Jimmie Allen has put together an impressive multi-genre and multi-generation list of collaborators for his new EP Bettie James. The July 10 release from Stoney Creek/BBR derives its name from Allen's late father James Allen and his grandmother Bettie Snead.
"My dad and grandmom were two completely different people, but both played a huge part in my life. Since they died, I have been wanting to leave trails of their legacies throughout my music," Allen said in a statement.
The EP, co-produced by Allen and Ash Bowers, features Nashville legends (Charley Pride, The Oak Ridge Boys) country music contemporaries (Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker, Rita Wilson, Mickey Guyton) and artists from other genres (rapper Nelly, Christian artist Tauren Wells, singer-songwriter and "This Is Us" collaborator Noah Cyrus).
"I am a fan of every artist on this project and humbled to have each one of them be a part of it," Allen says of his various collaboration partners on the project. "Each artist has touched the life of my dad, my grandmother and me through their music. I'm proud of this body of music and thankful to every writer that helped me create Bettie James."
Allen's seven-song EP of duets follows the success of his 2018 debut album Mercury Lane and the smash singles "Best Shot" and "Make Me Want To." Both songs' success made Allen the first Black country artist whose first two singles became back-to-back airplay No. 1s.
The track list will be announced next week (July 6-10). In the meantime, Allen and label mate Lindsay Ell will host the CMA's first-ever Summer Stay-Cay, a variety show-inspired livestream event, today at 6 p.m. EST on the CMA's YouTube channel and Facebook page.