Jimmie Allen had quite the night at Sunday’s 2021 ACM Awards.
Not only did the country crooner become the first Black musician to ever win the New Male Artist of the Year award, but he was also joined on stage by Brad Paisley for an epic duet.
Allen belted out the pair’s track “Freedom Was A Highway” before Paisley surprised him during his performance.
Paisley shared before the duet, “My duet partner Jimmie Allen… is about to sing our new duet ‘Freedom Was A Highway’, but he thinks I’m out of town,” Billboard reported. “So I have driven up here and I’m gonna surprise him and go in and just start singing.”
Allen told People of his huge night, “I remember watching the ACMs growing up. I would start on the couch and when the winner won the category, I had to walk up and stand by the TV and give my acceptance speech. This is something I’ve wanted for a while and it’s pretty cool that it’s here.”
He added of taking some time to celebrate his achievement, “I never celebrate anything like this. I’ve been trying to do this music thing for so long, I kind of got addicted to struggle, the grind, so typically once I reach some sort of moment, I’m like, ‘Aiight, cool, what’s next? I’m ready to get back to hitting the ground running.’
“But this time I’m actually going to celebrate! I had family fly in, some friends fly in, and I’m just going to hang out, have a barbecue.”