Jimmie Allen earned back-to-back chart-topping hits with his last two singles — “Make Me Want To” and the Brad Paisley duet “Freedom Was a Highway.” As he reflected on the achievement, he said he hopes he can be a source of inspiration.

“It feels great,” he said at an event celebrating the two hits, according to CMT. “Hopefully, it’s motivation for people not to be afraid to chase things, even when it’s different.”

As a Black country artist who’s not afraid to mix other styles and genre influences into his work, Jimmie knows that he doesn’t always fit the mold of what people expect a country star to be. But he’s found success by following his inner muse, he said, and that sometimes means taking a song’s chart placement with a grain of salt.

“No matter where the song is on a chart, it’s not a real representation of what the song is doing for people because I know a lot of songs that were #1 but not hit songs,” he said. “I know a lot of hit songs that never reach #1.”

The true measure of success, he said, is in the fan engagement.

“I just kind of grade the song based off when I play shows, how many people sing it back?” he adds. “How many messages do I get?”

This summer, Jimmie will apply that approach to a whole new musical chapter. His next album, Tulip Drive, is coming out in June, and he’ll take its songs on the road when he goes on tour with Carrie Underwood for her Denim & Rhinestones Tour.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.