Jimmie Allen Reflects on Being the First Black Musician to Win ACMs' New Male Artist of the Year (Exclusive)

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Jimmie Allen is making history at the 2021 ACM Awards, and he's hoping he won't be the last.

The country superstar is already heading into the weekend with a trophy in hand. Allen won the New Male Artist of the Year award ahead of Sunday's ceremony, making him the first Black artist to win in the category.

"For me it shows where the world has gone, as far as inclusion for everyone," he told ET's Rachel Smith as he co-hosted Friday's show. "It's a beautiful thing. I'm hoping that even though I'm the first, I won't be the last."

And he was not, as earlier this week Kane Brown also became the first Black artist to win Video of the Year for his song "Worldwide Beautiful." Brown is also up for Album of the Year for Mixtape Vol. 1. The nomination made him the first-ever Black country artist to be nominated in the category.

Meanwhile, Allen will take the stage during the ACMs to perform his hit song, "Freedom Was a Highway."

"It's definitely a 'pinch me' moment," Allen expressed. "The song is just about the favorite streets I grew up driving on and having a crush on the neighbor's older sister. Back when the hardest decision you had to make was what type of cereal you gonna eat in the morning."

The song also features Brad Paisley, but Allen wouldn't deny or confirm if his singing partner would join him Sunday night.

There's many things on the horizon for Allen, who also wrote his first children's book, titled My Voice Is a Trumpet.

"The book teaches kids to use their voice at a young age. To know that it's OK to compliment people," Allen expressed. "But also use your voice to speak up for people who can't speak up for themselves.

Expect to see Allen and many more country superstars take the stage at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards.

The ACMs will air live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET (delayed PT) on Sunday, April 18, as well as live and on demand on Paramount+.

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