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Jelly Roll Sweeps Three Categories at CMT Music Awards, Including Video of the Year


Helping cement his status as country music’s newest superstar, Jelly Roll swept all three categories in which he was nominated Sunday night at the CMT Music Awards, including music video of the year for his gospel-flavored “Need a Favor.”

Likely having seen it coming, but also knowing Jelly Roll is a tough act to follow, the show’s producers saved his performance of his current country radio single “Halfway to Heaven” until the last five minutes of the telecast, coming right after his climactic win.

Other winners in the all-fan-voted results included fellow frontrunner Lainey Wilson for female video of the year for “Watermelon Moonshine” and Dan + Shay for duo/group video for “Save Me the Trouble.” Warren Zeiders picked up breakthrough male video for “Pretty Little Poison,” while Ashley Cooke won equivalent honors for breakthrough female video for “Your Place. The pairing of Carly Pearce and Chris Stapleton for collaborative video for “We Don’t Fight Anymore.”

Lainey Wilson performs onstage at the 2024 CMT Music Awards held at the Moody Center on April 7, 2024 in Austin, Texas.
Gilbert Flores for Billboard

Beyond video of the year, Jelly Roll’s other two wins came for male video of the year, also for “Need a Favor,” and for CMT performance, an award given for a rendering exclusive to the network, for his live version of that breakout song on the 2023 CMT Awards.

“Billy Bob Thornton just gave me my third award tonight, y’all!” Jelly Roll exulted upon getting his climactic honor from the actor, who was representing Austin, the home of the CMT Music Awards for the second year running. Harking back to a moment in the show when presenter Gayle King said she had asked Jelly Roll not to party too much so he would be ready for her show Monday morning, the singer said, “Gayle King, I’m gonna be a little late in the morning because we’re gonna party, Austin.”

He gave shout-outs to the two fellow performers who were the competing finalists for video of the year, in fan voting that continued well into the live broadcast. “Man, Cody Johnson .. you are my favorite cowboy, forever and ever and ever. Kelsea Ballerini, you know what I think of you too. You go, baby.”

Saying that she was given 30 seconds to fill time while Jelly Roll made his way from the winner’s mic to his pyro-filled set for a concluding performance, Ballerini told the CBS/Paramount+ viewing audience what she’d already told Variety: that she was electing to move on after hosting the show yet again this year. “This is my fourth year hosting; this is my last year hosting. And I just had so much joy doing this, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity,” she added, calling out CMT execs and producers. When, in subsequently making a minor hiccup in introducing Jelly Roll’s finale, she quipped, “See, I’m fired!”

Accepting her award for female video, Wilson said, “My heart is beating out of my chest, I’m not gonna lie.” She congratulated “every single girl that was in this category… All of them are dear friends, and they work their tail off and dedicate their life to creating this vision and bringing it to life… It’s unreal watching these girls do what they do.” She thanked the CMTs “for supporting women in country — it’s a big dang deal.”