While this may be the most unlikely duo of all time, it just works.
At a Grand Ole Opry performance a few weeks back, Craig Morgan invited Jelly Roll (whose real name is Jason DeFord) up on stage to sing Craig’s hit song “Almost Home.”
Jelly Roll is a rapper from Nashville who’s recently jumped into the world of country music, and currently has a single at country radio called “Son of a Sinner.” He spent his late teenage and early 20s years going in and out of jail, and has quite an incredible back story which eventually led him to make his debut at the Grand Ole Opry in 2021.
And apparently, Jelly Roll is a huge fan of Craig, and said he saw him perform at the Opry right after he got out of prison, where Craig sang “Almost Home.”
As it turns out, that was a song that Jelly listened to all the time while he was locked up and inspired him to keep going and working on his music.
So when Craig stopped by the Opry a few weeks back, he had Jelly on stage to sing a duet of “Almost Home,” but not before he gave a little bit of context on how he found out about Jelly in the first place:
“I happened to be out on the road somewhere, and someone called me and said, ‘Man, you have got to see this Jelly Roll guy. He was just on the Grand Ole Opry, and he don’t look like somebody that would be on the Grand Ole Opry. But he was talkin’ about you.’
And so I went back and I watched it, and he was standing up here and he was talking about how when he was in jail and struggling, how a particular song helped him get through it. And he mentioned the fact that he came to the Grand Ole Opry when he got out, I remember it, he said,
‘I was sitting right over there where that gentlemen in that hat is sitting in the 7th row right in sight. Craig Morgan was singing on stage, and it moved me. It moved me. Just proved exactly what he said, that music can change lives.’
So before I do the song that he said changed his life, I would love it if y’all would give him a big round of applause and get him to come back out here and sing this with us.”
Jelly joined him on stage, echoing the sentiment that this particular song helped him through the darkest period in his life, and that through a lot of prayers and faith, he found himself on stage at the Grand Ole Opry singing that exact song with Craig:
“Shortly after I got out of jail, I did, I sat right there in row seven and I cried like a baby and watched him sing. And I remember thinking, I wanna make people feel the way he makes me feel right now.
This is a true testimony that God is real and all things are possible. ‘Cuz that same kid that was in jail and struggling, his wife is sitting right there, he’s not sitting there tonight. That kid is standing next to Craig Morgan.”
“Almost Home” was co-written by Craig and released in 2002 as the second single from his 2003 album I Love It. The song became his first Top 10 hit on the U.S. country music charts when it peaked at #6 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs chart.
After they finished their performance, Craig grabbed a framed photo of hand-written lyrics to “Almost Home” he’d written for Jelly Roll, saying he was inspired by his story and sat on his bus and cried after first watching Jelly’s aforementioned performance on the Opry.
What an incredible and moving moment that goes to show the true power of music… do yourself a favor and check it out: