How is Jelly Roll related to Waylon Jennings? The surprising connection between the rapper and the country legend

Jelly Roll is a multi-genre singer and songwriter who has been making waves in the music industry with his blend of hip hop, country, rock, and soul. He has collaborated with artists like Tech N9ne, Lil Wyte, Haystak, and Struggle Jennings. But did you know that he also has a surprising connection to one of the pioneers of outlaw country music, Waylon Jennings?

Who is Waylon Jennings?

Waylon Jennings was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor who was born in 1937 in Texas. He is considered one of the founders of the outlaw movement in country music, which challenged the Nashville establishment and its polished sound with a grittier and more rock-influenced style. He started playing guitar at the age of eight and performed on radio at the age of 14. He was also a bass player for Buddy Holly and gave up his seat on the plane that crashed and killed Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens in 1959.

Jennings rose to fame in the 1970s with critically acclaimed albums like Lonesome, On’ry and Mean, Honky Tonk Heroes, Dreaming My Dreams, and Are You Ready for the Country. He also recorded the first platinum country album with Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser, and Jessi Colter (his wife) called Wanted! The Outlaws. He also composed and sang the theme song for The Dukes of Hazzard TV show. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and died in 2002 from complications of diabetes.

Jelly Roll is not related to Waylon Jennings by blood, but by marriage. Jelly Roll’s wife, Bunnie DeFord (née Rhea), is the daughter of Waylon Jennings’ son Terry Vance Jennings. Terry Vance Jennings is one of Waylon’s six children from his four marriages. He was born in 1957 to Waylon’s first wife Maxine Lawrence. He is also a singer and songwriter who has released albums like Waylon’s Son and The Other Side.

Jelly Roll and Bunnie DeFord have been married since 2013 and have two children together: a daughter named Bailee Lynn DeFord (born in 2014) and a son named Noah DeFord (born in 2016). They also have a son from Bunnie’s previous relationship named Elijah Rhea (born in 2008). Jelly Roll often posts pictures and videos of his family on his social media accounts and expresses his love and gratitude for them.

What do Jelly Roll and Waylon Jennings have in common?

Besides being part of the same family, Jelly Roll and Waylon Jennings also share some similarities in their musical careers. Both of them are known for being rebellious and outspoken artists who defy genres and conventions. Both of them have faced challenges and struggles in their personal lives, such as addiction, legal issues, health problems, and loss of loved ones. Both of them have also collaborated with other artists across different genres and styles.

Jelly Roll has cited Waylon Jennings as one of his influences and inspirations. He has covered some of his songs, such as “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” and “I’ve Always Been Crazy”. He has also paid tribute to him in some of his original songs, such as “Son of a Sinner” and “The Bottom”. He has also performed with some of Waylon’s friends and collaborators, such as Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash’s son John Carter Cash, Shooter Jennings (Waylon’s son from Jessi Colter), and Struggle Jennings (Waylon’s grandson from Terry Vance Jennings).


Jelly Roll is a rapper who is related to Waylon Jennings by marriage. He is married to Bunnie DeFord, who is the daughter of Terry Vance Jennings, who is the son of Waylon Jennings. Jelly Roll and Waylon Jennings have some similarities in their musical careers, such as being rebellious, outspoken, genre-defying, collaborative, influential, and inspirational artists. Jelly Roll has also shown his respect and admiration for Waylon Jennings by covering some of his songs and paying tribute to him in some of his own songs.

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