Jelly Roll took home the coveted gong for CMA New Artist of the Year, with the genre-blending maverick delivering a soul-stirring, motivational acceptance speech after taking the accolade.
The Tennessee native paid tribute to all his fellow nominees, giving a special shout-out to Zach Bryan, with Jelly Roll deeming the ’Something in the Orange’ hitmaker to be one of the most exciting talents across all genres, not just country music.
Jelly went on to inspiringly underline that his success proves it's never too late to chase your dreams, “There is something poetic about a 39-year-old man winning New Artist of the Year. I don't know where you're at in your life or what you're going through....[but] what's in front of you is so much more important than what's behind you”.
Earlier in the evening, Jelly Roll kicked off proceedings with a spine-tingling performance of his No. 1 single, ‘Need A Favor’, with Wynonna emerging onto the stage as a surprise guest.
Last year's CMA New Artist of the Year victor was Lainey Wilson, with the ‘Watermelon Moonshine’ hitmaker having now cemented her status as one of the most lustrous stars in modern country.
As a result, the title of ‘CMA New Artist of the Year’ is not given lightly, and heading into the ceremony, many were tipping this category to be one of the most hotly contested of the night.
Attendees at Nashville's expansive Bridgestone Arena were serenaded by a truly spectacular array of artist appearances throughout the 2023 CMA Awards, with Morgan Wallen and Eric Church teaming up for a breathtaking performance of ‘Man Made A Bar’.
Elsewhere in the evening, the likes of Lainey Wilson, Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson and Mac McAnally took the stage for unforgettable performances.
For Holler's full CMA Awards coverage, head here.
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Featured photo by Laura Ord