Jelly Roll was a winner at the fan-voted 2024 People's Choice Awards on Sunday night (Feb. 18), but he wasn't at the show — held in Santa Monica, Calif. —  to claim his trophy.

Instead, the "Save Me" star was back home in Tennessee, fulfilling a promise to incarcerated youth that he made months ago.

After he won Male Country Artist of the Year at the PCAs, Jelly Roll hopped on social media to thank the fans for voting for him, and reassure them that his absence wasn't a reflection on how seriously he took the honor.

"I've always said, I don't have the biggest fan base but I have the mightiest fan base....Y'all have never let me down. Thank you," he said in his video message. "Thank you to the People's Choice. I'm sorry I wasn't there."

In the background of his recording, Jelly Roll stood in front of a stairwell at a juvenile detention facility, and he explained that he hadn't been able to make the awards show because he was busy making good on an important commitment.

"Here's the truth: I'm standing in the juvenile courthouse right now. I just walked out of the juvenile facility. We partnered with The Beat of Life to bring a music program to the kids. This is has been on my calendar for a long time," the singer continued. "I promised these kids I was coming. I know whenever I was a kid in here, I got let down a lot. I didn't wanna be one of the people letting these kids down. I had to honor my word.

"I hate I wasn't [at the awards show], but don't take me not being there as a sign of anything other than love, and respect, and me trying to do better for my community, baby," Jelly Roll summed up.

As a teen, Jelly Roll was incarcerated at the Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center on multiple occasions, often for drug-related offenses. Ever since finding success as a musician, he's made it a point to give back: Early on in his career, he funded a record studio to be built at the Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center, in order to foster a love of music in children incarcerated at the facility.

After spending time with the kids at the center for his new the Beat of Life partnership, Jelly Roll was fired up about what lies in store for the program.

"These kids wrote some big songs today, man. We're gonna work something out where you can start hearing what we're working on in this juvenile. But the Jelly studio is running," he confirmed.

Another big winner at the 2024 People's Choice Awards was Lainey Wilson, who walked away with the title of Female Country Artist of the Year. Wilson was at the ceremony, where she also performed a medley of hits.

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Gallery Credit: Carena Liptak

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