Jelly Roll Joining ‘American Idol’ As Guest Mentor

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The rising country star will appear alongside Tori Kelly in the new season of reality singing competition.

<p>Gilbert Flores/Billboard via Getty Images</p>

Gilbert Flores/Billboard via Getty Images

Get ready for more Jelly Roll!

The rising country music star will appear on Season 22 of American Idol as a guest mentor and performer, Entertainment Tonight reports.

The Tennessee native will be joining season nine alum Tori Kelly, who will also be mentoring and performing. Their episodes will tape at Aulani: A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai'i.

Jelly Roll, born Jason DeFord, appeared twice during last year’s season of American Idol. He performed “Need a Favor” with contestant Oliver Steele and later partnered with Lainey Wilson to perform “Save Me” for the season finale.

After a difficult start in life and a 10-year prison sentence, Jelly Roll burst onto the country music scene in his mid 30s. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut in November 2021 and scored his first number-one song with his debut country single, “Son of a Sinner," in January 2023. That song earned him Male Video of the Year, Male Breakthrough Video of the Year, and Digital-First Performance of the Year at the 2023 CMT Music Awards. He recently received two Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist.

Even as his career soars to new heights, the 39 year old hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

In a January interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Jelly Roll joined reporter Kelefa Sanneh for a tour of his former cell at the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility in Nashville.

"There was a time in my life where I truly thought … this was it. And then coming here, you know, just after getting nominated for two Grammys, it just hits different. … I didn't think I'd get emotional, to be honest,” he said, becoming increasingly choked up. "Even when I left here, I didn't have a plan. I knew that I loved music, and I knew it was the only thing I had any skill set [for].”

American Idol season 22 premieres Sunday February 18 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC

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