Jelly Roll and his wife Bunnie Xo were all smiles at the ACM Awards, but she was hurting inside. Just days before the Texas awards show, the podcast host's father, Bill, died.

Talking to Taste of Country Nights, Jelly Roll said his wife is doing better, but the emotions are complicated.

"It's kind of one of those things where it was a sad ending to a book that already wasn't incredible," he tells Evan Paul. Look for the full interview on the Taste of Country Nights on Demand Podcast on May 28.

  • Bunnie Xo announced her father's death on May 8.
  • He'd been battling cancer and was living with the couple during his final months.
  • Her mother Vanessa died in November 2022, just before the 2022 CMA Awards.

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"She's hurt," the "Halfway to Hell" singer shares. "Her and her father didn't have the best relationship throughout her whole life. They really didn't start getting too cool until she was in her 30s and even then, it was very tumultuous."

In recent years they grew closer. Jelly (real name Jason DeFord) says he loved Bill and will miss him. Both he and Bunnie (Alisa) had shared the ups and downs of his cancer journey since last summer. He was placed in hospice in November, but his health improved to the point that he could get a hip replacement earlier this year.

"Hey Bill, I'm going to miss you," she said in revealing his passing. "You are still my favorite rock star & my hero. This one's going to hurt."

The singer also has one regret ...

"I never slowed down through it all," Jelly Roll admits. "I felt so bad. My wife was having to grieve alone. This (career), it's just hard to stop. But we spent a lot of time together and we're going out of town this week ... I think we're going to spend a couple of days, just me and her somewhere and kind of talk about it all."

Jelly Roll's father, Horace "Buddy" DeFord, died in 2019 after battling cancer. His mother is still alive but battling her own health troubles. Other known family members include his two brothers and his two kids: daughter Bailee Ann and son, Noah.

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