As Jelly Roll celebrates his 39th birthday today (12/4), we celebrate him and the album that brought him to country superstardom, Whitsitt Chapel.

As a journalist who has lived for many years in Antioch, Jelly’s hometown and a suburb of Nashville, when I saw the album cover and his tribute to Whitsitt Chapel, it looked pretty familiar to me. The family and I drive by it often on our way to Percy Priest Lake and the recreation area. If my husband wasn’t a teacher in another county in Tennessee wanting his kids to go where he teaches, both of my children would have attended Antioch High School just like Jelly did.

When the album was released in June of this year (2023), Jelly Roll described it as “Real music for real people with real problems.” He added that the project was “about growth and gratitude happening in my life.” The album and his music struck a nerve with listeners, who quicky made it one of the most successful album releases in country music in 2023.

Jelly has been a top award nominee and often a winner. Last month (November), he won his first CMA Award for New Artist of the Year.

Just a couple of days after winning the New Artist award and performing twice at the CMA Awards in Nashville, Jelly Roll learned that he is a three-time GRAMMY nominee for the 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards, which will air on February 4, 2024, on CBS.

Jelly posted a video on his Instagram; in the clip, he is openly weeping and wiping tears away. He says, shot on his phone at his Nashville area home, “I’m not sure if I’m gonna post this or not because I’m so emotional, but the greatest honor an artist can ever hear is that they’ve been nominated for a GRAMMY. I got to hear that this morning.”

He paused for a moment to get even more emotional before saying, “I haven’t cried like this since my daddy died. I tried to make this video seven times, ya’ll.”

We gathered five songs from the Whitsitt Chapel album that we believe stand out the most and everyone should know.

RELATED: Jelly Roll’s Wife Debunks Story She’s Jealous Of Lainey Wilson

  • "The Lost"

    An album cut that Jelly co-wrote with Miranda Lambert. In January, Lambert posted to Instagram that she made a new songwriting friend, Jelly Roll. By the looks of it, the two had a great time writing songs. Miranda posted a couple of photos to her Instagram, one with her, Jelly Roll, and a songwriter named Telenitry. She wrote, “Made a new friend this week! Jesse was right when he said we go together like biscuits and gravy! Loved writing a tune with @jellyroll615 and @telemitry.” See that post here.

  • "Halfway to Hell"

    While this song has not been released as a single to country radio, it’s well-known by fans and got a massive response when Jelly performed it at his “Backroads Baptism Tour.” The song kicks off the album, starting with a clip of a church preacher preaching, “Just save you because he gave his only begotten son.” As the music starts, the preacher continues to preach; Jelly begins the song with the lyrics, “I’m a county jail revival / I’m a bottle and a Bible / I’m a rolling stone disciple / With a cross across my face.”

  • "Save Me" (with Lainey Wilson)

    Little did Jelly know when he recorded this song with his friend Lainey Wilson that the collaboration would be nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Country Duo/Group Performance. The song was also recently nominated for Musical Event at the 2023 CMA Awards. In early December 2023, the song hit the top of the country music charts. They also performed the song at the ACM Awards in May of 2023.

  • "Need a Favor"

    The first number-one country song from this project, but his second number one country song overall. The first number one was “Son Of A Sinner,” which was his first country single release before he released Whitsett Chapel. The powerful and relatable lyrics include, “I only talk to God when I need a favor / And I only pray when I ain’t got a prayer / So who the hell am I, who the hell am I to expect a savior, oh / If I only talk to God when I need a favor? / But, God, I need a favor,”

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