Jelly Roll Bette Midler
Source YouTube: Howard Stern Show, Vogue

Jelly Roll broke down in tears on Wednesday as he revealed the Bette Midler song his mother asked him to play at her funeral.

Jelly Roll Becomes Emotional

While appearing on The Howard Stern Show, Jelly Roll could not help but become emotional as he talked about the impact one song had on both him and his mother.

“By the way, I love this story, too,” Stern told Jelly Roll. “That song, ‘Save Me,’ was inspired by the song by Bette Midler, ‘The Rose,’ because you and your mom used to listen all the time.”

When asked if he’s ever met Midler, Jelly Roll replied, “Oh goodness no.”

“If I meet her or James Taylor, I’m gonna cry on the spot,” he added.

“This is a beautiful song, ‘The Rose,'” Stern replied.

That’s when Jelly Roll started to become emotional.

“My mother would play this, keep in mind she was a really dark woman at the time. She would say, ‘Play this at my funeral,'” Jelly Roll revealed.

“She would sit at the kitchen table… I still get emotional listening to it. And she would smoke these cigarettes, and she would just be like, ‘Just remember to play this when I die,'” he continued. “So the first tattoo I ever got was a rose on my back with her name.”

‘I Know How It Feels’

When Stern questioned how a mother could tell her son a specific song to play at her funeral, Jelly Roll defended his mom.

“That’s coming from a woman who didn’t think she was going to live, and I know how that feels,” he explained. “I know how it feels to think you’re not going to live.”

Thankfully, Jelly Roll’s mother made it through the tough times and is still alive today. She remains a major presence in her son’s life.

Check out Jelly Roll’s full comments on this in the video below.

Related: Here’s Why Country Star Jelly Roll Doesn’t Do Shows Overseas

Jelly Roll’s History With His Mother

Jelly Roll was born Jason Bradley DeFord to Donna and Horace “Buddy” DeFord on December 4, 1984. He was their only child together, and they raised him in the small town of Antioch, Tennessee.

Donna and Buddy divorced when Jelly Roll was only 13, according to People Magazine. He had a difficult time handling their split, and the divorce contributed to his drug addiction and run-ins with the law.

“Many time the police knocked on my mothers door looking for me, many night she went to sleep worried the phone would ring in the middle of the night and something would’ve happened bad,” Jelly Roll later wrote in an emotional tribute to his mom on Facebook.

Jelly Roll went on to say that there were “thousands of times [Donna] accepted collect calls from a son in jail.” Thankfully, Jelly Roll has turned his life around since being released from prison in 2009.

Watch Jelly Roll talk about his mom in a previous interview in the video below.

Related: This Is Why Jelly Roll Can Only Wear Socks One Time

How Jelly Roll Got His Nickname

It was actually Donna who gave Jelly Roll his nickname!

“My mother named me that whenever I was a little, chubby kid,” Jelly Roll said while appearing on The Bobby Bones Show in 2022. “Been fat my whole life, I spent the next 30 years trying to grow into the name. I think I’ve done it. I obviously look the part. It just stuck.”

The relationship that Jelly Roll has with his mother is truly beautiful to witness. She’s lucky to have a son like him, and he’s lucky to have a mom like her!

Mentioned in this article:

More About: