Jelly Roll and Eminem Before Stepping to the Stage at the Detroit Michigan Central Station Opening Concert

The Detroit artist who performed with Eminem at the Michigan Central Station reopening told Howard Stern how that epic night came together.

It all started last year at a Jelly Roll show in Detroit. Apparently, Eminem’s longtime manager, Paul Rosenberg, was there with a mission. They were hanging out backstage when Jelly Roll asked, “Does Marshall even know who I am?” Rosenberg assured him Em was a huge fan, and they would cook something up. Jelly Roll thought it was just manager talk, and Paul was just being polite. But things were dead serious.

Fast forward to the reopening of the Michigan Central Station. Eminem and Rosenberg were executive producing the show and wanted to have Jelly Roll on the bill. They called him not just to perform but to honour a legend: Bob Seger. Jelly Roll explains:

They wanted me to sing “Hollywood Nights“, but I was like, “Yo, can I sing ‘Turn the Page’ instead?” They said, “Yeah, we can do this medley”.

But the ultimate rock and roll number was not the only thing Eminem had in mind for Jelly Roll.

Then they called back and like, “Eminem wants to know if you would sing a song with him”. First of all, I got goosebumps up my body. I said, “I bet it’s ‘Sing for the Moment’”. They were, “That’s exactly what it is”. I was like, “Dude, I’m so in”.

Sharing the stage with his idol was a dream come true, even if the nerves got the best of the younger artist. They did not spend much time getting ready for the performance. Rehearsing with a music legend Jelly Roll idolised, he had only one shot to do it right.

I didn’t meet him ‘till the day we did it. I met him at rehearsal when we ran through it together. I was so nervous. It definitely wasn’t my best performance. You could see the nerves on my face.

Performing the song that had so much personal meaning for Jelly Roll added to the pressure:

This song did a lot for me in the dark moments of my life, too. This particular song of his I’m singing. And I’m a lifelong fan. There is no white kid in the world that didn’t grow up listening to Eminem rapping. He gave me hope. There’s not enough praise for him. He’s inarguably the greatest rapper that ever lived. Ever. That’s just not an arguable thing.

Sharing the stage with his idol was a dream come true, even if the nerves got the best of the fan-turned-artist. But the emotion was genuine, and this is what counts. You can watch a Slim Shady and Jelly Roll duet below.

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