Jimmie Allen Shares the Deeply Personal Meaning Behind His Annual Bettie James Fest (Exclusive)

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Jimmie Allen's Bettie James Fest is more than just a music festival. ET spoke to Allen backstage at this year's festival in the country singer's hometown of Milton, Delaware, where he shared the deeply personal meaning behind the second-annual celebration -- named in honor of his grandmother and his father.

"My grandma and my dad made me who I am, and for me, their names Bettie and James are more important than the name Jimmie Allen, at least to me it is because it's one of those things where this place made me who I am," Allen explained. "My grandma and my dad made me who I am, so it was very important to kinda have their name carry on because they're important to me and I want the world to know how special they were."

Holding the show in Allen's hometown also holds special meaning for the "Down Home" singer, because just as he said his grandma and dad made him who he is, so did the town of Milton.

"What's special about being here for my own festival, is this is where I grew up. This is the place that made me. I grew up literally about a mile across that soybean field over there," he shared. "It's special every time I come back, 'cause there's not a lot of music festivals that go on that often down here, so to have a chance to bring music here, to bring different businesses -- whether it's catering companies, whether it's clothing brands, whether it's tire companies, whatever -- to have them come here and be a part of my hometown, and kinda spread their business through the music fans, it's a great experience."

The festival, which features performances from Lainey Wilson, We the Kings and more, gives a chance for Allen to give back to his community too.

Through the Bettie James Fest, Allen's also hoping to leave something behind for his children -- Zara, 10 months, Naomi, 2, who he shares with his wife Alexis Gale, and his son from a previous relationship, Aadyn, who is 8.

"Well, this is the second year of the Bettie James music fest. I'm hoping it definitely lasts, as long as I'm alive and after," Allen said. "I'm looking you forward to this being something I can pass down to my kids, so they can keep it going, 'cause there's always gonna be talented artists. There's always going to be artists to perform, so I'm hoping this festival goes on forever."

As far as what he said fans can expect from the festival -- which took place last weekend -- Allen said it's a little bit of everything.

"So, you got my friend, County he's a local rapper from Delaware, he's a hip-hop artist, he's more like Nas, Talib Kweli," Allen revealed. "You got my friend Derek Daisy, we used to do all the talent shows together in high school -- he's a great rock vocalist. You got J.J. Ruff, who's a guy from Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, plays all these areas -- super talented. You got my friend George Downing, he's a gospel artist. I grew up on gospel music as well, and it's super important for me to have that here as well."

He continued, "Got my friends Neon Union, they're a duo that me and my friend, Aaron Benward signed to our production company Jab, we just got them a record deal. My friend Chayce Beckham's here. Chayce won American Idol last season -- I actually took him out for some shows on my 'Down Home' tour, so I had to have him here. And then you got We the Kings. I'm a huge We the Kings fan."

"It's a full circle of the bands that I love," Allen added. "We talked about Lainey Wilson earlier, so we got some surprises tonight. Me and my sister haven't sung together since we were 13 in church and me and my sister are going to sing together."

For more from Allen, check out the video below.

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