unlive (with Yelawolf) - Written by Jason DeFord, Ashley McBryde, Andrew Baylis, Zach Crowell, Michael Wayne Atha^
9. Save Me (with Lainey Wilson) - Written by Jason DeFord, David Ray Steven^^
10. She - Written by Jason DeFord, Austin Nivarel, Kevin “Thrasher” Gruf^^^
11. Need A Favor - Written by Jason DeFord, Austin Nivarel, Joe Ragosta, Rob Ragost*^
12. Dancing With The Devil - Written by Jason DeFord, Hunter Phelps, Zach Crowel^
13. Hungover In A Church Pew - Written by Jason DeFord, Hunter Phelps, Zach Crowell^
^Produced by Zach Crowell
*Produced by Zach Crowell and Jesse Frasure
**Produced by Zach Crowell and David Garcia
^^Produced by Zach Crowell and David Ray Stevens
*^Produced by Austin Nivarel
***Produced by Brock Berryhill and Andrew Baylis
^^^Produced by Kevin “Thrasher” Gruft
Whitsitt Chapel is an album “about growth and gratitude happening in my life,” Jelly Roll previously shared of the then-unreleased album. “I wanted 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.” He previously said — and reiterated similar sentiments during his iHeartRadio LIVE show while speaking with Wayne D — that he hopes his music and his story can “help those that feel helpless.”