Jelly Roll is one of the most popular new artists in the country music scene right now, consistently selling out shows wherever he goes. However, in a recent interview, Jelly Roll admits that his past felony charge still significantly impacts his life even after his newfound fame.
The lingering effects of Jelly Roll’s legal history, particularly a felony charge he faced at the age of 16 following an arrest for aggravated robbery, continues to cast a shadow over his present life and touring opportunities.
Tennessee’s strict zero-forgiveness policy for felony offenders has resulted in the charge remaining on Jelly Roll’s record, leading to ongoing consequences that impact him both personally and professionally.
During a recent cover interview with Billboard, Jelly Roll opened up about the complexities of international touring. He revealed that due to the previous felony charge, acquiring a passport had been impossible for him until recently. Even after obtaining one, organizing shows overseas has proven to be quite challenging.
“The trick is, when America finally says, ‘We’ll let you leave,’ the amount of countries that won’t let you come in,” Jelly Roll says. “We had to cancel my London debut show,” he added.
In another part of the interview, Jelly Roll emphasizes the severity of the charges, expressing that he continues to reflect on and feel remorse for the incident constantly.
“I never want to overlook the fact that it was a heinous crime. This is a grown man looking back at a 16-year-old kid that made the worst decision that he could have made in life and people could have got hurt and, by the grace of God, thankfully, nobody did,” he says.
However, he is also mindful of the fact that he was charged as an adult while he was still underage, hindering his future before he even had the chance to prove he could change his life around.
“I was charged as an adult before I could buy a beer, lease an apartment, get a pack of cigarettes,” he notes. “…I feel like the justice system at that point kind of parked me on my only set path.”
Fans can learn more about Jelly Roll’s story in his recently released documentary on Hulu titled, “Jelly Roll: Save Me,” which takes viewers on an inside look into Jelly Roll’s life through hardships to highlights.