Country music needs more artists like Jimmie Allen because has dedicated his life to leading by example. And he’s having a moment right now.
His latest single “Best Shot” is the third-most-heard country song in America this week, and he’s on the road supporting his debut album Mercury Lane; headlining solo dates and performing on the Scotty McCreery: Seasons Change Tour.
But the recent success has been a lifetime coming for the rising artist who first got the calling to do music at age seven. The 33-year-old and father of one moved to Nashville from his hometown in Milton, Del. at age 20, worked three jobs to make ends meet, and at one point in his journey, he was forced to live in his car.
To him, his lead single “Best Shot,” is more than an expression of love to another. It’s about focusing on oneself to better serve others.
“I feel like people are always trying to find the solution to making a world a better place,” Allen tells CMT.com. “I honestly believe that the solution is taking each day as an opportunity to examine yourself and figure out how you can become a better person. I feel like once you really focus on yourself and figure out ways to be better, you can’t help but treat everyone else with love and respect.”
How he came to practice this daily mantra is by making mistakes.
“And really learning from them,” he says, “but it’s also seeing people in my life make mistakes. We all want to be good people and live the life we’ve dreamed about. And I think it all starts with our own personal mindset. For me over the years, as I’ve gotten older and become a dad, I’ve really focused on how do I be a better example for my son, my friends and people I meet when I’m at the grocery store.”
Allen adds that he’s never had a backup plan because music is something he was born to do. His performances now incorporates much of his background in stand-up comedy, so fans can expect a solid show of humor and songwriting talent. Live comedy was how he paid the bills in college.
“Music is the only thing I’m good at really,” Allen adds. “My grandma told me years ago, ‘It’s impossible to put 100 percent into two different things. One day one of them is going to suffer.’ So, I never had a backup plan and put 100 percent into music. I figured if I’m honest with myself, and my talent, and I work on it and give myself a good eight-12 years it will happen. And it happened in 10.”
Allen picks up McCreery’s tour in Dallas on Nov. 29.