Jelly Roll expresses difficulty in booking an international tour, citing obstacles due to his criminal record.

Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.

“We’re working on that. I think it’s going to work in my favor,” stated Jelly, who has faced incarceration approximately 40 times due to various drug charges.

For Jelly Roll, venturing beyond the borders of the United States isn’t straightforward. In a recent Interview Magazine discussion with Jon Bon Jovi, the 39-year-old country artist delved into why he hasn’t toured internationally yet, attributing it to his past encounters with the legal system.

“I’m so excited [to perform outside the United States]. We’re figuring out the final pieces of some legal puzzles for me to get overseas,” Jelly remarked.

“It’s funny, America has finally agreed to let me leave and give me a passport, but some countries won’t let me come because of my felonies,” remarked the Grammy-nominated artist. “We’re working on that. I think it’s going to work in my favor.”

Despite the obstacles, Jelly Roll maintains a positive outlook on the situation, as he shared with Bon Jovi, “For the record, I’m a kid from Antioch, Tennessee, whose father never left the southeastern region until he was in his 50s.”

“I still have friends in Antioch who have never left,” the “Need a Favor” singer continued. “They’ve never seen a football game downtown—just watch the Titans on TV every Sunday. I’m like, ‘You know the stadium is 18 minutes away, right? We can get a ticket for $10.'”

The musician, born Jason Bradley DeFord, has faced a tumultuous journey marked by numerous encounters with the law, primarily for various drug-related offenses. His first brush with the legal system occurred at the tender age of 14. At 16, he was arrested for aggravated robbery, tried as an adult, and subsequently served over a year in prison, followed by seven years of probation.

Reflecting on his past actions, Jelly Roll acknowledges the severity of his crimes. In an interview with Billboard last year, he expressed remorse, stating, “I never want to overlook the fact that it was a heinous crime.” He recognizes the gravity of his actions as a 16-year-old, acknowledging the potential harm his choices could have caused. Despite the severity of his past, he acknowledges that no one was harmed by his actions, a stroke of luck he attributes to divine intervention.

Before rising to prominence in recent years and achieving three No. 1 country hits in 2023 alone, Jelly Roll underwent a transformative journey. He actively worked on overcoming his struggles with addiction and reevaluated his relationship with destructive habits.

“I had to learn that you could drink alcohol without doing cocaine. It took me a long time to learn that,” shared the “Son of a Sinner” performer with PEOPLE in December. “I’ve never said that, but that’s real. There was a long time where I just assumed, when people told me they drank without doing cocaine, I was like, I thought we only drank to do cocaine.”

Despite never undergoing formal rehab for his drug addiction, Jelly Roll now dedicates his time to visiting recovery centers across the United States. He provides support by sharing meals, playing music, and offering companionship to those in need.

“I always said that if I ever got in this situation, I would do everything I could to give back,” he expressed. “The fact that just me showing up places can make people happy is such a gift, and I feel like if God gave me that gift, I should show up.”