Jelly Roll Shares Powerful, Gospel-Tinged ‘Need a Favor’ at 2023 CMT Music Awards
For his debut, the Tennessee native lit up the stage. Already a winner this evening, he was joined by a full choir of gospel singers. Following a brief introduction from co-host Kane Brown, 16 singers appeared on stage offering haunting harmonies before Jelly Roll and his band launched into the tune.
Jelly Roll, dressed in a leather jacket amid a marquee, stood in one place and belted out the lyrics of the tune with his signature raucous vocals, earning expressions of approval from Wynonna Judd and LeAnn Rimes, who were looking on from the audience.
"I only talk to God, when I need a favor / And I only pray, when I ain't got a prayer / So, who the hell am I? / Who the hell am I, to expect a savior? Oh-oh-ohh / If I only talk to God, when I need a favor? / But God, I need a favor / Amen, amen," Jelly Roll belted out the chorus.
The singer came into the awards show as a first-time nominee with three nods. He snagged nominations for Male Video of the Year and Breakthrough Video of the Year for his "Son of a Sinner" music video, as well as CMT Digital-First Performance of the Year for his performance of "Son of a Sinner" from CMT All Access.
Earlier in the telecast, Jelly Roll scored his first-ever CMT Music Award with "Son of A Sinner." He won the trophy for Digital-First Performance. The track is his breakout, No. 1 hit and second single from his 2021 album Ballads of the Broken.
As for "Need a Favor," Jelly Roll officially sent that track to radio on Feb. 13. Much like his debut hit, "Need a Favor" finds Jelly Roll singing about the theme of faith and spirituality as he admits he doesn't deserve for his prayers to be answered, but he prays them all the same.
"Need a Favor" will be included on Jelly Roll's upcoming new record, Whitsitt Chapel, set for release on June 2 via Stoney Creek Records. The singer announced the new project at the recent Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, and it is set to include a total of 13 tracks.
The 2023 CMT Music Awards — hosted by Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown — aired on Sunday (April 2) live from Austin, Texas on CBS.