Behind Jimmie Allen’s Bettie James Gold Edition
Jimmie Allen hustled for years in Nashville, even living out of his car at times, before he got the opportunity to prove his approachable country-pop abilities with 2018’s Mercury Lane and its pair of No. 1s. He builds on that success—and his heightened awareness of his place in the lineage of mainstream country's too few Black stars—with his Bettie James EP, named for his father and grandmother. Allen co-wrote more than half the tracks while he and his longtime co-producer Ash Bowers assembled an array of guests to join Allen in regretful, romantic pining (Mickey Guyton in "Drunk & I Miss You" and Noah Cyrus in "This Is Us") and freewheeling small-town fantasies (Nelly, hip-hop's frequent country emissary, in "Good Times Roll" and Brad Paisley in "Freedom Was a Highway").
Allen revisits Bettie James with a new Gold Edition, which includes nine new tracks alongside the 2020 EP’s original seven. Joining the already star-studded lineup of guest artists are fellow country up-and-comers like LOCASH (“Get Country”) and LANCO (“Home Sweet Hometown”), genre heavyweights Keith Urban (“Boy Gets a Truck”) and Little Big Town (“Pray,” which also features R&B icon Monica), hip-hop superstar Pitbull (“Flavor,” alongside Miami-based singer Vikina), and even R&B living legend Babyface, who guests on “Forever.”