WASHINGTON – While fentanyl ranks among the leading causes of American deaths, it doesn’t frequently make headlines in news or social media. Yet, when country music sensation Jason DeFord, widely recognized as “Jelly Roll,” passionately advocated in front of Congress for legislation to curb the supply and distribution of fentanyl, his impactful testimony reverberated across social platforms and news outlets.
“At every concert I perform, I witness the heartbreaking impact of fentanyl,” DeFord said. “I see fans grappling with this tragedy in the form of music, that they seek solace in music and hope that their experiences won’t befall others.”
DeFord testified at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on “Stopping the Flow of Fentanyl,” where he called on lawmakers to pass the FEND Off Fentanyl Act.
The legislation passed the Senate last July but has yet to make it through the House.
“I’ve attended more funerals than I care to share with y’all,” DeFord said. “I could sit here and cry for days about the caskets I’ve carried of people I love dearly, deeply in my soul. Good people, not just drug addicts. Uncles, friends, cousins, normal people.”
Loved ones of those who have died from fentanyl are taking to social media to support Jelly Roll’s testimony.
“Thank you for your service, Jelly Roll,” Robert De Niro’s daughter Drena wrote on Instagram.
As Emily’s Hope previously reported, Drena’s 19-year-old son, Leandro De Niro-Rodriguez, died from fentanyl last year.
“Much gratitude and respect to all who are willing to speak up for the voiceless and nameless in what is a brutal epidemic.”