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Jelly Roll Tops Country Airplay Chart: ‘There Is No Greater Reward Than to Have the No. 1 Song on Country Radio’

todayJanuary 6, 2023

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Jelly Roll (aka Jason DeFord) achieves his first No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated Jan. 14) with his first entry, “Son of a Sinner.”

In the tracking week ending Jan. 5, the song, released on Bailee & Buddy/BMG/Stoney Creek, increased by 18% to 26.4 million audience impressions, according to Luminate.


“There is no greater reward for a singer and songwriter in Nashville, Tenn., than to have the No. 1 song on country radio,” Jelly Roll, 38, says. “Now imagine that happening to a guy that grew up in this town … a guy that at every turn for the first 25 years of his life made the wrong decision. Imagine everyone telling that guy he had no chance at country radio. If you can imagine that, then you can understand why I’m so filled with gratitude as tears stream down my face while I type this … I currently have the No. 1 song on country radio. Thank you to Jon Loba [president BBR Music Group/BMG Nashville], BMG and every single person that helped make this dream come true.”

Jelly Roll, who grew up in the Nashville suburb of Antioch, co-authored “Sinner” with Ernest K. Smith and David Ray Stevens. It’s from his 2021 album Ballads of the Broken.

While “Sinner” is Jelly Roll’s launch Country Airplay appearance, he’s had success in other genres. Last May, “Dead Man Walking” led Mainstream Rock Airplay for a week. His highest charting set on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, No Filter, with Lil Wyte, reached No. 33 in 2013.

As “Sinner” reaches the Country Airplay pinnacle, it dethrones Morgan Wallen’s “You Proof,” which rang up a record 10 nonconsecutive frames at No. 1. “Proof” descends to No. 2 on the Jan. 14 dated list (25.6 million, though up 12% as non-holiday hits gain as seasonal songs clear out).

Meanwhile, “Sinner” is the latest rookie entry to lead Country Airplay, following Bailey Zimmerman’s “Fall in Love” on the Dec. 7 chart.

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todayJanuary 6, 2023

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