Runs In The Family

Though she’s just in her early 20s, and still attending college, Music City native Jaelee Roberts is already familiar with—and to—the music industry. Born to veteran music professionals, she grew up backstage at the Grand Ole Opry amid rehearsals, business meetings, recording sessions, as well as countless festivals, concerts and church services. These experiences, along with her love of the music, have deeply rooted Jaelee in the bluegrass music community.

These strong roots naturally helped her grow into a clear self-awareness about what she wanted to be when she “grew up.” “I think I just kind of always knew…I always wanted to be Dolly Parton,” says Jaelee. “I could never see myself doing anything else.”

Jaelee got her start singing in church at a very early age. She began taking fiddle lessons at four years old and has since added guitar, mandolin, and piano to her musical arsenal. By the time she was 12 years old, she had been a featured and harmony vocalist on seven recorded songs. From age 6 to 12, Jaelee participated in and won numerous music and dance competitions but decided to take a step back from competing after discovering a true passion for performing.

Now, Jaelee is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, majoring in Commercial Songwriting in the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.

In September 2021, Roberts received the IBMA Momentum Vocalist of the Year award at World of Bluegrass, and shared the IBMA Vocal Group of the Year honors with her bandmates in the GRAMMY-nominated bluegrass group, Sister Sadie. Her debut album Something You Didn’t Count On from Mountain Home Records was released in May 2022 to rave reviews and a Top 10 placement on the prestigious Billboard Bluegrass Chart. To date, there have been five singles released from the album: the title track, “Still Waters,” “Think Again,” “You Can’t Stop Me From Staying,” and “Sad Songs,” with each one landing on several charts.

By Dan Walsh

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