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Jelly Roll & Wynonna Judd Kick Off 2023 CMA Awards With a ‘Favor’ of a Performance

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Jelly Roll and Wynonna Judd kicked off the 2023 CMA Awards ceremony on Wednesday (Nov. 8) at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with a rousing rendition of the former’s hit “Need a Favor.”

The performance began with just Jelly on stage with his choir backing him up, the stage behind him set up to resemble a church. Then in a surprise, The Judds singer glided onto the stage to join him for the first chorus. She was not previously announced as a performer.

“I only talk to God when I need a favor/ And I only pray when I ain’t got a prayer,” she belted out, her vocals strong and clear. “So who the hell am I/ Who the hell am I to expect a savior?”

The two traded lines as they duetted the rest of the No. 1 Billboard Country Airplay hit. As they performed, the star-studded audience enjoyed the set. Post Malone was shown rocking out, while Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman nodded along, and Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes watched with interest.

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Jelly Roll is a first-time nominee for the CMAs, and has five nods. He is second only to top nominee Lainey Wilson, who has nine nominations. Among the awards Jelly is up for are single of the year and video of the year for “Need a Favor,” and male vocalist of the year. Jelly Roll is also set to perform The Judds’ “Love Can Build a Bridge” alongside K. Michelle during the ceremony.

The 57th annual CMAs aired live on ABC, and was hosted by Luke Combs and Peyton Manning.

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