For rising, multi-platinum selling, trailblazing Country star Jimmie Allen, a simple phrase sums up his view on life and music: Never give up.
A native of Southern Delaware – the “slower, lower” part of the state, he explains – Allen has carried that mantra with him through good times and bad, whether than meant living in his car or receiving his first ACM nomination for New Male Artist of the Year in 2019, a CMA Awards nomination for New Artist of the Year in 2020, subsequently winning the ACM Award for New Male Artist of the Year in 2021– the first Black artist to win that category since its inception, and a win with which he hopes “open[s] some doors for more Black artists to have success in country and more Black artists to feel comfortable enough to do country if that’s what they want to do.” Additionally, he is currently nominated for CMA New Artist of the Year for the second consecutive year. GRAMMY.com has hailed Allen as one of “5 Black Artists Rewriting Country Music.”
With the 2018 release of his debut album Mercury Lane – named in tribute to the street he grew up on and the origin of his incredible journey – on BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records, a lifetime of never giving up brought him full circle.
Allen has been following his own compass, and it’s leading somewhere special. In 2017, he caught his big break and signed a record deal with BBR Music Group/Stoney Creek Records and a team who embraced his individuality.
Those driving forces formed the bedrock of Mercury Lane – a cutting-edge mix of country, rock, R&B, and pop, produced by Ash Bowers and Eric Torres, that received critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone raving that it “challenges the narrowly defined model of what constitutes a next big thing in country music” and The New York Times hailing it one of 2018’s strongest, calling it a “conventional country album, filled with songs about the small details.”
With Mercury Lane, Allen made history as the first Black artist to launch a career with two consecutive No. 1 hits on country radio, with “Best Shot” claiming the No. 1 spot for three weeks and his second single “Make Me Want To” hitting the top spot in March 2020.Allen’s hard-earned dreams are finally becoming reality, but he shows no signs of limiting himself.
He followed up the success of Mercury Lane with his July 2020 collaboration project, Bettie James, that has amassed 171+ million streams and has further established Allen as Country’s next superstar. The star-studded seven-track project combined his deep love of family and genre-spanning taste in music. Named in honor of Allen’s late grandmother, Bettie Snead, who passed away in 2014 and his late father, James Allen, who passed away in 2019, Allen hand selected artist that touched the life of Allen, his grandmother and father in some way, allowing their legacies to weave seamlessly throughout Bettie James. The wide array of hitmakers include Brad Paisley, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, Mickey Guyton, Nelly, Noah Cyrus, The Oak Ridge Boys, Rita Wilson, Tauren Wells and Tim McGraw.
Allen, who has an incredible knack for connecting with people of all backgrounds and interests, enjoyed collaborating with other artists so much while making his monumentally successful predecessor that he didn't want to stop – so instead, in trademark Allen fashion, he kept going. The result: Bettie James Gold Edition. Released June 25, 2021, the 16-track album doubles down on Allen’s expansive love for music across genres, with nine brand new collaborations with Babyface, Breland, Keith Urban, LANCO, Lathan Warlick, Lindsay Ell, Little Big Town, LOCASH, Monica, Neon Union, Pitbull, teamwork. and Vikina.
As Allen’s rising star power shows no signs of slowing down, he remains unapologetically himself and proof of what can happen when you never give up.