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The Chronicle

Late-night bathroom break results in run-in with musician Jelly Roll for Lewis County residents


When Sadie Burdick made a stop at Love’s Travel Stop in Napavine at about 2 a.m. Saturday, she wasn’t expecting to see a country music star.

Yet, as she walked through the business, she spotted an unmistakable sight in the chip aisle — award-winning musician Jelly Roll, whose real name is Jason Bradley DeFord.

“We stopped really quick to use the restroom and looked to my right to see Jelly Roll in the chip aisle,” Burdick recalled in a message to The Chronicle. “One of the nicest, down-to-earth people and definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We finished off our interaction by a hug and him telling us to be safe.”

Burdick, 19, a barista from Chehalis, shared the celebrity interaction with her friend Evie Thomas, 17, a senior at Adna High School.

“Not only were we excited to see him, but it felt like he was excited to see us!” Thomas wrote in a message to The Chronicle. “You can tell he cares about his fans. I wasn’t expecting to see him or anyone else at that hour, but meeting him will have an impact on both of our lives permanently.”

Burdick and Thomas spent about five minutes talking with the musician, who asked them about growing up in the area and posed for a photo with them.

Jelly Roll started his career as a rapper in the early 2000s before transitioning into country music. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut on Nov. 9, 2021. In May 2022, Jelly Roll landed his first No. 1 hit on rock radio with the track "Dead Man Walking.” Last January, he scored his first No. 1 song on country radio with his debut country single "Son of a Sinner."

At the 2023 CMT Music Awards, he won for Male Video of the Year, Male Breakthrough Video of the Year and Digital-First Performance of the Year, all for the song "Son of a Sinner.”

He’s currently on the 44-city Backroad Baptism Tour.

His stop in Napavine early Saturday morning came after a Friday night concert in Ridgefield and before scheduled performances at The Gorge Amphitheatre. He was scheduled to be in Bend, Oregon, on Tuesday night.

Jelly Roll is married to Bunnie DeFord, also known as Bunnie XO, who has a massive following of her own on social media.

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