Jelly Roll is a multi-genre singer/songwriter who has gained popularity for his country rap, country rock and hip hop songs. He has collaborated with many artists, including Struggle Jennings, Yelawolf, Tech N9ne and Lil Wyte. But is he related to the legendary country singer Waylon Jennings? This is a question that many fans have wondered about, especially since Jelly Roll and Struggle Jennings have released four joint albums titled Waylon & Willie, inspired by the iconic duo of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. In this article, we will explore the truth behind the rumors and find out if there is any connection between Jelly Roll and Waylon Jennings.
The Family Tree of Waylon Jennings
Waylon Jennings was born in 1937 in Littlefield, Texas. He came from a family of musicians, with his parents and even relatives being musically inclined. He started playing guitar at the age of eight and formed his first band at the age of 12. He became a radio DJ at the age of 14 and met Buddy Holly, who became his mentor and friend. He was also part of Holly’s band, The Crickets, and was supposed to be on the plane that crashed and killed Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper in 1959, but gave up his seat to J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper).
Waylon Jennings went on to become one of the most influential figures in country music, pioneering the outlaw country movement that rebelled against the Nashville sound and embraced a more raw and authentic style. He recorded dozens of albums and had numerous hits, such as “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”, “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)”, “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” and “Good Hearted Woman”. He also collaborated with other artists, such as Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Jessi Colter.
Jessi Colter was Waylon Jennings’ fourth wife and a successful country singer in her own right. She was born Mirriam Johnson in 1943 in Phoenix, Arizona. She started singing and playing piano at an early age and moved to Los Angeles in 1961 to pursue a music career. She met rockabilly singer Duane Eddy, who became her first husband and helped her get a record deal. She changed her name to Jessi Colter after her great-grandfather Jesse Colter. She had one daughter with Eddy, Jennifer Eddy.
Jessi Colter met Waylon Jennings in 1969 and they married later that year. They had one son together, Waylon Albright “Shooter” Jennings, who was born in 1979. Shooter Jennings followed his parents’ footsteps and became a singer/songwriter, blending country, rock and alternative genres. He has released several albums and has also acted in movies and TV shows, such as Walk the Line, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and The Punisher.
Jennifer Eddy is Jessi Colter’s daughter from her first marriage to Duane Eddy. She was born in 1962 and grew up around music. She married William Harness Jr., who was also known as Struggle or Struggle Harns. They had two sons together, William Harness III (Struggle Jennings) and Joshua Harness (Joshua Harns). Struggle Jennings is a rapper who has collaborated with Jelly Roll on several projects. Joshua Harns is also a rapper who goes by the name J-Harns.
The Family Tree of Jelly Roll
Jelly Roll was born Jason DeFord in 1984 in Antioch, Tennessee. He was raised by his mother and grandmother in a rough neighborhood. He was exposed to running the streets and dealing drugs at a young age and got into trouble with the law several times. He was arrested for attempted robbery after an attempted marijuana robbery and spent some time in prison.
Jelly Roll started rapping as a teenager and released his first mixtape in 2003. He gained attention for his collaboration with Lil Wyte on the song “Pop Another Pill” in 2010. He also joined the hip hop group SNO, which consisted of Lil Wyte, BPZ and himself. He released many mixtapes and independent albums over the years, experimenting with different genres and styles. He also collaborated with other artists, such as Struggle Jennings, Yelawolf, Tech N9ne, Haystak and Rittz.
Jelly Roll has two daughters from previous relationships, Bailee Lynn DeFord (born in 2005) and Noah DeFord (born in 2011). He married Bunnie Xo (born Danielle Adams) in 2016. Bunnie Xo is a model, entrepreneur and social media personality. She has a son from a previous relationship, Bryson Adams (born in 2009). Jelly Roll and Bunnie Xo have a daughter together, Minnie Mae DeFord (born in 2018).
The Connection Between Jelly Roll and Waylon Jennings
Although there is no direct relation between Jelly Roll and Waylon Jennings, there is one interesting connection between them, Struggle Jennings – the step-grandson of Waylon Jennings and the nephew of Shooter Jennings. Struggle Jennings and Jelly Roll are longtime friends and musical partners who have released four albums together under the name Waylon & Willie. The albums are inspired by the friendship and collaboration of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, who recorded several albums together in the 1970s and 1980s, such as Wanted! The Outlaws, Waylon & Willie and WWII.
Struggle Jennings and Jelly Roll have also paid tribute to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson in their songs, such as “Love Won” (which samples “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”), “Fall in the Fall” (which references “Luckenbach, Texas”) and “Dearly Departed” (which features Shooter Jennings). Struggle Jennings has also inherited some of Waylon Jennings’ musical legacy, such as his outlaw spirit, his distinctive voice and his guitar strap with the W logo.
To sum up, Jelly Roll is not related to Waylon Jennings or Willie Nelson. These rumors are based on false assumptions and speculations that have no factual basis. Jelly Roll is an independent artist who has carved his own niche in the music industry. He has collaborated with Struggle Jennings, who is the step-grandson of Waylon Jennings, but that does not make them family. They are simply friends who share a mutual respect and admiration for each other and for the legends of country music.