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Musician Jelly Roll Talks About His Love for the Titans, Dating Back to His Teenage Years


NASHVILLE – Musician Jelly Roll is a CMA and CMT Awards-winner, and a two-time Grammy nominee.

He's also a loyal Titans fan, and he has been since the team moved to Tennessee back in the late 1990s.

"I've been a Titans fan since they came straight from Houston," Jelly Roll, whose given name is Jason Bradley DeFord, said in an interview in Detroit, the night before the NFL Draft, last week. "Being a Nashville native, we threw away all of our Dallas Cowboys gear (when the team came to town)."

Jelly Roll said he went to see the team play in Memphis when the Tennessee Oilers played at the Liberty Bowl in 1997, and he went to games at Vanderbilt Stadium in 1998, before the team became known as the Titans.

Jelly Roll, who grew up in Antioch, Tennessee, a Nashville suburb about 12 miles southeast of downtown Music City, has seen a number of games at Nissan Stadium.

"Of course, my father had PSLs when the stadium finally got built. I watched that stadium get built and finished inside that Juvenile (Justice Center) next door," said the 39-year-old rapper, singer and songwriter, alluding to his troubled past. "I'm not proud of it, but it's the truth."

Jelly Roll attended his first Grammy Awards earlier this year after he was nominated for two Grammys - Best New Artist and Best Country Duo/Group Performance. He won three CMT Awards earlier this year. He was also named Best New Artist at the 2023 CMA Awards.

Prior to performing at the Fillmore in Detroit the night before the NFL Draft, Jelly Roll talked about his love for the Titans in an interview with

"The Eddie (George)-Steve (McNair) dynasty was hard to ignore," he said. "The Music City Miracle, of course, I seen that too from that juvenile cell. Those were just crazy moments. Of course the Vince Young era, going through all of that. I was just thinking about it, probably the saddest part of losing Derrick (Henry) for me was I feel like from Day 1, the Titans have found their identity in the backfield. And I thought back to the history of that with Eddie George and Chris (Johnson) and all of these players, and then Derrick Henry. So, it's the first time I remember as a Titans fan, in a long time, looking around and not knowing who is going to really fill that space."

Jelly Roll, however, said he's excited about the direction things are going with the team.

"I love the way Ran is talking," he said of Titans GM Ran Carthon. "Listen, man, I have patience, baby. I'm a Titans fan. So I am just going to watch it play out. I have patience. I am excited. I am optimistic. That is what I know for sure. And, I hope they get good by next season because I have the fall off finally. So I'll be at a bunch of games."

Just before he took the stage in Detroit, Jelly Roll talked about his dream of taking the stage where the Titans play in Nashville.

At Nissan Stadium.

And, at the new Nissan Stadium, when it opens in 2027.

"Antioch High School, that juvenile next door," Jelly Roll said of his journey. "(I'll) be performing at CMA Fest at Nissan Stadium this year, and my dream in life is to headline Nissan Stadium.

"And, my other dream in life is after I headline Nissan Stadium, three years from then headline the new Nissan Stadium – that's my dream, that's my goal."


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