Over the past year, fans of Jelly Roll and Bunnie Xo have gotten to know and love her dad, Bill.

As he battled Stage IV cancer, Bill moved from Texas to Tennessee to be closer to his daughter and her country superstar husband, and the family documented much of his journey dealing with his illness. He died in May, and given how involved Bunnie had been with his treatment and day-to-day life, some fans were surprised to learn that she wasn't with him when he died.

In the latest installment of her Dumb Blonde podcast, Bunnie recounted the final days of Bill's life and broke down the reasons why she wasn't at his side in his last moments. Complicated family dynamics were a major factor in being by his side in his final days, she explains, and it wasn't for lack of trying on her part.

Though they'd been close for much of his illness, Bunnie and Bill had a falling-out shortly before he died. "This entire situation of us not talking to each other was because he came to me and told me that his wife was abusing him," she reveals. "And I — rightfully so, as his daughter — stuck up for him, and he turned on me because of that."

Bill — who was no longer living close to Bunnie and Jelly by that point — entered the hospital after their argument, and she says he requested that no one tell her he was hospitalized.

A family member did ultimately convey the news, but Bill had been hospitalized several times before, and Bunnie says she didn't realize how close to death her father was. But as days went on, she says she began to grow angrier, especially at the role she claims Bill's wife Suzanne was playing in keeping her apart from her family.

"I texted her, and I was like, 'How dare you take my dad from me, and not only that, but my dad's so sick that the last conversation I'm gonna have with my dad is me being mad at him?'" Bunnie recounts. "...We had words back and forth, and I was like, 'There's a special place in hell for women like you.'"

Ultimately, Bunnie says she and Suzanne were able to put their anger aside enough to open a line of communication, but she says she still didn't feel confident that her dad would want to see her. So even though family members warned her that his condition was worsening, she didn't make arrangements until one day Suzanne told her she should come — right away.

"I'm like, 'Okay, say less. I'll be there.' So I start looking for jets," she recalls. "Our tour manager Ron was sending us quotes back and forth and we were about to lock in a jet, and as soon as we were about to lock in a jet, she [calls] me and she says, 'He just passed away.'"

Bunnie shared more details about the aftermath of Bill's death, including her own complicated feelings about their relationship, on her Patreon page.

What Happened to Bunnie Xo's Dad?

  • Bunnie Xo's father, Bill, was diagnosed with cancer in 2022.
  • He battled his illness privately for a year, but as the cancer progressed, he told Bunnie he was sick and she moved him from Texas to Tennessee to be more involved in his health care.
  • He was placed in hospice care last November, but made remarkable health strides while receiving palliative care.
  • Bunnie and her dad have had a tumultuous relationship over the course of her life, but they made amends during his illness before experiencing a fall-out in the final stage of his life.

Carena Liptak is an Associate Editor and staff writer at Taste of Country. She specializes in breaking country music news, interviews and lists. In particular, she’s got a soft spot for sad songs — check out her roundup of the 50 Saddest Country Songs of All Time!

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