Jelly Roll cries thinking of Bette Midler song that his mom said to play at her funeral

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Jelly Roll continued his reign as the most honest artist in country music.

During an appearance on The Howard Stern Show Wednesday, Jelly Roll became emotional while describing the impact one song had on his life and relationship with his mother. 

“By the way, I love this story, too,” Stern told Jelly Roll. “That song, ‘Save Me,’ was inspired by the song by Bette Midler, ‘The Rose,’ because you and your mom used to listen all the time.”

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Jelly Roll onstage

Country star Jelly Roll teared up thinking of the song his mother wants him to play at her funeral. (Getty Images)

Stern asked if Jelly Roll, whose full name is Jason Bradley DeFord, had ever met Midler.

“Oh goodness no,” Jelly Roll said. “If I meet her or James Taylor, I’m gonna cry on the spot.” 

“This is a beautiful song, ‘The Rose,'” Stern said.

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“My mother would play this, keep in mind she was a really dark woman at the time. She would say, ‘Play this at my funeral,'” Jelly Roll remembered.

Jelly Roll wears black hat on the howard stern show.

Jelly Roll told Stern he would cry “on the spot” if he ever met Bette Midler or James Taylor (Jason Kempin)

“She would sit at the kitchen table… I still get emotional listening to it. And she would smoke these cigarettes, and she would just be like, ‘Just remember to play this when I die.’”

He added, “So the first tattoo I ever got was a rose on my back with her name.” 

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“How does a mother say to her son, ‘Please play this at my funeral,’” Howard wondered.

Jelly Roll wears black hat and vest for portrait photo

Jelly Roll, whose full name is Jason DeFord, is country music’s biggest star. (Kevin Winter)

“That’s coming from a woman who didn’t think she was going to live, and I know how that feels,” Jelly Roll said. “I know how it feels to think you’re not going to live.”

The “Son of a Sinner” singer also told Stern that he met wife Bunnie Xo at a bar when he was “just so lost in life.”

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“I loved her from go. I loved her from the moment I met her.”

He said of their love, “I think it’s one of the wildest stories that has ever happened in the music business.”

Jelly Roll in a cream with black sleeves leather jacket on the carpet with Bunny Xo in a patterned dress with black trim

Jelly Roll said one of the secrets to his successful marriage with Bunnie is “honest communication.” (Taylor Hill/WireImage/Getty Images)

Jelly Roll told Fox News Digital at the 2024 CMT Music Awards that they keep their seven-year marriage strong through simple, honest conversations.

“Open, real, honest communication,” Jelly Roll told Fox News Digital. “We talk about the uncomfortable stuff up front. It’s a real important thing in our marriage.”

“And also, we don’t take nothing too serious,” he added. “Have a short memory. Laugh as much as you can. Laughter is the best medicine.”

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