Jimmie Allen was overwhelmed with emotion after winning the New Artist of the Year award at the 2021 CMA’s.
The 36-year-old country music artist took home the prize on Wednesday (Nov. 10) in Nashville. In his acceptance speech, he tearfully thanked his late father, James “Big Jim” Allen, who died in 2019 for introducing him to the music genre, as well as his family and loved ones.
"Five years ago I spent my last $100 and came to the CMAs 50th to watch Charley Pride perform on stage, and I got to perform with him last year. Everyone who voted for me, thank you. My wife, I love you. My kids, my mother's here. My manager Ash Bowers," Allen said.
He continued, "Ash found me playing at a writer's round at Puckett's grocery store in Franklin and signed me after 10 years of being here, living in my car, living in a trailer, working every job, this is amazing."
Adding, “Growing up listening to country music, I loved it. It's all my dad listened to," he said. "My dad was like, 'Well, you should be a country singer,' and I was like, 'Yeah, nah, they're all white. I don't know if they let people like me even sing country music.'”
Earlier this year, Allen won New Male Artist at the Academy of Country Music Awards, making him the first Black musician to do so at the annual ceremony.
Watch his full acceptance speech below: