Jimmie Allen Becomes First Black Country Artist to Score No. 1 Debut Single

Jimmie Allen may be a newcomer to country music, but the 32-year-old is already making history.

Allen's first single, "Best Shot," has officially hit No. 1, making him the first black artist to earn a career No. 1 with their debut single on country radio. The singer's accomplishment puts him alongside Darius Rucker, who has also topped the country radio charts with his debut single, though Rucker had already achieved musical success with his band Hootie & the Blowfish.

Along with earning his No. 1, Allen recently attended the CMA Awards in Nashville, where he presented the award for Single of the Year. The moment was especially poignant for the Delaware native since he spent his last $100 to buy a ticket to the awards show back in 2016.

“If someone asked me two years ago if I thought that this would be my life today — that I’d be on the red carpet at the CMAs or my song would be the No. 1 song on country radio, I would have honestly said no,” Allen said in a statement. “Did I think it would happen eventually? Absolutely! Just not this soon. I’m humbled and grateful — it’s such an honor to get my first No. 1 and to know that my song is connecting with people and resonating in a way that hopefully makes us all better people in the end, because that’s really what ‘Best Shot’ is all about.”

"Best Shot" can be found on Allen's debut album, Mercury Lane, and was written by Allen, Josh London and JP Williams. The earnest love song finds Allen striving to improve as a person while complimenting his partner, promising to give them his "best shot."

“When you’re a better person, you can be a better husband, wife, parent or friend,” Allen said. “In writing this song, we just wanted to be honest with ourselves and write something that others can empathize with.”

The singer is currently serving as opening act on Scotty McCreery's Seasons Change Tour and will head out with Kane Brown on Brown's Live Forever Tour early next year.

Allen has been working towards his dream for years, and told CMT that he never considered an alternate career choice.

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“Music is the only thing I’m good at really,” he said. “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 to 12 years it will happen. And it happened in ten.”

Photo Credit: Getty / Terry Wyatt