Jelly Roll Delivers Emotional Speech After Reuniting With Lainey Wilson

Photo: @thetylertwins for iHeartRadio

Jelly Roll joined forces with “my sister,” Lainey Wilson, to deliver a heartfelt rendition of their smash-hit collaboration, “Save Me,” during the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards on Monday night (April 1). The pair of award-winning artists took the stage — illuminated with glowing candles — at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, followed by a powerful acceptance speech as Jelly won the Best New Artist award in both Pop and Country categories.

Jelly Roll kicked off the viral song on his own before introducing “my sister” and reigning Country Song of the Year (“Heart Like A Truck”) winner Wilson to the stage with him. Wilson joined Jelly on the duet version of “Save Me” last year. Jelly Roll previously wrote in a tribute to the Baskin, Louisiana-born artist that he “could not have picked a better person to reimagine this song with. I always knew that Save Me helped people BUT I always knew there was so many people in the world that had not heard it yet but needed to hear it cause it could help so many more people.” Wilson had the “perfect voice” for that, he said: “You inspire women and make them feel heard and seen. You are of the best humans I’ve ever encountered.”

Wilson exited the stage as Jelly Roll triumphantly raised his iHeartRadio Music Award above his head in front of the cheering crowd.

“My mama always told me I had a face for radio, baby!” Jelly Roll exclaimed into the mic. He remembered, as a child, sitting in the back seat of the car as he drove around town with his older siblings, listening to the radio and singing every word to every song. “I never would’ve dreamed I would be one of the voices coming through your radio, and to be the Best New Country Artist and represent country music, and the Best New Pop Artist, you don’t know what this means to a kid like me. I was thinking about it: what does it mean when a guy like me has the opportunity to be the new pop artist of the year at [the iHeartRadio Music Awards]. It means that God will always use the least likely messenger with the biggest message every single time. You could take it to the bank, baby! I love you, Jesus, and I love you, Bunnie, my wife, thank you for everything. Bailee Ann, my daughter at home, if you’re watching, I’m coming home, baby! …We did it again!”

Jelly Roll released “Save Me’ with Wilson on his full-length album that released in 2023. Whitsitt Chapel — titled after Jelly Roll’s church in his hometown, located in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee — also included collaborations with Brantley Gilbert and Struggle Jennings, and Yelawolf. When iHeartRadio’s Tanya Rad and EJ asked Jelly on the red carpet before the show about which artist he’d want to collaborate with next, the “Need A Favor” hitmaker answered SZA and freaked out over possible meeting GloRilla.

The genre-spanning iHeartRadio Music Awards, hosted by Ludacris, honors some of the biggest moments in music over the past year, including from multi-nominees: 21 SavageBeyoncéBillie EilishBlink-182Carin LeónDavid KushnerDoechiiDoja CatDrakeDua LipaFall Out BoyFoo FightersGrupo FronteraIce SpiceJelly RollJung KookKarol GLil DurkLuke CombsMegan MoroneyMetro BoominMiley CyrusMorgan WallenNoah KahanOlivia RodrigoParamorePeso PlumaRemaSelena GomezShakiraSZATaylor SwiftThe WeekndTylaUsher and Yng Lvcas. Cher is the recipient of the the Icon Award, and Beyoncé is the recipient of the Innovator Award. 

See the list of 2024 iHeartRadio Music Award winners here.

If you missed any of the iconic moments from this year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards, or just want to relive them all, the show will be available to stream on Hulu the next day for 21 days.