“I’m a firm believer you create your own opportunities,” Jimmie Allen says, “and you do that by taking risks.” His willingness — even eagerness — to embrace new career experiences now finds him fully engaged with CMT on Tour, playing to enthusiastic crowds with headliner Michael Ray and the exciting new sister duo, Walker County. Get tour dates.
The Delaware native continues to ride high on the popularity of his debut single, “Best Shot.” It held the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s country airplay charts for two weeks in a row, and its accompanying music video netted him a CMT Music Awards nomination for breakthrough video of the year.
Although a relatively new face to country fans, Allen has been a fixture on Nashville’s Music Row since arriving in town a dozen years ago. And when it comes to hard times, he has a few stories to tell — about living out of his car and scraping up money to hire guitar players so he could sing at songwriter showcases. Eventually, he taught himself to play guitar and was able to eat a little better after that.
Allen’s auditions for America’s Got Talent and American Idol yielded him no blue ribbons, but they did earn him valuable contacts with rising talents in the music industry, among them Scotty McCreery with whom he toured after the release of Allen’s 2018 debut album, Mercury Lane. His second single, “Make Me Want To,” is currently making its way up the charts.
The years of pursuing his musical dreams came at a cost, Allen admits, but they clarified his mission as well. “There’s been so many nights when I’m like, ’Why am I doing this?’ he says, ’I’m missing out on so much … weddings, anniversaries, funerals, birthday parties and time with my son.’ …
“And then you have those moments when you play an arena and ten thousand people are singing your song back to you. And then you get messages from people saying, ’Hey, this song saved my marriage. My husband’s away in the military, and we type the lyrics back and forth, and it feels like he’s next to me.’”