Before Jimmie Allen landed his record deal with BBR Music Group, his parents gave him a piece of advice.
"My dad and my mom told me, 'Don't just think there's one way to be successful,'" Allen quoted. "Remember, there's more than one way to spread your name and who you are in country music. It's helped my career in a tremendous way."
Allen took their advice by thinking beyond country radio and booking television appearances, including "Dancing with the Stars" and his Monday night hosting gig at the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards.
During his appearance on the show, Allen dedicated his new single "Down Home" to his parents, who never faltered in their support of him. Allen's dad, James, passed away in 2019. Allen wrote the song alongside Cameron Bedell, Rian Ball and Tate Howell and the writers positioned it like a letter to his late father that spotlights their enduring connection.
Allen said Howell, his guitar player, had tried to get him to write about his dad for years but that he wasn't ready until now.
"I just talked about him and let him know that we miss him, and he's the reason why I fell in love with country music," Allen said. "I feel like it was time. I feel in the right place, mentally, where I wanted to write that song, and I wanted to play it out, you know, for me. But also, there's a lot of other people that lose a parent, and they're going through the same thing."
The singer said he has reached a point in his career where he wants to have songs that comfort people and connect a moment to a person. He admitted that lyrics about beer and parties have their place but said he wants to create generational musical moments that lean into his legacy.
"Whenever they think of that moment, I hope they think of that song," he said. "Or, maybe they hear that song and it takes them back to the moment."
"Down Home" can be challenging for Allen to sing. He called himself an "emotional dude" and said there's been "a lot of times" where he couldn't get through his performance – especially the line, "I got a daughter now."
"He met my son, but I've got two daughters that night," Allen said, explaining that when he feels himself losing control, he has his guitar player take an extended solo.
It doesn't get easier the more times he sings it, either. Allen said it was like bringing the pain back up to the surface.
"I think this song might always be hard to sing, but it's a good thing," he said. "It means I feel it in my heart, and I really love my father."
"Down Home" is the debut single from Allen's upcoming third studio album and the follow-up to his recent No. 1 song with Brad Paisley, "Freedom Was a Highway."