Jelly Roll Opens Up About Emotional Journey with 'The Rose' and Love Story on Howard Stern Show

During an interview on The Howard Stern Show Wednesday, Jelly Roll became visibly moved discussing the profound impact one of his songs had on his life and his relationship with his mother.

"By the way, I love this story too," Stern remarked to Jelly Roll. "That song, 'Save Me,' was inspired by Bette Midler's 'The Rose,' because you and your mom used to listen to it all the time."

Stern inquired if Jelly Roll, whose real name is Jason Bradley DeFord, had ever crossed paths with Midler.

"Oh goodness no," Jelly Roll replied. "If I ever meet her or James Taylor, I'm going to cry on the spot."

"This is such a beautiful song, 'The Rose,'" Stern acknowledged.

"My mother would play this, and keep in mind she was really dark at the time. She would say, 'Play this at my funeral,'" Jelly Roll recalled emotionally.

"She would sit at the kitchen table... I still get emotional listening to it. And she would smoke these cigarettes, and she would just be like, 'Just remember to play this when I die.'"

He added, "So the first tattoo I ever got was a rose on my back with her name."

"How does a mother say to her son, 'Please play this at my funeral?'" Howard wondered.

"That's coming from a woman who didn't think she was going to live, and I know how that feels," Jelly Roll explained. "I know how it feels to think you're not going to live."

The "Son of a Sinner" artist also shared with Stern that he met his wife Bunnie Xo at a bar when he was "just so lost in life."

"I loved her right from the start. I loved her from the moment I met her."

He described their love story, saying, "I think it’s one of the craziest stories in the music business."

Speaking to Fox News Digital at the 2024 CMT Music Awards, Jelly Roll discussed how they maintain their seven-year marriage through candid and straightforward conversations.

"Open, real, honest communication," Jelly Roll emphasized to Fox News Digital. "We talk about the uncomfortable stuff upfront. It's really important in our marriage."

"And also, we don't take anything too seriously," he added. "Have a short memory. Laugh as much as you can. Laughter is the best medicine."

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