Jimmie Allen dropped out of the 2022 Country Music Association Awards just moments before the ceremony was set to start on Wednesday. The "Best Shot" singer was scheduled to perform "Out in the Middle" with Zac Brown Band and Marcus King during the ceremony at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Allen, 37, said he was feeling too ill to take the stage.
"I was looking forward to performing with my friends [Zac Brown Band] and [King] at the [Country Music] Awards, unfortunately, I'm under the weather and won't be able to," Allen tweeted. "I look forward to watching them and the other performers tonight." Allen also shared the message on his Instagram page. He did not say how serious his illness was.
I was looking forward to performing with my friends @zacbrownband and @realmarcusking at the @CountryMusic Awards, unfortunately I’m under the weather and won’t be able to. I look forward to watching them and the other performers tonight.— Jimmie Allen (@JimmieAllen) November 9, 2022
"Out in the Middle" was the second single from Zac Brown Band's album The Comeback. The song peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Zac Brown Band was nominated for Vocal Group of the Year. The song features Caroline Jones, the first female member of Zac Brown Band.
"Joining Zac Brown Band as an official member is the greatest honor of my career so far," Jones told Entertainment Tonight last week. "To be validated not only as a singer and songwriter but as a musician and member of the family means more to me than I can put into words." Jones has frequently served as the group's opening act as a solo artist.
Although Allen was not nominated for any awards this year, he won the New Artist of the Year award at the 2021 CMAs. Allen was previously nominated for the award in 2020. He was the first Black artist to be named New Artist of the Year since Darius Rucker won the title in 2009.
The CMAs will be hosted by former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and American Idol judge Luke Bryan. The show is scheduled to open with a tribute to the late Loretta Lynn featuring Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood. There will also be a tribute to Willie Enslon Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Alan Jackson, with Underwood, Lainey Wilson, Jon Pardi, and Dierks Bentley paying tribute to the country icon. Elle King and The Black Keys will also perform "Great Balls of Fire" as a tribute to the late Jerry Lee Lewis.
This year's nominees for Entertainer of the Year are Luke Combs, Underwood, Morgan Wallen, Chris Stapleton, and Miranda Lambert. The Male Vocalist of the Year nominees are Eric Church, Combs, Stapleton, Wallen, and Cody Johnson. Underwood, Wilson, Carly Pearce, and Ashely McBryde were nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year. The ceremony is airing on ABC at 8 p.m. ET and will be available to stream on Hulu Thursday.