Who is Jelly Roll's Wife? His Inspiring Love Story With Bunnie XO

The country music star once called her "a beacon of change in my life."
Jelly Roll and his wife Bunnie XO
Photo: Taylor Hill | WireImage
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Feb 06, 2024

If you're tuned into the country music scene, you know that Jelly Roll is one of the genre's biggest rising stars today. The Tennessee-born singer (whose real name is Jason DeFord) broke into the music industry as a hip-hop performer in 2003 before transitioning to country a few years later. He gained mainstream notoriety in 2023 when he won three CMT Music Awards, which later landed him a 2024 Grammy Nomination for Best New Artist. Given the performer's quick rise to fame, fans can't help but wonder about his romantic life.

Jelly Roll's wife is Bunnie XO, a podcaster and social media personality with nearly 10 million followers across her platforms. Bunnie (also known as Alyssa DeFord) has been in her husband's life since 2015—and their love story is nothing short of inspiring. Here's everything to know about Jelly Roll and his wife Bunnie, from their relationship timeline to the surprising details of their wedding and their secret to making their romance thrive in the spotlight.

  • Jelly Roll's wife is Bunnie XO. They met in 2015 at one of the singer's concerts in Las Vegas.
  • Jelly Roll and Bunnie XO got engaged in 2016, and they hosted an impromptu wedding that same day.
  • Jelly Roll and his wife renewed their wedding vows in 2023 at the same Las Vegas chapel where they got married.
  • Bunnie XO is the stepmother to Jelly Roll's children, daughter Bailee and son Noah, from previous relationships.

In this article:

Who is Jelly Roll's Wife? Details About Bunnie XO

Jelly Roll's wife is Bunnie XO. Best known as a social media personality, she hosts the Dumb Blonde Podcast, a weekly show that often highlights authors, musicians, and internet personalities.

Since she began dating Jelly Roll in 2015, she also assumed the role of stepmother to his daughter from a previous relationship, Bailee. The singer opened up about their relationship in a 2020 Facebook post, saying they have a "beautiful mother-daughter bond," adding, "It takes a special kind of woman to raise a kid that isn't her child and still treat the child as if she was."

He continued, "You are the epitome of a good mom and deserve more credit than anyone because you didn't have to step up to the plate the way you did. You chose to step up and man you have knocked it out of the park. Thank you Mama Bear — we love you."

How Jelly Roll and Bunnie Met

Jelly Roll and his wife Bunnie met at one of his concerts at Las Vegas' Country Saloon in 2015. During an appearance on the King and the Sting and the Wing Clips podcast, Jelly Roll said that, although they talked backstage, she was dating someone else at the time. They still kept in touch, and after Bunnie broke things off, things turned romantic. "They split, and I'm not going to act like I shot my shot. She kind of shot hers," Jelly Roll explained.

When Bunnie caught wind that Jelly Roll would be traveling to Las Vegas to film a music video, she offered up her place for him to stay—and the rest is history. "It's a white trash love story," Jelly Roll jokingly told the hosts, before revealing that he was living in his van at the time. "When I hugged her, I could just feel the genuineness of her. I could tell it wasn't an act."

Jelly Roll and Bunnie's Relationship Timeline

Jelly Roll and his wife Bunnie have been together for nearly 10 years. Look back on their complete relationship timeline, from 2015 to today.

2015: Jelly Roll and Bunnie XO Meet

It all began in 2015 when Jelly Roll and his future wife Bunnie met backstage at one of his Las Vegas shows. Though they began as platonic friends, their relationship turned romantic after Jelly Roll stayed at Bunnie's house while he filmed a music video.

2016: Jelly Roll and Bunnie XO Get Engaged…and Married!

One year after they began dating, Jelly Roll proposed to Bunnie XO onstage at a Yelawolf and Deftones concert in Las Vegas—but that's not the craziest part of the story. Later that night, the two decided to elope. We break down all the details of their same-day engagement and wedding below.

2022: Jelly Roll and Wife Bunnie XO Make Their Red Carpet Debut

Jelly Roll and wife Bunny XO at the 2022 CMA Awards
Photo: Taylor Hill | FilmMagic

Jelly Roll's wife accompanied him to his very first red carpet appearance at the 2022 CMA Awards in Nashville. The following year, Jelly Roll won the 2023 CMA Award for New Artist of the Year—and he was sure to give Bunnie an extra-special shoutout in his acceptance speech. "I got a thousand people to thank, but most importantly, my Lord and my wife," he said. "I love you so much. You changed my life."

2023: Jelly Roll Opens Up About His Wife's Impact on His Life

During his June 2023 cover story interview with Billboard, Jelly Roll called his wife "a beacon of change in my life." He continued, "You're talking about a woman that came in and took a child that was soon to be born and a child that [we were] soon to have full custody of. I would have never got custody of my daughter without her. I wouldn't have had the stability or the money."

2023: Jelly Roll and Bunnie XO Renew Their Vows

On August 31, 2023, Jelly Roll and his wife returned to the Las Vegas chapel where they originally got married to renew their vows. For the special occasion, Jelly Roll wore a maroon suit while Bunnie opted for a sparkly form-fitting long sleeve dress. The podcaster shared an Instagram Reel of the ceremony, captioning it, "Lucky #7 🎰 Luckiest girl alive. Tonite was such a dream✨"

Jelly Roll reminisced on the significance of the venue in his own post. "7 years ago my wife and stumbled into a little chapel in Las Vegas. 7 years later we walked into that same little chapel and renewed our vows … my only regret on the night we got married was I never got to see her in a dress…. We made that right," he captioned an Instagram Reel from the day. "I may have never gave my wife the wedding she truly deserved but I plan on giving her the life she deserves for the rest of it. I love you more [than] anything mama bear. You are my anchor."

2024: Bunnie XO Supports Her Husband at the Grammys

Jelly Roll and wife Bunnie XO at the 2024 Grammys
Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

In 2024, Jelly Roll secured a nomination for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards. The day after the ceremony, Bunnie XO took to Instagram to share a heartfelt message supporthing her husband's success. "I remember there were times we had to borrow money because we couldn't pay our rent. When we didn't kno how two ppl like us were going to be responsible for a child full time. How we didn't kno if we were going to make it together," she began.

"But we walked thru every obstacle together, hand in hand- thru the fires. And last night we got to walk hand in hand into the GRAMMY's w/ Bailee together." She added, "You are such a force to be reckoned with papa… No matter where we go, your diamond treasure chest soul lights up every room & you always make sure to sprinkle each person w/ little gems to remember your sparkle by."

She concluded, "You are what the world needs right now- a breath of fresh air. So humble yet so determined to leave your mark. I am eternally grateful to be your passenger through it all. I love you Mista J, forever & always. ✨"

Jelly Roll and Bunnie's Wedding

On the day that Jelly Roll and Bunnie XO got engaged, they decided to make it official by heading to a Las Vegas chapel that same night. The "Son of a Sinner" singer opened up about their spur-of-the-moment decision on the King and the Sting and the Wing Clips podcast. "We got married kind of randomly," he recalled. "It was Vegas, right? So it's like 11 o'clock. They're closing the joint down by Hard Rock [Cafe] and I'm like, 'F— it. Let's just go now.' She's like, 'The courthouse is open for about 34 to 44 more minutes.' I was like, 'Let's f------ roll.'"

Although some expressed doubts about the relationship, Jelly Roll added that it only made their love stronger. "We stuck it out. We were like the story nobody thought of. She's my best friend, man. She really is," he said.

The Secret to Jelly Roll and Bunnie's Marriage

Jelly Roll and wife Bunnie with daughter Bailee
Photo: Kayla Oaddams | WireImage

In a 2020 Instagram post, Jelly Roll revealed the secret to his marriage with Bunnie XO—and it's all about communication. "Somebody asked me what's the secret to our marriage the other day. I didn't even have to think about — it's simple — we are comfortable having uncomfortable conversations," he shared online. "We have [learned] to laugh at the small s— , and above everything we don't take anything [too] seriously."

He added, "This woman is my backbone in life, she's beautiful, smart, witty, and you wouldn't believe how silly she really is."

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